Earlier this year, New York enacted sweeping corporate tax reform, generally effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, including a new economic nexus standard, changes to New York’s combined reporting regime, changes to the tax base and traditional New York income classifications, changes to the receipts factor computation, and changes to the net operating loss calculation and certain tax credits and incentives.  (For a more detailed discussion of these changes, see our Special Report.

While this corporate reform is quite comprehensive, a number of open issues remain so taxpayers and practitioners have been eagerly awaiting additional guidance from the Department of Taxation and Finance.  As a first step in providing that much-needed guidance, the Department has released its first set of responses to frequently asked questions on a new “Corporate Tax Reform FAQs” section of its website.  Most notably, the responses clarify that the non-unitary presumption based on less than 20 percent stock ownership for purposes of determining exempt investment income is a rebuttable presumption.  The responses also clarify that the business capital base includes items of capital that generate exempt income.  Other topics addressed include economic nexus, credits, the Metropolitan Transportation Business Tax (MTA surcharge) and net operating losses.

The Department plans to update the Corporate Tax Reform FAQs on an ongoing basis as it continues to receive questions from taxpayers and practitioners, which can be submitted on the Department’s website.  We will be submitting questions and comments and can do so on behalf of companies that do not want to be identified.  The Department is also in the process of revising its current regulations (which are expected to be released before the end of 2015) and plans to issue two technical memoranda in the interim, one discussing qualified New York manufacturers and one discussing the new expense attribution rules.  Stay tuned for updates regarding this additional guidance.

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