The New York Division of Tax Appeals ("Division") in In the Matter of Top Drawer Custom Cabinetry Corp., DTA No. 825588, recently held that a taxpayer who signed a consent to use a test period audit methodology was bound by the consent and waived its right to a detailed audit of the entire period. In November 2010, New York began a sales and use tax audit of Top Drawer Custom Cabinetry Corp. ("Top Drawer"). During the audit, New York determined the sales records provided by Top Drawer were adequate to conduct the audit. In December 2010, Top Drawer's president entered into a test period agreement with New York, which provided in part:
When my records are complete and available for the entire audit period, the Tax Department may not determine my tax based upon a test period audit without my consent. However, if I find that it may be practical to use the test period method audit, I may agree to use such method by comp[l]eting this form. [...]The agreement contained boxes that had been checked to show that the parties had agreed the test period method could be used for the audit of sales and recurring expense purchases. The Division used the test period method to audit the sales and expense purchases for a three-month test period and asserted $67,447.20 of tax, plus interest, due for the three-year audit period. Top Drawer appealed the determination. It argued that despite the signed consent, New York should have conducted a detailed audit because adequate books and records were available to the auditors. It believed a detailed audit would have resulted in decreased tax liability.
The Tax Department representative has explained to me the various audit methods listed above. If the auditor determines that my books and records are both complete and adequate, I agree the audit should be conducted using a test period method audit. It is understood that this agreement is contingent upon the adequacy of my records and pertains to the audit method to be used. It does not preclude my protest of the audit results on grounds such as the particular test period selected, the inclusion of certain transactions within the test, the taxability of certain transactions, or the method of projecting the results of the test period findings. The Commissioner of Taxation and Finance enters into this agreement on the assumption that my books and records, including computer files, are complete and adequate. [Emphasis in original]
Dina Kapur Sanna and Carl A. Merino co-authored an article, "Long Arm of the Law: The Risk to U.S. Practitioners of Prosecution for Facilitating Foreign Tax Offenses," (subscription required) in the June 2017 issue of Trusts & Estates Magazine.
On June 15, Dina Kapur Sanna and Carl A. Merino moderated a discussion panel at the Cambridge International Wealth Advisors Forum 2.0 held in Lisbon about the role of wealth advisors as "gatekeepers" to the financial system and measures being implemented by different jurisdictions to combat money laundering and tax evasion, including obligations imposed on lawyers and other advisors.
Angela Titus McEwan and Stacey Valentine Fielding authored an article for Bloomberg BNA's Daily Tax Report entitled "A Death Sentence for the Federal Estate Tax? States Watching Closely," in which they considered the repeal to the Federal Estate Tax and how it may impact, if at all, individual states.
On May 25, Dina Sanna and Carl Merino were panelists at an event hosted by Citco.
Day Pitney Alert
Von Sanborn was featured in an article, "Five Questions: Von Sanborn on Art Law, Insurance and the IRS," published in the Connecticut Law Tribune.
Stephen Ziobrowski was quoted in an article, "How Bermudians can be exposed to US taxes," in The Royal Gazette. The article is a recap of an International Tax and Planning Seminar at an AFL Investment sponsored event held in May 2016, in which Ziobrowski participated.
Stephen Ziobrowski was quoted in an article, "10 states millionaires might be fleeing," in LifeHealthPro. In the article, Ziobrowski discusses how several states—including Massachusetts—are considering raising their taxes on their wealthiest residents. He says that the concern with taxing the wealthy is that it causes them to leave.
Stephen Ziobrowski was quoted in an article, "7 Tips For Simplifying Tax Writing," in Law360. The article outlines best practices for tax lawyers to draft contracts and court documents. "Tax law is a foreign language, so you have to do some translation if you’re putting it into written documents," said Ziobrowski in the article. "If you’re aiming for a particular tax result in a transaction, it won’t do any good to have all the right magic words on the document and then people don’t understand what they’re supposed to do."
Chris Stracco was quoted in an article,"Will Veto Spark Litigation Over Nonprofit Hospitals' Tax Status?" in New Jersey Law Journal. In the article, Stracco discusses Governor Chris Christie's veto of S3299 in connection to the controversial New Jersey Tax Court decision of AHS Hospital v. Morristown. Stracco says the decision in the case, in which Morristown Memorial Hospital lost its tax-exempt status because it had for-profit business attributes, is unique. Given that case's uniqueness, he expects that the ruling and Christie's veto of S3299 will not likely result in a flood of nonprofit hospitals being hit with tax bills and suits to challenge them.