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Q&AOn January 6, I presented a new White Paper, The Oregon Corporate Activity Tax – You Can Run and You Can Hide, but This New Tax Is Effective January 1, 2020, at the Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants Annual State and Local Tax Conference.  We had a large number of attendees, including representatives of the Oregon Department of Revenue (the “DOR”).  Based upon the numerous questions I received (during and after the presentation), it is clear that tax practitioners are busy thinking about this new tax regime and how it applies to their clients.  Unfortunately, in this particular case, I do not believe the curiosity will kill the CAT.  It looks like it is here to stay.

It is hard to believe it, but 2019 is coming to an end. We have had a truly interesting year in the world of tax law, the primary impetus of which was the aftermath of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”).  During the past 12 months, we have explored several aspects of the TCJA as well as other interesting developments in tax law, including:

Recent Announcements

The Oregon Department of Revenue (the “Department”) has made several recent announcements regarding Oregon’s new Commercial Activity Tax (the “CAT”).

In an email dated December 4, 2019, the Department said it anticipated sharing initial drafts of the first batch of temporary administrative rules on its website in December 2019.

In the same email, the Department also announced that some issues will not be addressed in its rules. For example, the Department has determined that there is no way to provide guidance with respect to how businesses may properly estimate the amount of CAT liability attributable to particular transactions. The Department goes on to tell us, however, that many frequently asked questions will be addressed in forms, instructions, publications and/or FAQs on the Department’s website.

Importantly, the Department has made it clear that the CAT “does not prohibit any business subject to the CAT from passing the tax along to its customers.”

IRSWith data breaches becoming a common event throughout the world, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has been undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing its security of taxpayer information and preventing the filing of fraudulent tax returns by taxpayer impersonators.  Many of these initiatives are invisible to the public.

The IRS has joined forces with state taxing agencies, tax professionals, software developers and financial institutions to form the “Security Summit.”  This coalition is organized into six working groups, namely:

PhoneIn recent months, we have written extensively about Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (the “CAT”).  As discussed in our last post, the Oregon Department of Revenue (the “Department”) recently announced that it would hold a dial-in meeting to solicit input regarding the Department’s rulemaking process from stakeholders located out of state or who otherwise could not attend the town hall meetings.  Peter Evalds attended the telephone meeting, which was held on Friday, October 25, 2019. 

This post continues our coverage of the CAT with an overview of new information we learned during the call.  This post also addresses questions and answers that the Department recently uploaded to the Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) section of its CAT website.

We have written at length about Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (the “CAT”). As discussed in our last post, the Oregon Department of Revenue (the “Department”) recently concluded a series of 12 town hall meetings around the state to solicit input from stakeholders regarding the Department’s rulemaking process.

As we talked about in our last post, the Department stated at the Portland town hall meeting its plan to conduct additional dial-in meetings for people who are located out of state or who otherwise could not attend the town hall meetings.

New York/San FranciscoThe NYU 78th Institute on Federal Taxation (IFT) takes place in New York City on October 20-25, 2019, and in San Francisco on November 10-15, 2019.  This year, I will be presenting a new White Paper entitled “The Road Between Subchapter C and Subchapter S – It May Be a Well-Traveled Two-Way Thoroughfare, but It Isn’t Free of Potholes and Obstacles.”  We will explore the obstacles and complexities that may impede travel on this two-way road, including the built-in-gains tax, LIFO recapture, excessive passive income, unreasonable compensation, personal holding company status, excessive accumulated earnings, and re-election hindrances and restrictions.

Joining me to co-present this expansive topic is my esteemed colleague Wells Hall of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.

St. Johns Bridge - Portland, OregonWe have been covering Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (the “CAT”) over the past few months.  As previously discussed, the Oregon Department of Revenue (the “Department”) has been conducting town hall meetings with stakeholders across Oregon.  The last meeting was held in Salem on October 4, 2019. 

In this post, we continue our coverage of the CAT with a discussion of the Department’s town hall meeting that Peter Evalds attended in Portland, Oregon on October 3, 2019.  We address significant issues discussed at the Portland meeting that were not discussed at the Beaverton meeting we covered a few weeks ago.

What We Learned from one of the Oregon Department of Revenue’s Town Hall Meetings

Over the past few months, we have written extensively on the blog about Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (the “CAT”). As announced in our last post, the Oregon Department of Revenue (the “Department”) is in the process of conducting town hall meetings with stakeholders across Oregon. Peter Evalds attended the Department’s town hall meeting in Beaverton, Oregon on Thursday, September 19, 2019. In this post, we highlight some of the more significant issues that were discussed at that meeting.

Foster GarveyGarvey Schubert Barer, PC and Foster Pepper PLLC have combined to create a mission-driven firm and to expand reach and services. Foster Garvey PC, created by the combination of these two legacy Pacific Northwest law firms, officially launches today, October 1, 2019.

I previously announced that the owners of Garvey Schubert Barer and Foster Pepper voted overwhelmingly to combine forces. Since then, both firms have been working closely to advance the shared goal of ensuring clients have access to a greater breadth and depth of service offerings, creating a one-stop shop for clients while continuing to preserve the relationships, culture and first-rate service clients have come to expect. 

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Larry J. Brant
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Larry J. Brant is a Shareholder in Foster Garvey, a law firm based out of the Pacific Northwest, with offices in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; New York, New York, Spokane, Washington; and Beijing, China. Mr. Brant practices in the Portland office. His practice focuses on tax, tax controversy and transactions. Mr. Brant is a past Chair of the Oregon State Bar Taxation Section. He was the long-term Chair of the Oregon Tax Institute, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Portland Tax Forum. Mr. Brant has served as an adjunct professor, teaching corporate taxation, at Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College. He is an Expert Contributor to Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Catalyst. Mr. Brant is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel. He publishes articles on numerous income tax issues, including Taxation of S Corporations, Reasonable Compensation, Circular 230, Worker Classification, IRC § 1031 Exchanges, Choice of Entity, Entity Tax Classification, and State and Local Taxation. Mr. Brant is a frequent lecturer at local, regional and national tax and business conferences for CPAs and attorneys. He was the 2015 Recipient of the Oregon State Bar Tax Section Award of Merit.

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