Bruce Ely

Bruce Ely

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

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Year-End Tax Planning and Expanded Scholarship Tax Credits

The Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 (the “Act”) provides state income tax credits to certain donors who make contributions to a state-approved scholarship granting organization (SGO) operating within Alabama. The Act was...more

11/13/2015 - Business Taxes Charitable Donations Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) Tax Credits Tax Deductions

Annual COEs and Information Returns – A New Requirement for Many Tax-Exempt Entities

Beginning January 1, 2016, all organizations that have a statutory exemption from the payment of Alabama sales, use or lodgings taxes--other than certain government entities, public universities and healthcare...more

10/21/2015 - Certificate of Exemption Department of Revenue Exemptions Information Reports Sales & Use Tax Tax Exempt Entities Unclaimed Property

Beware Increased Worker Classification Audits

As many of you are aware, there has been a marked increase in the emphasis on worker misclassification, not only by the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), but by states. The IRS and U.S. DOL have...more

10/15/2015 - Audits DOL Independent Contractors Misclassification

Third Time’s a Charm: Governor Bentley and Legislature Reach Budget/Tax Compromise

Summary - Governor Robert Bentley called a second special session of the Alabama Legislature on Tuesday, September 9 at 5 p.m. to address the FY 2016 General Fund budget and associated revenue measures. After meeting for...more

9/22/2015 - Ad Valorem Tax Business Privilege Tax CMS Combined Reporting Department of Revenue ETFs Excise Tax FICA Taxes Gas Taxes General Fund Healthcare Legislative Agendas Lottery Medicaid Pharmacies Property Tax State Budgets State Taxes Tax Amnesty Tax Increases Tax Rates Tax Reform Tax Revenues Tobacco Tribal Government Programs

Special Session Ends with Handful of Noteworthy Tax Bills, Predictions for Next Special Session

The first Special Session of 2015 ended on Tuesday, August 11, without accomplishing the primary objective of passing a General Fund budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The Governor’s “call” for the special session included...more

8/19/2015 - Business Taxes Legislative Agendas Legislative Process Reciprocity Rules Repeal Sales & Use Tax Sales Tax State Budgets Sufficient Nexus Tax Exemptions Tax Reform

The Advantages of Independent State Tax Tribunals

The following is an edited transcript of a discussion at a May 8 meeting of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation’s State and Local Taxes Committee in Washington. Bruce Ely, a partner at Bradley Arant Boult...more

8/10/2015 - Administrative Procedure Act AICPA Dispute Resolution Judicial Proceedings State Tax Tribunals Tax Appeals Tax Court

Alabama Department of Revenue Issues Controversial Proposed Regulation Taxing Out-of-State Vendors

Consistent with Governor Robert Bentley’s public statement last week that he hopes or another internet e-tailer will sue the state of Alabama regarding its position on nexus, the Alabama Department of Revenue...more

8/6/2015 - Administrative Procedure Act Amazon Commerce Clause Department of Revenue Due Process Governor Bentley Nexus NPRM Out-of-State Companies Physical Presence Test Quill Sales & Use Tax SCOTUS

Alabama Department of Revenue Wisely Withdraws Controversial Proposal

Yesterday afternoon, the Alabama Department of Revenue (ADOR) withdrew its controversial proposed digital tax regulation, Rule 810-6-5-09, likely in response to the request of the Legislative Council’s newly-appointed...more

7/10/2015 - Department of Revenue Digital Goods Legislative Agendas Local Taxes Proposed Regulation Sales & Use Tax State Taxes

Influential Business Group Requests Legislative Rejection of Proposed Rental Tax Regulation; Legislative Council Hearing Set for...

As previously reported, the Alabama Department of Revenue proposed a regulation imposing a rental tax on digital transmissions, broadly defined as “on demand movies, television programs, streaming video, streaming audio, and...more

7/8/2015 - App Store Cable Television Providers Congressional Investigations & Hearings Department of Revenue Digital Media Digital Services Internet Streaming Legislative Agendas Netflix Rental Tax Tangible Property Television Broadcast Stations

Alabama 2015 Regular Session Legislative Summary: June 2015

The Alabama Senate adjourned sine die on Thursday, June 4, and the Alabama House of Representatives met for their last day on Thursday, June 11. Although the legislature passed a record-setting, $6 billion Education Trust...more

7/1/2015 - Education Reform General Fund New Legislation Pending Legislation State Budgets Tax Revenues

Alabama Tax Legislative Summary: 2015 Regular Session; Some Unofficial Predictions For Upcoming Session(s)

The Alabama Senate adjourned late Thursday afternoon, June 4, leaving a number of pending bills on the table. Although the legislature passed a record-setting $6 billion Education Trust Fund budget, the issue that pervaded...more

6/19/2015 - Economic Development General Fund Legislative Agendas New Legislation Proposed Legislation State Budgets Tax Revenues

Supreme Court Rules that Dormant Commerce Clause Limits Maryland’s Taxing Powers over Its Residents

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne on May 18. In a split 5-4 decision, the Court struck down as unconstitutional a feature of Maryland’s income tax...more

5/21/2015 - Comptroller of the Treasury v Wynne Dormant Commerce Clause Income Taxes Interstate Commerce Non-Resident Income Taxes SCOTUS

Landmark Tax Credit Scholarship Program Upheld by Alabama Supreme Court

On March 2 in an 8-1 decision, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 (the “Act”) in Magee et al. v. Boyd et al. The massive 222-page opinion affirmed in part, but...more

3/20/2015 - AL Supreme Court Educational Institutions Scholarships Tax Credits

Department of Revenue Issues Proposed Regulation Taxing Digital Streaming Services

The Alabama Department of Revenue has issued a proposed regulation that, if finalized in its present form, would substantially expand the scope of the state and local rental tax applied to video-on-demand and other digital...more

3/18/2015 - Cable Television Providers Department of Revenue Digital Downloads Netflix Rental Tax

Alabama Legislator Introduces Broad Unitary Combined Reporting Bill

As part of Republican Governor Robert Bentley’s eight-bill revenue package, Representative Mike Hill (R-Columbiana) has introduced a mandatory unitary combined reporting bill (often called “MUCR”), H.B. 142, that would be...more

3/13/2015 - Proposed Legislation Revenue State Budgets Tax Revenues

Alabama Department of Revenue Gets a Second Chance to Justify Diesel Fuel Sales Tax Against Rail Carriers

In the State of Alabama’s and CSX Transportation’s second trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court held in a 7-2 decision on March 4 that Alabama’s sales tax on diesel fuel purchased and used by rail carriers—where motor and...more

3/10/2015 - 4R Act AL Department of Revenue v CSX Diesel Fuel Discrimination Excise Tax Railroads Sales & Use Tax SCOTUS

Tax Tribunal Issues First Ruling Regarding Scope of Authority of Tax Tribunal Judge

Chief Judge Bill Thompson of the newly-established Alabama Tax Tribunal ("the Tribunal") issued his first, and a key, ruling involving the scope of his authority when the taxpayer, Stone Bridge Farms of Cullman, Alabama, does...more

3/9/2015 - Department of Revenue Judges Tax Tribunal

Two Key Alabama Business Associations Announce Their 2015 State Tax Legislative Agendas

In preparation for the 2015 regular session of the Alabama Legislature, which begins Tuesday, March 3, one of Alabama’s most influential business and trade organizations, the 5,000-member Business Council of Alabama (BCA),...more

3/4/2015 - Legislative Agendas Tax Reform

Tips and Traps Regarding the Statute of Limitations and Signing Statute Waivers

As you end your telephone conversation with the revenue examiner, you think to yourself, “Thank goodness, this one is finally over!” The audit of your biggest client started over three years ago, and has seemingly dragged on...more

3/2/2015 - Audits Corporate Taxes Department of Revenue Statute of Limitations Waivers

Tax Tribunal Issues Critical Ruling Regarding Scope of Judge's Authority

Chief Judge Bill Thompson of the newly-established Alabama Tax Tribunal has issued his first ruling involving the scope of his authority as a judge when the taxpayer did not specifically raise an argument or defense in its...more

2/10/2015 - Department of Revenue Judges Tax Assessment Tax Tribunal

Alabama Receives Significant Upgrade from COST on State Tax Due Process Scorecard

On December 17, the Council On State Taxation (COST) announced that Alabama’s grade in their “Best and Worst of State Tax Administration” scorecard on Tax Appeals and Procedural Requirements, otherwise known as the “Due...more

12/26/2014 - Due Process Income Taxes State Taxes Tax Appeals

Settlement in RDS/Alatax Class Action Lawsuit Tentatively Approved

In September 2010, a small group of Alabama taxpayers brought a second class action lawsuit against Revenue Discovery Systems/Alatax (“RDS”) alleging that RDS and its auditors committed multiple violations of the Alabama...more

12/18/2014 - Class Action State Taxes Tax Refunds

Alabama Tax Developments – 2014 Year in Review

This SALT Alert summarizes the major legislative, judicial, and administrative developments affecting Alabama business taxpayers with respect to income, transactional, and property taxes, as well as several updates on...more

12/15/2014 - Corporate Taxes Income Taxes New Legislation Tax Revenues

Alabama Department of Revenue Offers New Online Sales Tax Tool for Retailers

After several months’ wait and efforts to deal with pesky tax and geographical issues involving the police jurisdictions that surround most Alabama municipalities, the Alabama Department of Revenue last Friday posted a very...more

11/20/2014 - Department of Revenue Internet Retailers Online Sales Tax Retailers

Worker Classification Litigation on the Rise — An Analysis of the Ninth Circuit’s FedEx Case and Its Lessons for Tax Practitioners

Abraham Lincoln reportedly asked, ‘‘If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?’’ His answer was, ‘‘Four. Calling a dog’s tail a leg does not make it a leg.’’ Similarly, when businesses classify workers,...more

10/24/2014 - Audits Delivery Drivers Employee Definition Employer Liability Issues FedEx Independent Contractors Misclassification

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