Communications & Media Tax

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Tax Changes Made by Maine's 127th Legislature

The Maine Legislature ended its tumultuous session on July 16, 2015. After an advisory opinion by the Maine Supreme Court, we now know which bills actually became law. As usual, a number of significant tax issues were...more

Los Angeles Settles Disputed Phone Tax for $92.5M

Recently, a class of plaintiffs settled with City of Los Angeles over its alleged unlawful collection of telephone utility user tax (UUT). The class alleged that the Los Angeles Municipal Code exempted from UUT all amounts...more

Immediate Action Required by Cities to Begin Collecting Utility Users Tax

New Law Will Allow California Cities to Receive Tax Revenue on Prepaid Wireless Telephone Service - Prepaid wireless phone service is a booming business and, to date, cities have not been receiving their full measure...more

FCA Dismisses Appeal of Revocation of Charity Status

In Public Television Association of Quebec v. M.N.R. (2015 FCA 170), the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by the Public Television Association of Quebec (“PTAQ”) of the CRA’s decision to revoke PTAQ’s registered...more

Reed Smith Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation in Sprint False Claims Act Appeal

On July 21, 2015, Reed Smith LLP, on behalf of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation (“IPT”), filed an amicus brief with the New York State Court of Appeals in People of the State of New York, ex rel. Empire State...more

IRS Proposed Tax Regulations Aimed at Fee Waiver Arrangements

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have issued proposed regulations addressing disguised payment for services of a partner, including the proper tax treatment of fee waiver arrangements commonly used by...more

Advertising Law - July 2015 #3

Harlem Globetrotters Get an Assist From CARU - In a rare loss, the Harlem Globetrotters agreed, at the direction of the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU), that their age-screening practices for the company's...more

"City of Chicago Expands Tax Reach to Internet Services"

On June 9, 2015, the city of Chicago released two rulings that significantly expand the city’s 9 percent gross receipt tax to charges for cloud computing and other services delivered over the Internet. The first ruling (City...more

Remote Transactions Parity Act Introduced in the U.S. House

Today, Representative Jason Chaffetz introduced H.R. 2775, the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015 (RTPA), in the United States House of Representatives (House). The RTPA addresses the Internet sales tax issue using...more

Washington Department of Revenue takes same position on taxability of early termination fees being challenged in Massachusetts

In a ruling that will be of interest to taxpayers following Massachusetts appeals on the issue, Washington has issued recent guidance (see Washington DOR – Termination Fees) asserting that early termination fees for...more

Dubai launches new design and e-commerce hubs

A cornerstone of Dubai's success in attracting businesses and encouraging growth across a diverse range of sectors has been the continued establishment of free zones. These special economic zones offer business-friendly...more

Ontario “Grandfathers” Tax Credit Rate Changes

When Ontario announced its 2015 budget, one particular proposed change was met with… well, let’s call it “concern” from the Ontario film and television production community: the reduction of the OPSTC and OCASE tax credits...more

New York Advises Sales of “Computing Power” Not Taxable

Yesterday, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance Office of Counsel issued advisory opinion TSB-A-15(2)S holding that cloud computing vendors providing “Internet infrastructure” were not subject to sales tax. ...more

Abu Dhabi is 30 Per Cent More Attractive - Film Commission offers unique rebate to international production companies

The UAE is constantly seeking new and innovative ways to encourage business growth across the Emirates. Film and TV production is one of the diverse range of areas in which the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has actively looked to...more

State and Local Taxation: Headline News and Trends - April 2015

In This Issue: Megatrends and Developments, Business Activity Taxes, Transaction Taxes, Other Issues... ...more

Crowdfunding: Update From the CRA

In a short technical interpretation (CRA Document 2015-0579031I7 “Crowdfunding” (April 1, 2015)), the CRA has restated its views on the tax treatment of amounts raised via crowdfunding arrangements. The CRA stated that...more

Ontario’s 2015 Budget Makes Changes to Cultural Tax Credits

The Ontario government released its 2015 Budget on April 23, 2015 – and it makes some significant changes to Ontario’s cultural tax credit regime, including the elimination of the sound recording tax credit. (Please note that...more

Are eFax services taxable telecommunications services in Massachusetts?

While Massachusetts’ expansion of its sales tax to include computer-related services was repealed within three months of its enactment, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue continues to take a close look at sales treated...more

IRS Ordered to Make Non-Profit Form 990s Available In a Useful Electronic Format

Federal agencies cannot avoid their obligation to disclose public records in modern electronic formats merely by invoking budgetary constraints, a judge has ruled in a rare decision exploring the scope of the Electronic...more

Seller Beware: Collecting Sales Tax When Coupons Are Involved Is Not So Cut and Dried

If you are a retailer or a business that accepts or issues coupons, a slew of class action lawsuits should have you double-checking your sales tax collection practices. Recent lawsuits filed by consumers have accused...more

Mississippi Court Rules Discriminatory Exclusion is Unconstitutional

The Hinds County Chancery Court recently issued an opinion in AT&T Corp. v. Miss. Dep't of Revenue finding that Mississippi's dividend exclusion statute unlawfully discriminates against interstate commerce and is therefore...more

Hold The Phone! AT&T’s Constitutional Challenge To Mississippi’s Dividend Exclusion Statute Is Still Alive

A Mississippi trial court has again found unconstitutional the state’s dividend exclusion statute, which disadvantages certain multistate taxpayers as compared to solely Mississippi taxpayers. This result comes from AT&T’s...more

TracFone Files Supplement to Emergency Petition for FCC Preemption on 911 Fees

As noted in our prior update, in November 2014, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice requesting industry comment on a Petition filed by TracFone Wireless regarding 911 fees charged to Lifeline...more

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

Potential Impact of Reclassification on State and Local Tax Obligations

The Order tries to minimize the potential that state or local taxes on broadband Internet access service (BIAS) will increase as a result of reclassifying BIAS as a telecommunications service. BIAS providers, however, have...more

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