Author Archives: Yechiel Robinson

Flynn v. Commissioner of Revenue: What Are the Prerequisites for a Massachusetts Tax Appeal?

Recent decisions by the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (ATB) illustrate that a taxpayer must fulfill three prerequisites in order to obtain ATB jurisdiction in tax appeals against the Commissioner of Revenue:
  • File all required tax returns.
  • File a Form CA-6: Application for Abatement, with the Department of Revenue. The CA-6 filing
  • ...

    IRS Raises Safe Harbor Threshold and Simplifies Recordkeeping for Small Businesses to Deduct Certain Expenditures

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on November 24, 2015 that it has raised the safe harbor threshold for small businesses to deduct certain capital expenditures from $500 to $2,500. The $2,500 threshold applies to small businesses that do not have audited financial statements.  For larger businesses with audited financial ...

    Bank of America as Trustee v. Commissioner of Revenue: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Will Hear Case in 2016

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) will hear the appeal of Bank of America against the Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue in 2016. The SJC accepted Bank of America’s application for Direct Appellate Review on November 12, 2015. The current docket number is SJC-11995.

    Face-to-Face: Best Practice to Visit the IRS in Person

    Introduction Speaking to an IRS agent face-to-face can be more efficient than calling an IRS telephone hotline or sending mail to an IRS processing center. I learned the benefit of face-to-face interaction when I visited the IRS office in Boston on November 3, 2015.

    Amnesty for Massachusetts Non-Filers Might Occur in 2016

    Taxpayers who failed to file their Massachusetts income tax returns, or who underreported their income, might be given a two-month window in April and May 2016 to enter into a tax amnesty program.  The program is still in the planning stages.  It has not yet received final approval, and details ...

    MassTaxConnect: Massachusetts Business Taxpayers and Tax Professionals Await Rollout of New Secure Website on November 30, 2015

    The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (“DOR”) released a training video about MassTaxConnect, the new secure website for tax administration in Massachusetts, on September 18, 2015. MassTaxConnect is scheduled for a rollout on Monday, November 30, 2015—the first business day after Thanksgiving.

    Internet Tax Freedom Act is Scheduled to Expire: Massachusetts Department of Revenue Publishes TIR 15-8

    The federal Internet Tax Freedom Act (“ITFA”) is scheduled to expire on October 1, 2015, unless Congress extends it. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (“DOR”) issued TIR 15-8 on September 9, 2015, advising internet service providers on how to comply with Massachusetts tax laws after ITFA expires. ITFA prevents any federal, ...

    Amicus Brief Filed at Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court by Attorney Yale Yechiel N. Robinson

    Attorney Yale Yechiel N. Robinson filed an amicus brief with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) on July 22, 2015. The case, Trapp v. Commissioner of Corrections (docket number SJC-11863), concerns prisoner rights to the free exercise of religion.  The plaintiffs, who are Native American prisoners in Massachusetts state prisons, wish ...

    Preserving Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board Appeals Rights: Recent ATB Decision Highlights Three Traps for the Unwary

    Phillips v. Commissioner of Revenue (ATB 2015-113 published on March 20, 2015) highlights three traps for the unwary that can hurt Massachusetts taxpayers. For example, it may be a trap to follow the appeals procedures set forth in Massachusetts Department of Revenue (“MDOR”) letters to taxpayers. In Phillips, taxpayers followed these procedures. The Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (“ATB”)[1] nonetheless dismissed the taxpayers’ appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The ATB decision in Phillips is summarized and discussed below. The full text is available for download on the ATB website.[2]

    Filing a Timely Appellate Tax Board Appeal: Recent ATB Decision Highlights a Trap for the Unwary

    Prompt appeal of an adverse tax audit result to the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (“ATB”) is essential in order to preserve your rights as a taxpayer. The ATB has jurisdiction to hear state tax appeals pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 62C, Section 39. You must appeal within sixty (60) days after the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (“DOR”) has denied your abatement application. The ATB does not have jurisdiction and cannot preside over a late-filed appeal. Therefore, taxpayers and tax professionals need to understand when the sixty-day appeal window opens and closes.