Category Archives: Tax Appeals

Massachusetts High Court Hears Oral Argument on Consumer’s Standing to Recover Sales or Use Tax

By Attorney Morris N. Robinson and Attorney Yale Yechiel N. Robinson of M. Robinson Tax Law. An attorney representing a Massachusetts consumer (“Dedham Health”) argued this week that the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) must abate and refund the sales tax and/or use tax that the seller collected from Dedham Health and then paid to the DOR.  The seller, an entity that sold Dell computers and related services, argued alongside the DOR that Dedham Health was not entitled to receive a refund.

SCORE! for the Boston Bruins – Jacobs v. Commissioner

by Attorney Patricia Weisgerber, LLM Like Napolean recognizing that an army marches on its stomach, the owners of the Boston Bruins know a hockey team needs to be well-fed to ensure optimal performance on game day. So, when the Bruins go on the road to play away-games, management plans ahead. With ...

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
  • ...

    The Bank of America Case: May Massachusetts Tax the Trust Fund Income of Non-Resident Families with Unborn and/or Unascertained Members?

    Background  Before addressing the Bank of America case,[1] it is necessary to understand the Massachusetts taxation of trustees and their beneficiaries, which is described in 830 CMR 62.10.1: Income Tax on Estates and Trusts (the “Regulation”).  Massachusetts Jurisdiction to Tax Trusts When dealing with jurisdiction to tax, the Regulation distinguishes between testamentary trusts and inter vivos trusts, as follows:

    Getting to “Finished” Faster: The Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Expedited Settlement Process

    In April 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (MDOR) rolled out their new Expedited Settlements process. The program is one of three initiatives, which includes Early Mediation and Limited Information Settlements, designed to increase the efficiency and expediency of the MDOR’s settlement processes. The particular goal of Expedited Settlements is ...

    4th Annual Tax Update at Bentley University, Wednesday, June 24, 2015


    You are cordially invited to attend our 4th Annual Tax Program at Bentley University. This Program is co-sponsored by the New England Chapter of the American Association of Attorney-CPAs, a national organization.

    Preregistration Required

    Preregistration to this free event is required. To register, please click here....

    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.

    Choosing the “Right” Income Tax Return Preparer

    The IRS audits about one taxpayer in ten who reports more than $1 million in income. Many of these taxpayers are at the height of their careers and cannot endure even a whiff of scandal. They need peace of mind so they can concentrate on their careers. At the same time, they do not want to pay more than they have to in income taxes. After all, these taxpayers often have significant expenses such as high tuitions for their children at elite colleges and large mortgages on their vacation homes. Therefore, savvy high-income taxpayers with complex returns will want to choose their income tax return preparers carefully.

    One Size Does Not Fit All: Unintended Consequences of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

    On January 9, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reopened the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“2012 OVDP”) “on the heels of strong interest in the 2011 and 2009 programs.”  Although the IRS maintains that it may “end the 2012 program at any time in the future,” there is no indication that it will abandon its well-established pattern of announcing new iterations of the OVDP with slight changes to form and slightly more significant changes to substance. The steadily increasing rate of the miscellaneous penalty—currently 27.5 percent of the highest aggregate value of foreign accounts and/or assets that are connected in any way to the taxpayer’s noncompliance, a significant increase from the 20-percent miscellaneous penalty in the 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“2009 OVDP”)—suggests that the IRS is seeking to deter noncompliant taxpayers from taking a “wait and see” approach.