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State & Local Tax Update - 8/7/15

Posted 12:45 PM by

KSM Location Advisors 

Whether your company is just starting up, looking for the best location to build a new headquarters, or you have been in the business for many years and are looking to expand, KSM Location Advisors can provide a high-level and/or in-depth location analysis, which includes information important to your company’s location decisions. For more information about how your business may benefit from this service, please contact Katie Culp at


Arizona Provides Sales and Use (TPT) Guidance on Changes to Prime Contracting Classification

TPN 15-1 has been issued to provide guidance on questions arising from recent legislative changes to the prime contracting classification, including new exemptions for the gross income derived from the maintenance, repair, replacement or alteration (MRRA) activities affecting real estate when the activities are performed directly for the property owner or authorized party. Note that modifications remain taxable.

Kansas Issues Guidance on Effective Date of Change Taxing Guaranteed Payments

The Kansas Department of Revenue has issued Public Notice 15-11, indicating the exclusion of guaranteed payments as an acceptable deduction to Kansas AGI is effective July 1, 2015, and not retroactively. 

Maryland Issues Guidance on 2015 Amnesty Program

The Maryland comptroller has issued information on the upcoming 2015 Tax Amnesty Program. The program runs from Sept. 1 through Oct. 30, 2015, and waives all civil penalties and one-half of the interest for delinquent taxpayers who apply and are approved. The tax amnesty application, tax amnesty calculator, and Tax Amnesty BillPay will be available by Aug. 28, 2015. Tax amnesty applications will be accepted beginning Sept. 1, 2015. See Maryland 2015 Amnesty for additional information on the program. 

New Jersey Rules on Residency of Telecommuters

In Gundecha v. Board of Review and DB Services New Jersey, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, has ruled a telecommuter working in North Carolina for her employer in New Jersey was considered to be working in North Carolina and was not eligible for unemployment compensation benefits in New Jersey. Although the case dealt with unemployment compensation, some parallels from this case may be applied in the income tax context. 

New York Rules Buyer Responsible for Seller Sales Tax Liability

The taxpayer was liable for sales tax related to the bulk purchase of the business assets of a New York-based kitchen and bath company. The transfer at issue was clearly a bulk sale as a transfer to the taxpayer of the entire business assets of the seller outside the ordinary course of business.

At the time of the bulk sale transfer, the seller owed sales tax. The taxpayer, as the purchaser, was obligated to notify the Division of the transaction and withhold from the seller the transfer of any consideration on the purchase until payment of that liability was made.

Failure to comply with the notification requirements resulted in the taxpayer becoming personally liable for the payment of any New York state sales and use taxes determined to be due from the seller. For more details, see In the Matter of the Petition of GB&K/DCS LLC.

Tennessee Issues Notice on Taxability of Remotely Accessed Software

Important Notice 15-14 has been issued to reflect recent legislative changes with regard to the taxability of certain software products. Effective July 1, 2015, the taxable use of computer software in Tennessee includes the access and use of software that remains in possession of the seller and is remotely accessed by a customer for use in Tennessee. The notice outlines the reason for the change and related issues, including multiple points of use.

Tennessee Amends Definition of Nexus for Franchise, Excise and Business Taxes

Effective for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2016, taxpayers are subject to the franchise and excise tax if they are doing business in Tennessee and have substantial nexus with Tennessee. Substantial nexus is created if:

  1. The taxpayer is organized or commercially domiciled in Tennessee;
  2. The taxpayer owns or uses capital in Tennessee;
  3. The taxpayer has systematic and continuous business activity in Tennessee that has produced gross receipts attributable to customers in Tennessee (often referred to as economic nexus);
  4. The taxpayer licenses intangible property for use by another party in Tennessee and derives income from the use of that intangible property; or
  5. The taxpayer has bright-line presence* in Tennessee.

*The taxpayer has bright-line presence in Tennessee if any of the following applies:

  1. The taxpayer's receipts in Tennessee exceed either $500,000 or 25% of the taxpayer's total receipts everywhere;
  2. The average value of the taxpayer's real and tangible property owned or rented and used in Tennessee during the tax period exceeds $50,000 or 25% of the taxpayer's total real and tangible property; or
  3. The taxpayer paid compensation in Tennessee that exceeded more than $50,000 or 25% of the total compensation paid by that taxpayer. For more information, see HB0644

Tennessee Amends Apportionment Sourcing and Factor Weighting

Effective for tax years beginning on or after July 1, 2016, receipts from sales, other than sales of tangible personal property, are in Tennessee if the taxpayer's market for the sale is in Tennessee. In the case of the sale, rental, lease or license of real or tangible property, the market for the sale is in Tennessee to the extent that the property is located in Tennessee.

In the case of sale of a service, the sale will be sourced to Tennessee to the extent that the service is delivered to a location in Tennessee. In the case of intangible property that is rented, leased or licensed, the sale will be sourced to Tennessee to the extent that the intangible property is used in Tennessee.

Additionally, the weight of the sales factor increases so that it makes up 60% of the apportionment factor rather than 50% of the apportionment factor. For more information, see HB0644.

Washington Rules Captive Paymaster Subject to Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax

By failing to establish it had no liability to pay the employer obligations except as an agent of its affiliates, failing to establish it was a Form 2678 Agent for its clients, and failing to notify employees of the client’s status as employer liable for all employer obligations, a taxpayer was subject to B&O tax on all gross income received from related parties for the provision of payroll and benefits services, accounting services and administrative services. For more information, see  WA Tax Determination 14-0175.

About the Author
Donna Niesen is a partner in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s State and Local Tax Group. Donna helps keep clients up-to-date on the multitude of tax rules and requirements in all 50 states. She guides them in the right direction as they address the complex issues that emerge on both the state and local levels. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


Deferral of New Revenue Recognition Standard: Contracts with Customers

Posted 3:28 PM by

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), on July 9, 2015, approved a one-year deferral of the effective date of Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2014-09 Revenue from Contracts with Customers. The new revenue recognition standard will now become effective Jan. 1, 2019, for nonpublic, calendar-year entities.

Although deferred until the 2019 calendar year, entities that present comparative financial statements are required to present both years under the new standard. Therefore, entities need the ability to track their revenues under the new rules starting in 2017.

This decision was driven largely by the input of stakeholders through the FASB’s Transition Resource Group (TRG), which is charged with informing the FASB about potential implementation issues.

The FASB will next draft an Accounting Standards Update for formal written vote to incorporate the deferral into the codification.

For more information on this ASU or the TRG, visit

About the Author
Matt Bishop is a director in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Audit and Assurance Services Group. As a member of the firm’s Technical Resource Group, Matt is involved in technical accounting research and internal quality assurance processes, serving as a resource for KSM staff. Connect with him on LinkedIn.



Trucking Toward State Tax Compliance: Is a VDA the Right Option?

Posted 2:59 PM by
Many companies struggle to determine if they have sufficient activity in a state, or nexus, to force them to file state tax returns. This can be especially difficult for transportation companies. One of the issues is whether driving more than a de minimis amount of miles through a state creates a tax filing obligation. 

Senate Finance Committee Extends “Tax Extenders”

Posted 7:38 PM by
Yesterday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced progress on a bipartisan bill to extend multiple pro-business and pro-individual tax provisions that expired at the end of 2014. 

2015 Tax Amnesty Dates Announced

Posted 8:11 PM by

Many legislative changes were made by the Indiana General Assembly during the 2015 legislative session, one of which included a mandate for the Indiana Department of Revenue (IDOR) to implement a tax amnesty program before 2017.

Yesterday, Gov. Mike Pence announced that IDOR will conduct “Tax Amnesty 2015” from Sept. 15, 2015, through Nov. 16, 2015. 

Similar to the amnesty offered by Indiana in 2005, the program provides an opportunity for individuals and businesses to disclose and pay unreported taxes that were due and payable for a tax period ending before Jan. 1, 2013, in exchange for abatement of penalties, interest, and collection fees or costs that would have otherwise been imposed.

Taxpayers who are eligible to participate in the amnesty program and choose not to participate will be subject to an additional penalty, effectively doubling the penalty that would ordinarily be imposed on a delinquent liability. Taxpayers who participated in the 2005 amnesty program are not eligible to participate.

For more information, visit

About the Author
Donna Niesen is a partner in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s State and Local Tax Practice. Donna provides a wide variety of tax consulting services in the areas of multistate sales and income taxes, business incentives, controversy services, and other state taxes. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

About the Author
Tim Cook is the partner-in-charge of Katz, Sapper & Miller's State and Local Tax Practice. Tim supervises and coordinates all state and local tax consulting services, including business incentives and site selection, multistate taxes, and unclaimed property. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


Deadline to Complete BEA 2014 Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad Is Rapidly Approaching

Posted 1:05 PM by

Any U.S. person that had a foreign affiliate at any time during the U.S. person’s 2014 fiscal year is now required, for the first time, to file the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) benchmark survey. The benchmark survey is due by May 29, 2015 (or June 30, 2015, if filing for more than 50 foreign affiliates).


Who Needs to File

“U.S. person” means any person that is a resident of the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term “person” is used in the broad legal sense and includes any individual, corporation, partnership, estate, trust, branch or other organization. A foreign affiliate includes any business enterprise located outside the United States that is directly or indirectly owned or controlled by a U.S. person to the extent of 10% or more of its voting stock, or an equivalent interest in an unincorporated business, including a foreign branch.


What to File

A Form BE-10 report is required of any U.S. person that had a foreign affiliate. The U.S. person must complete Form BE-10A. Additionally, the U.S. person must complete a Form BE-10B, BE-10C, or BE-10D as appropriate for each foreign affiliate. The basic application per foreign affiliate looks at three items (total assets, sales or gross operating revenues, or net income (loss)) and is:

  • Form BE-10B – Majority-Owned Foreign Affiliate where at least one of the three items is greater than $80 million (positive or negative).
  • Form BE-10C:
    • Majority-Owned Foreign Affiliate where at least one of the three items is greater than $25 million (+ or -) but no one item is greater than $80 million (+ or -).
    • Minority-Owned Foreign Affiliate where at least one of the three items is greater than $25 million (+ or -).
  •  Form BE-10D – Foreign Affiliates where all three items are less than $25 million (+ or -).

Where to File

The BEA Benchmark Survey can be completed electronically on the BEA website at New users can create an account by clicking the link on Step 1. If you eFile the survey, do not submit paper reports.

Fillable PDF files are also available on the BEA’s website. The fillable PDF files can be completed, printed, signed and mailed to: 

U.S. Department of Commerce
Bureau of Economic Analysis BE-69(A)
Shipping and Receiving Section M-100
441 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

Fillable PDFs can be found at



U.S. persons that fail to submit the survey report may be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 and not more than $25,000, and to injunctive relief commanding such person to comply, or both. U.S. persons that willfully fail to submit the survey report shall be fined not more than $10,000 and, if an individual, may be imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

The BEA has informally stated that they generally do not intend to pursue penalty enforcement. However, this was informal guidance that cannot be relied upon. Furthermore, consistent and repeated failures may eventually lead to application of the civil and criminal penalties.



A one-month extension can be requested by completing and submitting the BEA’s one-page extension request form before the original due date of the Form BE-10. 

Please contact your KSM advisor for additional assistance.

About the Author
Ryan Miller is a partner in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Tax Services Group. Ryan identifies innovative solutions to minimize taxes for his clients. Additionally, he oversees the international aspects of the firm’s tax practice, helping companies and individuals navigate the complexities of doing business abroad.


Social Security – The Road to Maximizing Benefits

Posted 1:23 PM by

With an aging workforce, drivers may be questioning when to take Social Security benefit payments and how the amounts are calculated. There are two basic steps in determining monthly benefits. The first step is computing the average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). The second step, incorporating AIME, is to determine the primary insurance amount (PIA), which is the basis needed to calculate Social Security benefits that are paid to retirees.  

The AIME calculation takes the highest 35 years of earnings and indexes them to reflect the changes in wage levels, ensuring that benefits will reflect the rise in the standard of living that occurred during a lifetime of working. The sum of those years is divided by 420 to determine the average monthly earnings. If there are less than 35 years of earnings, it may be beneficial to work enough additional years to have a full 35 years. Otherwise, non-earning years will be averaged in and will quickly decrease the AIME – and ultimately the retirement benefits.

Reviewing the annual Social Security statement for errors or omissions, and having them corrected before the statute of limitations runs out, is advised.

Increase for Delayed Retirement
Year of Birth*Yearly Rate of IncreaseMonthly Rate of Increase
1933 - 19345.50%11/24 of 1%
1935 - 19366.00%1/2 of 1%
1937 - 19386.50%13/24 of 1%
1939 - 19407.00%7/12 of 1%
1941 - 19427.50%5/8 of 1%
1943 or later8.00%2/3 of 1%
Note: If you were born on Jan. 1, you should refer to the rate of increase for the previous year

Once the AIME is established, the next step in determining the monthly benefit is calculating the PIA. The PIA is the sum of three separate portions of AIME, known as bend points, which depend on the year age 62 is reached. Assuming an individual reaches age 62 in 2015, and their AIME is $5,300, the monthly benefit is calculated as follows:

1.     90% of the first $826 of AIME = $743.40

2.     32% of AIME above $826 and through $4,980 = $1329.28

3.     15% of AIME above $4,980 = $48.00

The sum of the calculation ($2,120.68) is the monthly benefit. The maximum benefit cap is $2,663 in 2015. These benefits were never meant to provide full financial support upon retirement. The result of these bend points is that lower-wage earners receive a larger percentage of their pre-retirement income, while higher-wage earners receive a lower percentage of their pre-retirement income.

The monthly benefit will be affected by whether the retiree opts for early or delayed retirement. Full retirement age is based on the year of birth, which is age 67 for those born after 1959. Benefits can be claimed as early as age 62, but the monthly check will be cut by 25% - 30% for the remaining payment over life. If other income streams are available, a better option is to delay retirement benefits until age 70, when a delayed credit of up to 8% is applied, plus cost-of-living adjustments. It may also make sense to delay retirement if resulting higher income is anticipated to spike in the later years, which will increase the AIME resulting in higher benefits.

Usually, claiming benefits while still working and under the full retirement age is not beneficial. In 2015, the reduction is $1 for every $2 earned over the earnings limit of $15,720. At full retirement age, the reduction is $1 for every $3 in earnings above $41,880 before the birthday month. Also, all benefits received, regardless of early or delayed retirement, may be subject to income taxes. Married taxpayers with combined earnings between $32,000 and $44,000 are subject to as much as 50% of the benefits being taxable. Those with earnings above $44,000 will pay tax on 85% of the benefits received.  

A lower-earning spouse can claim a benefit, based on his or her work record at age 62, or the spouse can claim a “spousal” benefit, as long as the other spouse has started to collect benefits. If the lower earner is at full retirement age, the spousal benefit is 50% of the higher earner’s PIA. A higher earner at full retirement age who wants to maximize benefits by delaying to age 70 should file for benefits while having the spouse apply for a spousal benefit. The higher earning spouse should then request the Social Security Administration to suspend their benefits, while the spouse continues to receive a spousal benefit. The higher earning spouse can then continue to work and accrue delayed credits until reapplying.

About the Author
Troy Hogan is a director in Katz, Sapper & Miller's Business Advisory Group. Troy consults with clients to manage business concerns specific to the transportation industry and crafts solutions related to tax deferral, per diem, fuel tax credits, and entity restructuring. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


FASB Issued Exposure Draft for Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting

Posted 2:04 PM by

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued an exposure draft to solicit public comment on proposed changes to the presentation of not-for-profit entity (NFP) financial statements.

The objectives of the proposed changes are to focus on improving net asset classification requirements and the information provided in the financial statements and notes about liquidity, financial performance and cash flows. The proposed changes are intended to provide more useful information about NFPs’ resources and changes in those resources to donors, creditors and other users of NFP financial statements.

The exposure draft also includes 22 questions that FASB would like addressed through public comment. FASB invites individuals and organizations to comment on any of the matters presented, particularly the posed questions. Due to the extent of the proposed changes, FASB is providing a lengthy comment period, with comments due Aug. 20, 2015. FASB plans to determine the effective date of the final Accounting Standards Update after consideration of stakeholders’ feedback.

KSM plans to study the exposure draft and summarize key changes through a series of subsequent communications. Also, please let us know if you would like to discuss any matters in the exposure draft.  Contact your KSM advisor or Amanda Horvath with any questions.

About the Author
Amanda Horvath is a director in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Audit and Assurance Services Group. Amanda provides a wide variety of services, including financial statement audits, reviews and consulting projects involving compliance, and internal control issues. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


Standards Updates - 4/14/15

Posted 3:42 PM by

Revenue Recognition Standard Potentially Delayed for a Year

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has reached a decision to potentially delay the implementation of the new revenue recognition standard, Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (ASU 2014-09).

Under anticipated new guidance, ASU 2014-09 will become effective for public companies for annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2017. Nonpublic companies will have to adopt the new standard for all annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2018. The standard applies on a retroactive basis, so all periods presented will need to comply with the new revenue standards once adopted. The FASB has permitted early adoption for both public and nonpublic companies, but not before the original adoption date of public companies, which was for annual periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2016. 

Once issued, the proposed ASU will be open to public comment for 30 days.


Presentation of Debt Issue Costs

On April 7, 2015, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2015-03, Interest - Imputation of Interest (Subtopic 835-30): Simplifying the Presentation of Debt Issuance Costs (ASU 2015-03). ASU 2015-03 requires that debt issuance costs related to a recognized debt liability be presented in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of that debt liability, not as an asset. The ASU does not affect the recognition and measurement guidance related to debt issuance costs. The ASU should be applied on a retrospective basis, when comparative balance sheets are presented. 

ASU 2015-03 is effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2015. Early adoption is permitted for financial statements that have not been previously issued.

About the Author
Amanda Horvath is a director in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Audit and Assurance Services Group. Amanda conducts technical accounting research that helps the firm ensure the quality of assurance engagements. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

About the Author
Justin Hayes is a director in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Audit and Assurance Services Group. Justin works with clients to help them avoid risk and maximize efficiencies by keeping an eye on their bottom line and helping ensure accurate financial reporting. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


Katz, Sapper & Miller and McLeod Software Announce Second Annual Trucking Operations Benchmarking Survey

Posted 1:39 PM by

Indianapolis, Ind.  The certified public accounting firm of Katz, Sapper & Miller (KSM) and McLeod Software announce the launch of their 2015 Trucking Operations Performance Benchmarking Survey. The survey is designed to answer the vital need in the trucking industry for solid and comprehensive benchmarking data.

A look at operating metrics

The benchmarking survey will examine several aspects that are common performance indicators for truckload carriers including:

  • People and headcount
  • Fuel consumption, expense, purchasing, and efficiency
  • Revenue miles, rates, and surcharges
  • Equipment counts and actual utilization
  • Safety profiles
  • Operating expenses

In exchange for participation in the study, each carrier will receive a copy of the final benchmarking report, to be delivered at the annual McLeod Users’ Conference taking place Oct. 4-6, 2015.

“Trucking is a highly competitive business and success hinges on the ability to improve,” said Tim Almack, partner-in-charge of KSM’s Transportation Services Group. “Carriers must analyze business performance in fine detail across the entire enterprise, determine where improvements can be made, and take the actions that boost the bottom line. Benchmarking data is critical to this effort, because without it, there is no way for carriers to obtain an objective view of their business practices.”

McLeod makes it easier to participate

“McLeod Software has developed a new report to help our customers generate the data needed to participate in this benchmark project,” said Mark Cubine, Vice President of Marketing for McLeod Software. “This report will run on version 10.0 or later of LoadMaster Enterprise, and it is available at no charge to McLeod customers.”

Carriers can participate in the survey in one of two ways:

  1. McLeod customers currently running LoadMaster Enterprise version 10.0 or later should contact their McLeod support account manager for access to a compatible survey reporting tool. 
  2. McLeod customers that are currently running an older version of LoadMaster Enterprise or carriers that are not McLeod customers should contact Tim Almack at 317.580.2068 or to obtain the survey data collection document.

The deadline for submissions to be included in the 2015 benchmarking report is June 30, 2015.


About Katz, Sapper & Miller
As one of the top 65 CPA firms in the nation, Katz, Sapper & Miller (KSM) has earned a reputation as a leader in the areas of accounting, tax and consulting services. KSM has provided tax and business consulting services to the trucking industry since its founding in 1942. Through the firm’s experience with 100-plus trucking and logistics clients throughout North America, KSM has become a national service provider to the trucking industry. Learn more at

The firm provides additional services through KSM Transport Advisors, LLC (KSMTA), a part of the Katz, Sapper & Miller Network. KSMTA exclusively services the trucking industry, providing freight network engineering and profit improvement services. Learn more at

About McLeod Software
Since 1985, McLeod Software has provided powerful transportation management and trucking software solutions to the trucking industry. These solutions, developed entirely by our company, are comprehensive and support integration with a broad array of complimentary logistics products.

We are the leader when it comes to software for trucking dispatch operations management, freight brokerage management, fleet management, document imaging, workflow, EDI, and business process automation solutions for trucking, freight brokerage, third party logistics, and shipper companies in the United States.

With an established base of more than 800 active customers throughout North America, McLeod Software is dedicated solely to the transportation industry. This focus means we have a deep understanding of the needs and intricate details involved in carrier, broker, and freight management businesses of all types. Learn more at

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