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On this page I have listed the recent changes and items of interest that
did not make the top ten list.  Some are not as current but remain
important.  The  following items are on this list today:

Corporate Changes

a) 830 CMR 63.30.3: Entity Classification under St. 2008, c.
                 173  “Check the Box”   TIR 08-03    

DOR now conforms to the election made federally as to how an entity
should be taxed.  This election commonly referred to as “Check the
Box” is not a separate election however you have elected to be taxed
federally is how you will be taxed in Massachusetts

In certain circumstances this change does have a Massachusetts tax
effect on certain income items, see the regulations for specifics. 

b) Combined Reporting  830 CMR 63.32B.2

Massachusetts has enacted a law which will require combined reporting
for members of what is referred to as “A Unitary Group”.  Expected to
bring in as much as $400 Million in new revenue, the law is effective for
tax years beginning on or after 1/1/09.  The regulation is in its final form,
a lengthy document, it answers many questions although many still
remain in this complicated area. 

A critical item is the DOR says you MUST E-File this return.  They say if
       you file paper they will destroy  it and treat the taxpayer as a Non-Filer.

   * Other Jurisdiction Credits    Chapter 62, Section 6 (a)  

There have been three rulings in 2008 regarding Other Jurisdiction
Credits, an unusually large number of rulings on the subject:

a) DD 08-06    Dealing with the credit for taxes paid by a flow thru
entity at the entity level. The directive indicates that it is generally
allowed as a credit to the resident shareholder or partner as long as
the tax is an income tax.  Other issues may apply
(see the Directive)

b)  DD 08-07  Deals with “Gross Receipts Taxes” imposed by
other jurisdictions indicating that they are not eligible for the credit
as they are not income taxes

c)  LR 08-11   Explains how the credit works in the case of an
individual domiciled in New York, but treated as a statutory
resident of Massachusetts  

   •Directive 08-03 Massachusetts Income Tax treatment of contributions
    on behalf of Partners and other self employed individuals under a
    401 (k) plan

    • Letter Ruling 09-05  Residency for Purposes of the 183 Day Rule
A graduate student on a J1-student visa, pursuing a 5-year doctoral
      degree was determined not to have a “Permanent Place of Abode” 
and thus was a non-resident, even though the student was in
Massachusetts for more than 183 days.

The student was currently renting a university-owned studio
apartment,consisting of one room plus a bathroom and kitchen,
located one block away from the main campus.  The student pays
rent for this apartment on a one-year lease through his term bill. 
This studio apartment is available only to affiliated student/faculty/
staff and is not open for rent to the general public. The DOR found
that the studio apartment was closer in type to a dormitory room or
suite than to an off-campus apartment without university affiliation
that was open to the general public.

    • The Madoff Situation 

DOR has ruled that regardless of the way these losses were
treated Federally, the qualify as capital losses in Massachusetts.
Given the differences between Mass and Federal law this is the
most favorable treatment that Mass could give absent a law change.

* The Nancy Gill Case

The Federal District Court has recently decided that the "DOMA"
act is unconstitutional.  This means for tax purposes that same sex
marrages must be recognized by the Federal Government and that
they can file Married Filing Joint.   It is not just a tax case but
encompasses all the areas that DOMA applies to.  It is likely that it
will be appealed.  My small role in this is that I prepared many of
the amended  tax returns used in the case


* The answer to a recent question posed to me
   concerning Unitary, specifically "Fiscalization"

Several people have asked questions about the “Fiscalization” rules
provided in the combined reporting regulation.  Here is a recent
question that I received and the DOR’s answer to it.

Here is the fact pattern presented:

  -          Seven S corps all owned by the same individual with majority
ownership and in a unitary business; six of the entities have fiscal
years ending September 30 and one ending December 31.  All do
business entirely in Massachusetts.

All have reported the income measure of the excise tax on their
separate tax returns  ended in 2008 and all six September 30
entities have filed September 30, 2009 in the same manner.

For tax years beginning after January 1, 2009, the Principal
Reporting Corporation will be one of the September 30 entities.

The question is what to do with the December 31, 2009 tax return
for that one entity.

Here is DOR’s answer:

1) The December corporation is subject to 32B combined reporting
   for its taxable year begining January 1, 2009.

2) Unless there is a federal consolidated return being filed, the
    combined group's taxable year will be the taxable year of the
    principal reporting corporation, which in this case ends on
    September 30th.

3) The first taxable year for the group will be from January 1, 2009
    to September 30, 2009. The second taxable year for the group
    will begin on October 1, 2009 and is expected to end on
    September 30, 2010.

4) For the 1st taxable year, the income of members with an
   October 1, 2008 - September 30,  2009 taxable year is excluded
   (That income is reported and taxed on their returns filed under
   the old rules.)  On the facts given,the only member actually
   contributing income and factors to this 1st combined report will
   be the December corporation and its income shown on the return
   is its income for the 1st 9 months of 2009. 

5) The corporations with September 30th year ends file their
   09/30/2009 returns under the old rules (as they have done).

6) The group files a 355U for the September 30th year end and the
   PRC name and taxpayer ID# should be used for this.

7) The December corporation files a 355 or 355S (as applicable) to
   pay its non-income measure of excise for its 12/31/2009 taxable
   year when that return is normally due.  That return does not report
   any income or expenses that are part of the unitary business. 

8) When the return is filed for the group's second taxable year
   (09/30/2010), the December corporation will include the income
   from the last three months of 2009 and the 1st nine months of
   2010 on that form 355U under the fiscalization rules.


So to paraphrase: they are saying that the December corp. is
subject to the combined report from January 1 to September 1st
(BY ITSELF) so a 355U return is due for the nine months and a 
regular 355 is due on it's regular due date. In all future years the
group will file a 355U for the September period with the December
corp. showing the last three months of 2009 and the first 9 months
of 2010.