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Showing 23 posts in News & Events.

SEC Adopts CEO Pay Ratio Rule for Public Companies

ceo pay ratio ruleThe U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission "SEC", in a 3-2 vote, recently adopted final rules implementing “CEO pay ratio” disclosure requirements (the “Rules”). The Rules were proposed in 2013 and mandated by Congress pursuant to Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act, and require public companies to disclose how their principal executive officer’s pay compares to that of all company employees. Companies will be required to begin complying with the Rules during a company’s first full fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2017  (the 2018 proxy season for calendar fiscal year companies). The full text of the Rules is available here.

Before adopting the Rules, the SEC solicited comments on the proposed pay rules. Despite considerable negative feedback, the SEC - voting along party lines - adopted Rules that are consistent with its initial proposal, leaving largely intact many of the most debated and controversial issues.

The Rules require public companies to disclose: Read More ›

Categories: Compliance, News & Events

Beware of New Tax Scams: IRS Releases Warning to Taxpayers

Scam artists are continuously thinking of new ways to target hundreds of thousands of people, often using scare tactics. The IRS has recently released a warning to taxpayers to watch out for scam artists. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is aware of nearly 4,000 people who have reported over $20 million in losses because of tax scams. Click here to learn more about the IRS's warning and understand what the IRS will never do or demand from a taxpayer.

Categories: News & Events

Michigan Supreme Court Clarifies Use Tax Exemption Apportionment Rules

On July 22, the Michigan Supreme Court decided Detroit Edison Company v. Department of Treasury, holding that the Michigan Use Tax apportionment rules apply in situations where property is simultaneously used for exempt and non-exempt purposes. The claim was initiated by Detroit Edison Company ("DTE") in response to a use tax audit by the Department of Treasury. The audit determined that DTE wrongly claimed an exemption from use tax for property used outside of its plant (transformers, fuses, circuit breakers, etc.), resulting in a deficiency assessment of over $13 million plus interest.  Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Use Tax

New Law Allows Michigan Taxpayers to Appeal Tax Disputes without Paying First

New Law Allows Michigan Taxpayers to Appeal Tax Disputes without Paying FirstOn June 16, 2015, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Enrolled Senate Bill 100, which eliminates the requirement that taxpayers pay contested taxes, penalties and interest before appealing their liability to the Michigan Court of Claims. The bill was introduced by Senators Brandenburg, Horn, Zorn, Emmons, Colbeck, Schmidt, Hansen, Casperson, Nofs and Booher.

Prior to the enactment of this law, a taxpayer had two options to appeal an adverse tax assessment or decision:

  1. the taxpayer could appeal the case to the Michigan Tax Tribunal without paying disputed amounts; or
  2. the taxpayer could appeal the case to the Michigan Court of Claims, but only after paying the taxes, penalties, and interest assessed, even if those amounts were being contested. 
Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Tax, Tax Disputes

NFL Drops Tax-Exempt Status

Million dollar athletes. Billionaire owners. Mega television contracts. These are not things that come to mind when one thinks of tax-exempt organizations.

It comes as a surprise to many, therefore, that the National Football League was, until recently, a tax-exempt business league incorporated as a 501(c)(6) organization. Calling the issue a distraction, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (who made more than $44 million in 2014) recently announced to team owners and members of the U.S. Congress that the league is giving up its tax-exempt status. Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Tax-Exempt Organizations

Michigan Passes New “Amazon Tax” Law Requiring Internet Sales Tax Collection

Online shopping continues to increase in popularity. But it's not just the convenience of having a package arrive at one's doorstep without having to trudge to the mall that many shoppers prefer. Some online retailers do not collect sales tax on purchases, meaning that online shoppers in Michigan have historically been able to avoid paying Michigan's 6 percent sales tax - which Michigan bricks and mortar retailers are required to collect at the time of purchase. That's not to say that online purchases are tax free, as Michigan residents are obligated to report online purchases on their tax returns and pay 6 percent use tax. But most taxpayers ignore - or are not even aware of - this obligation.

Michigan retailers have long lamented what they perceive as an un-level playing field in their battle with online retailers, and the state government estimates that hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue is not collected every year on online purchases. If a recently passed law has its intended effect, sales tax collections on online purchases should experience a surge. Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Sales Tax, Use Tax

Do You Need More Time For Your Taxes?

The April 15 deadline to file taxes is almost here. Are you concerned about meeting the deadline? The IRS released an article titled "Five Things to Know if You Need More Time to File Your Taxes." The article was released on April 13, 2015.

Categories: Income Tax, News & Events, Tax

IRS Releases Tax Tips for Farmers

It's tax time, and the deadline to file is quickly approaching. If you have yet to file, be sure to check out the article titled "Ten Tax Tips for Farmers". The article was released by the IRS on March 25. Read the article here.

Categories: News & Events, Tax

Michigan Treasury Highlights Individual Income Tax Developments for 2014

The Michigan Department of Treasury has issued a release (available here (We have identified that the following link is no longer active, and it has been removed)) that highlights new developments affecting Michigan's individual income taxes for tax year 2014. The release notes the changes that Treasury has made to several forms, including Michigan Form MI-1040 and Schedule 1 (Additions and Subtractions). The release also notes that certain credit, deduction, and exemption amounts have been adjusted for inflation for tax year 2014. Finally, the release includes a number of reminders and announcements, including a reminder regarding the option to pay individual income taxes electronically. Please contact a member of Foster Swift's State and Local Tax (SALT) Practice Group if you have questions regarding Michigan taxes.

Categories: Income Tax, News & Events, Tax

Seventh Circuit Reverses District Court; Turns Away Constitutional Challenge to Minister's Housing Allowance

The principle that individuals have the right to worship as they see fit has been fundamental in the United States since the country's founding. However, while the government may be prohibited from establishing a religion or interfering with the free exercise thereof, that does not mean that government has no role in religion. Throughout history, organized religions have enjoyed special legal status, including in the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code").

The parsonage allowance, codified in Section 107 of the Code, has two parts.  Section 107(1) grants a tax exemption on the rental value of a home directly provided to a minister as part of his or her compensation. Section 107(2) excludes from gross income rental allowances paid to a minister as part of his or her compensation.

In November 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin declared Section 107(2) of the Code unconstitutional because it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The decision was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Read More ›

Categories: Income Tax, News & Events, Tax