Tag Archives: Department of Revenue

Mark Nunnelly Leaving Position as DOR Commissioner – DOR Now Seeking 3rd Commissioner in Less Than 2 years

Governor Charlie Baker’s office announced in a press release today that Mark Nunnelly has accepted a new role as Executive Director of MassIT, the state technology office, beginning April 4.  In that role, Mr. Nunnelly is expected to lead an effort to “revamp and improve” the way that people interact online with government on matters … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Department of Revenue Launches Pilot Program for Settling Uncertain Tax Issues—Lack of Anonymity in Settlement Process a Concern

Continuing its efforts to improve the process for resolving tax disputes in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has released final AP 637 Voluntary Disclosure Program for Settlement of Uncertain Tax Issues (Click Here) outlining a new pilot program for settling “uncertain tax issues” through its voluntary disclosure program.  (Click Here for a redline showing the modest … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Joint Committee Hears Testimony Yesterday on Bill to Ban Use of Contingent Fee Auditors

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight heard testimony on Senate Bill 1710, a bill that would prohibit the use of contingent fee auditors by state agencies, including the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (the “Department”). As the name suggests, such auditors get paid a fee which is contingent on the … Continue Reading

Supreme Judicial Court hears Oral Argument in Regency

Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) heard oral argument in Regency Transportation v. Commonwealth, a case in which the taxpayer is challenging the Department of Revenue’s assessment of use tax on the full purchase price of vehicles that it purchased outside of Massachusetts and used more than half the time outside of Massachusetts as … Continue Reading

Washington Department of Revenue takes same position on taxability of early termination fees being challenged in Massachusetts

In a ruling that will be of interest to taxpayers following Massachusetts appeals on the issue, Washington has issued recent guidance (see Washington DOR – Termination Fees) asserting that early termination fees for cancelling cellular phone contracts are subject to retail sales tax as taxable telecommunications services. This guidance takes the same position that the Massachusetts Department … Continue Reading

Silver Tsunami Quickly Approaching Department of Revenue Thanks to Early Retirement Incentive Program

On May 4, 2015, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill creating an early retirement incentive program for Massachusetts state employees. Under the incentive plan, employees choosing to retire effective June 30, 2015, will be eligible to add up to five years to either their age or years of service, in order to increase … Continue Reading

The Commissioner of Revenue’s Use of the Sham Transaction Doctrine Examined in Tax Analysts Column

In the most recent edition of “The Taxpayers’ Advocate”, a quarterly column published by Tax Analysts focusing on taxpayers’ rights in state and local tax, Michael A. Jacobs, Robert E. Weyman, Brent Beissel, and Jack Trachtenberg of Reed Smith LLP discuss the Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue’s use of the sham transaction doctrine.  The column, titled … Continue Reading

Are eFax services taxable telecommunications services in Massachusetts?

While Massachusetts’ expansion of its sales tax to include computer-related services was repealed within three months of its enactment, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue continues to take a close look at sales treated as non-taxable services by vendors, and characterize those sales as either sales of tangible personal property or telecommunications services, both of which … Continue Reading

Governor Baker Names Mark Nunnelly New Commissioner of Revenue

Today, Mark Nunnelly, a former Managing Director of Bain Capital, was named the new Commissioner of the Department of Revenue. Mr. Nunnelly replaces outgoing Commissioner Amy Pitter effective March 30, 2015. Mr. Nunnelly has also been named special advisor to Governor Baker for technology and innovation competitiveness. In this capacity he will work with Governor … Continue Reading

ATB rules that orthopedic braces sold by orthopedic surgeon are exempt from sales and use tax.

Earlier today, the Appellate Tax Board (“ATB”) released its Findings of Fact and Report in Excel Orthopedic Specialists, Inc. v. Commissioner, holding that orthopedic braces—rigid and semi-rigid knee, elbow, ankle, wrist, and back braces—were exempt from sales and use tax when sold by a medical practice of orthopedic surgeons.  The ATB concluded that the braces … Continue Reading
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