Category Archives: Income tax


Santorini, Greece

I just returned from an amazing vacation – a cruise of the Mediterranean.  We started in Athens, Greece; spent just a couple days there enjoying the history, and then boarded our ship.  The cruise took us to the Greek isles of Santorini and Crete, and then we sailed to Italy, the beautiful St. Tropez, France, and finally Barcelona, Spain.  We finished our vacation by sampling many, many tapas and wines in Barcelona.  About midway through our vacation, I found myself wondering – how could I do US multistate tax consulting somewhere in Europe?  I’m still working on that angle, and will certainly keep you posted.

But meanwhile, on the flip side of that equation, we’ve been engaging with several foreign companies who have US operations and find our state tax laws to be, well, challenging!  As I tell all my foreign clients – trust me, they are challenging for US companies too!  Here are some of the main things for foreign companies to think about as they begin doing business in the US.

Continue reading


A Mississippi Riverboat sailing down the Mississippi River.

This month we travel to the land of Dixie, the southern state of Mississippi. The state is heavily forested with over half of the state’s area covered by wild trees including mostly pine, as well as cottonwood, elm, hickory, oak, pecan, sweetgum and tupelo.

The Mississippi River delta region is considered home of the blues music, where this type of music is honored at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale. This region is also one of the top casino destinations between Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Many well-known and diverse singers came out of Mississippi including Elvis Presley, alternative rock band 3-Doors Down, Jimmy Buffet and Opera Singer Leontyne Price.

Continue reading


The St. Louis, Missouri Gateway Arch and skyline

This month we travel to the “Show Me” state of Missouri. The people of Missouri have earned their motto as the “Show Me” state for their very practical skepticism of the fads that sweep other parts of the country. This attitude manifests itself in the state government’s approach to business encouragement and regulation. So, let’s look at the state and see how their approach could help your business.

The state is the 21st most extensive by area and is geographically diverse. North of the Missouri River, the state is primarily composed of rolling hills of the Great Plains and south of the Missouri River, the state is dominated by forests. The Mississippi River forms the Eastern Border of the State, eventually flowing into the swampy Missouri Bootheel.

Continue reading


A colonial house set amongst vibrant trees.

This month we travel across the country to Virginia. One of the original 13 colonies, Virginia possesses a lot of living history with the Jamestown Settlement and Colonial Williamsburg being notable historic landmarks.

The Shenandoah National Park lies in the eastern part of the state deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mostly forested, the park features wetlands, waterfalls and rocky peaks, like Hawksbill, and Old Rag mountains. It is also home to many bird species, deer, squirrels and the elusive black bear.

Continue reading


Diamond Head and Waikiki on Oahu, Hawaii

Aloha! This month we travel across the ocean to the island paradise of Hawaii. In the state, you can attend a luau to experience true Hawaiian culture, relax on the beach or hike in one of the many tropical forests or mountains.

Hawaii is unique because it the only state made up of part of the volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which consists of hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles. At the southeastern end of the archipelago are eight islands known as the state of Hawaii. They are: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui and Hawaii.

Due to its central location in the Pacific Ocean and its 19th-century labor migration, Hawaii’s culture is strongly influenced by North American and Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture. This is exhibited by the many customs and food cuisines that Hawaii has to offer. For example, it is customary to bring a small gift for one’s host (i.e., a dessert). Many Hawaiian plates have been influenced by Polynesian, Asian and American foods as well.

Continue reading

Start-up Companies Can Now Benefit from the R&D Tax Credit

If you’re a start-up company with annual gross receipts of less than $5 million, you can now apply up to $250,000 of your R&D credit against your payroll tax liability.


Featured Guest Blogger- Carolyn Driscoll



The federal R&D tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of federal income tax liability for qualified expenditures incident to the development or improvement of a product, process, software, formula or invention. It was recently made permanent by The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“PATH” Act).


Previously, a company had to actually generate a profit and taxable income to utilize the R&D tax credit. Now the PATH Act allows start-up companies to utilize the credit against their payroll taxes, if the companies perform “qualified research”.

Continue reading


Centennial Olympic Park and surrounding buildings in Atlanta at night

Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta

The last of the original thirteen colonies is Georgia, the Peach State. Georgia is also known as the Empire State of the South. The state has varied terrain with mountains and natural rock in the northwest, urban areas, forest in the southern part and farmland.

There are also many points of interest that attract visitors to Georgia. In Atlanta, there are the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. Stone Mountain, just north of Atlanta, is Georgia’s most popular attraction, receiving over 4 million visitors per year. Callaway Gardens, in western Georgia, is a family resort. The area is also popular with golfers.

Continue reading


Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Known for its mountainous landscape and rolling hills, this month we travel east to West Virginia. The state has a rich history and is embedded in the Appalachian Mountains.

West Virginia is known for a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, such as skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and hunting. For something on the calmer side, the state offers many golf courses.

It is also one of the most densely Karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research. Karstic topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. These underground hydrology systems contribute to much of the state’s cool trout waters.

Continue reading


Rapids on the Clearwater River of Idaho along Highway 12 downstream of Lolo Pass. Picture taken in April. In the summer this stretch of the river is a favorite whitewater rafting area.

Rapids on the Clearwater River

This month, we travel west to Idaho, the 14th largest state in the U.S. Known for its mountainous landscapes, vast swaths of protected wilderness and outdoor recreation areas, Idaho is bigger than all of the New England states combined. Boise, the capital and largest city, is set in the Rocky Mountain Foothills and is bisected by the Boise River, a popular destination for rafting and fishing.

Although Idaho is best known for its great fishing, other outdoor recreational adventures attract people to mountain biking at the Schweitzer Mountain Resort, and jet boating on the Snake River. Rafting and Kayaking are also popular activities. Idaho is ranked number one in the U.S. and in the world for whitewater adventures by Outdoors Magazine. And for something on the calmer side, excellent golf courses await throughout Idaho. Idaho has more than 100 golf courses nestled amongst the gorgeous Idaho landscape.


Business Climate

Idaho is a prominent agricultural state. Nearly one third of the nation’s potatoes are grown in the state. Additionally, all three varieties of wheat are grown in Idaho: dark northern spring, hard red and soft white. But Idaho is more than outdoor recreation and farming. Some major industries include food processing, lumber and wood products, machinery, chemical products, paper products, electronics manufacturing, silver and other mining and tourism.

Recently, Idaho expanded its commercial base as a tourism and agricultural state to include the science and technology industries. Science and technology have become the largest single economic center (over 25 of the state’s total revenue) within the state and are greater than agriculture, forestry and mining combined.


Tax Climate

Idaho is the 10th highest of states in the U.S. that levy an income tax. Idaho’s individual income tax system consists of seven brackets with a top rate of 7.4%. Corporations based in Idaho must pay a corporate income tax at a flat rate of 7.4%.  Among all of the states in the country, this corporate rate is the 19th highest. Continue reading

Is Nexus Necessary for State Taxes? Not According to These States!

Don't miss this blog post to see how these two states are redefining nexus with unconstitutional legislation.

Don’t miss this blog post to see how these two states are redefining nexus with unconstitutional legislation.

Two states, Louisiana and Alabama, recently passed legislation allowing them to tax companies making sales in the state via the Internet, even if the business doesn’t have a physical presence, or nexus. What do these laws entail, and how do they affect companies?

Louisiana’s Amazon Law

Referred to as the “Amazon Law,” Louisiana’s Act 22 allows the state to tax companies that don’t have nexus within the state.

As the Pelican Post explains, “Act 22 requires out-of-state retailers with in-state contract affiliates – individuals or businesses that refer potential customers to the seller – typically by linking to their website – to remit taxes on sales made to Louisianans.” Basically, this means the state is expanding the definition of nexus from being defined as an Internet link instead of a physical presence.

Alabama’s New Nexus Regulation

Alabama recently adopted a new regulation as well, which defines nexus within the state as exceeding $250,000 in retail sales of tangible personal property and certain additional activities, such as soliciting orders for tangible personal property through advertising. Continue reading