Reproduced with permission from Bloomberg Tax & Accounting. Copyright 2021 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) https://pro.bloombergtax.com
The below excerpt is from Bloomberg Tax’s Annual “Survey of Local Tax Departments.” The survey provides insights from experts on fundamental local tax issues from local tax departments across the country. Read the full survey analysis on Bloomberg Tax here (subscription required).
Marilyn A. Wethekam was invited by Bloomberg Tax to provide clarity on Chicago tax policy and administration in comparison with other localities.
On the topic of challenges to taxpayers resulting from differences at state and local levels, Marilyn stressed the difficulties these differences can present.
“…to the extent that a jurisdiction is a home rule, it may enact its own taxes, which may or may not mirror those enacted at the state level. The result is a lack of uniformity in areas of the tax base, policy considerations such as nexus thresholds for sales taxes and/or taxes imposed at a local level that are not imposed at the state level. All of this leads to an increased administrative burden.”
Marilyn also provided advice to local jurisdictions to encourage compliance by stating, “If the goal is to seek voluntary compliance, then the local jurisdictions have to provide taxpayers with the tools to comply. That would include guidance both in the form of rulings but also interpretative guidance.”
Marilyn added a list of challenges practitioners face when it comes to protest procedures:
- Less guidance on the process
- Less sophistication on complex issues
- Procedural traps such as short windows to file a protest or to have a hearing/conference
- Concepts such as the mailbox rule that do not apply