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There's no way around it: Illinois is a complicated state in which to do business. From a tax perspective, there are so many nuances and units of government that form a complicated regulatory web. But as long as Chicago continues as the economic hub that it is, most multi-state businesses will be forced to understand the nuances of the state and local rules in Illinois. This post is the first in a series that will address how to navigate even…

Your client has a judgment or arbitral award and becomes aware of an unrelated contract where the judgment debtor is to be paid through letters of credit issued by a bank branch in the UK. Can you use that as a source of recovery? In the recent case of Taurus Petroleum Ltd v. State Oil Marketing Company of the Ministry of Oil, Iraq, (2017) UKSC 64, the court said "yes". There, the letters of credit were issued by the London branch…

Just over three years ago, Illinoisans cheered the changes to the motor vehicle leasing law that were to lead to tax savings for lessees and level the playing field with other state's leasing laws.[1] As lessors worked through the Act's clunky definition of "qualifying motor vehicle" and scrambled to implement the necessary system changes, they likely paid little attention to the Act's imposition of post-lease charges knowing such charges were at least three years away. [2] Now, as the first…

South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. and Illinois' Marketplace Fairness Act As many of you by now know, the U.S. Supreme Court granted South Dakota's certiorari petition in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. et al., No. 17-494 and has scheduled oral arguments for April 17, 2018. The Wayfair case involves the constitutionality of South Dakota's economic nexus statute that requires out-of-state, online retailers lacking a physical presence in the state to collect and remit sales tax on their sales delivered to South…

What is Cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrency itself is a string of computer-generated code.  This line of code is accessed by an owner's unique passcode secret private key.  Each owner's cryptocurrency is kept in their "Virtual Wallet". Virtual wallets are similarly anonymous as are the virtual currency balances. The transfer of cryptocurrency is based upon the block chain protocol, a public decentralized ledger that identifies transactions by a digital code with no link to a person or place. Practically, there is no public…

This article was previously published in Bloomberg Tax Reports. Partnerships and limited liability companies ("LLCs") currently subject to the Illinois "replacement" tax received a gift this holiday season: proposed regulations addressing the deduction for reasonable compensation or personal services income. On December 11, 2017, the Illinois Department of Revenue ("Department") issued proposed regulations that seek to clarify the scope of the deduction by setting forth specific rules and hypothetical examples. Nevertheless, even with the proposed regulations, the deduction is beset…

English courts are developing ways to ensure that creditors are not thwarted by sophisticated and devious debtors using offshore structures that do not appear to be fictitious. Worldwide Freezing Orders (WFO) apply to assets where a defendant has the power to dispose of or deal with the asset as if it is his own. In JSC BTA Bank v. Ablyazov,  (no. 10), (2015) 1 WLR 4754, the Supreme Court held that the defendant's, the settlor of the trust, right to…

Given the increasing prevalence of intercreditor agreements in commercial finance transactions, lenders and counsel should be aware of an important 2017 Illinois appellate court decision, Bowling Green Sports Center v. C.A.G. LLC, in which the court ultimately determined that in certain circumstances a senior lender's modification of terms with its borrower could jeopardize its priority status relative to junior lenders. In Bowling Green Sports Center, the senior lender made a $3.4 million loan to finance the purchase of a bowling alley, which…

With no formal announcement it appears that the City of Chicago Department of Finance ("City") has changed the terms of its voluntary disclosure program ("VDA Program"). Historically, the City's VDA program provided for a limited look-back period of four years, the full abatement of penalties, and now the City will also grant the waiver of half the interest that would otherwise apply to participating taxpayers. This is a positive development for taxpayers choosing to participate in the City's VDA program…

The federal courts just gift-wrapped a decision for taxpayers, right in time for the holidays. In late November, the U.S. Court of Appeals for both the Fifth and Seventh Circuits held that local hotel occupancy taxes do not apply to the service fees online travel companies ("OTCs") charge for facilitating hotel reservations. These decisions signal not only relief for OTCs, but may have wider reaching implications for the applicability of other local taxes to service fees. Seventh Circuit's Interpretation of…

The Second Circuit is the first court of appeals to consider the holding in the United States Supreme Court's decision in RJR Nabisco Inc. v. European Community, 136 S. Ct. 2090 (2016), which said that Section 1964 (c) of RICO does not apply extraterritorially for injury to business or property and requires a domestic injury, not merely recovery for foreign injuries. The Supreme Court did not explain how to determine a domestic injury. In Bascunan v. Elsaca, 2017 US App…

You may have already seen the Bloomberg article issued on June 1, 2017 which outlines what many of us have sadly come to know as the "Diamond" qui tam claims: the ongoing exploitation of the Illinois False Claims Act and abuse of the state and local tax regime by an aggressive lawyer turned whistleblower. I won't repeat the Bloomberg article's details, other than to confirm that the industry du jour for the Diamond qui tam claims is custom tailors.  Many of…

The New Mexico Office of Administrative Hearings granted Conagra Foods' Motion for Summary Judgment concluding the interest earned on notes was properly characterized as non-business income. Conagra is a packaged food corporation headquartered in Omaha.  The company in March 2008 entered into an agreement to sell its Food Trading and Merchandise business.  The purchaser issued PIK Notes to Conagra as part of the sale proceeds.  Upon completion of the sale and receipt of the proceeds, Conagra totally exiled the Trading…

On June 28, 2017, the Illinois Appellate Court in Shared Imaging, LLC v. Hamer, 2017 IL App (1st) 152817, P1 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. June 28, 2017) reversed the Circuit Court's decision and held that Shared Imaging, LLC (the "Taxpayer") is entitled to a depreciation deduction on the selling price of units of equipment that occurred prior to their return to Illinois, a credit for taxes paid to other states for the periods before the units were returned to…

The Internet has become the common form of commerce. As such, illegal activity has migrated there. The Internet is frequently used to engage in illegal activity cloaked in anonymity. Claimants have few if any direct means of enforcing their rights and court orders against the offenders. The power to make orders against Internet companies is essential to preserving the effectiveness of law online. Obtaining a remedy is often the practical solution to enforcing rights. Moreover, illegal online conduct crosses multiple…

These are two things many of us were questioning would ever occur in our lifetime.  But we can now say both are a reality!  Today marks the first time in over two years that Illinois will be operating under a budget.  This is a result after the House voted to override Governor Rauner's veto of Senate Bill 9.  The House garnered the necessary votes to end the two year stalemate full of political puffery and sparring.  Some of the relevant…

On May 22, 2017, in Water Splash Inc. v. Menon, The United States Supreme Court addressed the issue whether under the Hague Service Convention service by mail was prohibited. At issue was Article 10 of the Convention that provided if the country of destination does not object, the Convention shall not interfere with "(a) the freedom to send judicial documents, by postal channels, directly to persons abroad." Article 10 does not expressly refer to "service." The question before the Court…

A Norwich Pharmacal order enables an applicant to obtain discovery about a wrong that has been committed from a respondent who is not "mixed-up" in it. Relief was expanded by the court in UNW v. XYC BVHC (Com)108 of 2016 to post-judgement relief in aid of enforcement where disclosure is intertwined with the willful evasion of the judgment debt. The BVI court clarified the power to order a registered agent to provide third party disclosure. This enabled a judgment creditor…

Insight can be hard to gain from publicly announced settlements, mostly because litigation is typically settled due to the cost of defense and overall frustration with litigating. But the recently announced settlement of a False Claims Act case in New York, based on state income tax, is an exception. A Harbinger for More to Come On April 18, the New York Attorney General announced what he touted as the largest settlement of a New York whistleblower lawsuit brought under the…

Courts have held that the Bankruptcy Code's avoidance powers do not apply extraterritorially, SIPC v. Bernard L Madoff Inv. Sec. LLC ("Madoff"),480 B.R. 501 (Bankr. S.D. N.Y. 2012); Barclay v. Swiss Fin. Corp Ltd., 347 B.R. 708 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2006); Societe Generale plc v. Maxwell Commc'n Corp plc "Maxwell I"),186 B.R. 807 (S.D.N.Y. 1995) and others have found to the contrary, Weisfelner v. Blavatnik (In re Lyondell),543 B.R. 127 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2016); Sec. Investor Prot. Corp. v. BLMIS (In…

The Illinois Income Tax Act ("Act") allows a partnership (or an LLC taxed as a partnership) to deduct from its base income: 1) any income of the partnership which constitutes "personal services income," as defined in Section 1348(b)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code, or 2) a "reasonable allowance for compensation" paid or accrued for services rendered by the partners to the partnership, whichever is greater. 35 ILCS 5/203(d)(2)(H). The deduction, which is commonly claimed by real estate partnerships, engineering firms,…

On 3/16/17, the Sixth Judicial Court of South Dakota overturned the State's recently-enacted remote sales tax law, SDCL Chapter 10-64, in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. The law established a minimum standard for economic nexus (200 or more transactions or more than $100,000 in gross revenue from South Dakota).  In striking down the economic nexus standard, the court specifically stated that it was bound to follow the United States Supreme Court's decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S.…

On 12/12/16, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the bank fraud statute does not require proof that the bank suffered a financial loss nor that there was intent for the bank to suffer a loss. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred simply as RICO, provides for civil penalties for acts arising from racketeering activities defined as a long list of state and federal crimes, including bank fraud. Oftentimes when a bank is defrauded by its customer, who…

It is a well-known fact that the states have become more aggressive in their SALT litigation tactics. And, like a bad cold, they seem to "catch" new audit issues from their brethren states. This can easily lead to a single issue being contested in multiple states. Taxpayers then have the sometimes daunting task of devising a strategy of not only how to win in a particular state, but also making sure the tactics in one state do not negatively affect…

In a recent New York Court of Appeals decision, the court found that a New York trial court had personal jurisdiction over a foreign bank in an action alleging the foreign bank was part of a money-laundering scheme perpetrated by the plaintiffs' employees, because the foreign bank's intentional and repeated use of New York correspondent bank accounts to launder the illegally obtained funds. InRashid v. Pictet & Cie, 2016 N.Y. Lexis 3569 (Ct. App. N.Y. November 22, 2016), Plaintiffs sued…

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