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The Pivotal Law Blog

New Case Regarding Award of Attorneys' Fees in a Collection Action

Posted Monday, August 6, 2012 by Christopher L. Thayer

In Atlas Supply, Inc. v. Realm, Inc., Division One of the WA Court of Appeals answered the question: if a contract provides for an award of the “cost of collection, including reasonable attorney fee” does this include fees and costs incurred…

California Apportionment Decision May Require Taxpayer Action

Posted Friday, August 3, 2012 by Ron Bueing

On July 24, 2012, a decision was rendered by the California Court of Appeal in a case involving a group of companies, including Gillette. The case provides that taxpayers may use the apportionment formula provided for in the Multistate Tax Compact (MTC)…

The Importance of Digital Estate Planning

Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 by Pivotal Law Group

Digital information plays an important role in today’s world. We are inextricably tied to the internet and the online world- We socialize using online social media, we search for jobs using the internet, and we even control our finances using internet…

Seattle Mandates Paid Sick Leave For Workers

Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2012 by Pivotal Law Group

Seattle is set to become the third major city in the country, after San Francisco and Washington, D.C. to mandate paid leave for employees to care for themselves or family members when ill, or fall victim to domestic violence. The paid leave legislation…

State Tax Amnesty Programs

Posted Friday, May 11, 2012 by Ron Bueing

A recent note from a colleague reminded me of the dangers taxpayers face when entering into state tax amnesty programs. In many cases, these programs are excellent and provide taxpayers with an opportunity to settle past liabilities at a reasonable cost…

Proposed Washington ETA on Common Paymasters

Posted Sunday, May 6, 2012 by Ron Bueing

For a number of months the Washington Department of Revenue has been working on guidance for governing the taxation of reimbursement of employee salaries under a common paymaster or common pay agent arrangement. The most recent draft version of an…

Washington Supreme Court “Clarifies” Rules for Collecting Washington B&O Tax

Posted Tuesday, May 1, 2012 by Ron Bueing

In a decision last week, Peck v. AT&T Mobility, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that a seller is prohibited from recouping its B&O taxes by collecting a surcharge in addition to its monthly service fee. The case involved cell phone services…

Important Changes to the Washington State Consumer Loan Act

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 by Pivotal Law Group

Recent amendments to the Washington State Consumer Loan Act (“CLA”) may have a big impact on lenders whose commercial loans are secured by a lien on the borrower’s primary residence. Under the newly amended CLA, a person in the business of making a loan…

City of Seattle Wins Case to Tax Imports

Posted Friday, April 6, 2012 by Ron Bueing

On April 2, 2012, Division I of the Court of Appeals in Washington found against American Honda Motor Company (Honda) that the Seattle B&O tax was properly applied to imports delivered to Seattle customers. Despite having a rule that appeared to…

Changes to the Washington Limited Liability Act Clarifies the Chadwick Farms Holding

Posted Friday, March 23, 2012 by Pivotal Law Group

Recent changes to the Washington Limited Liability Act (“Act”) addressed the confusion introduced by the 2009 Supreme Court Ruling in Chadwick Farms Owners Ass’n v. FHC LLC, 166 Wash.2d 178, 207 P.3d 1251 (2009). In Chadwick Farms, the court held that…

Company Structures for Small Businesses in Washington State

Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2012 by Pivotal Law Group

Partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, and corporation are the four most common forms of business entity people use when starting a small business in Washington State. Although there are more structures to choose from, these four…

Washington Deadline to True up Service Apportionment is October 31

Posted Thursday, October 27, 2011 by Ron Bueing

A late reminder to anyone involved in the service business in the state of Washington. With the passage of the market-based service apportionment rules in 2010, Washington formalized its procedures for businesses required to apportion their revenues…

Protecting Portability Exclusion - Recent IRS Notice

Posted Tuesday, October 4, 2011 by Ron Bueing

On September 29, 2011 the IRS issued Notice 2011-82 alerting executors of the estates of decedents dying after Dec. 31, 2010 to the requirement for filing a timely Form 706 (Estate Tax Return) to preserve a decedent spouse’s unused exclusion amount. A…

Independent Contractor v. Employee - IRS Program May Be Worth Considering

Posted Monday, September 26, 2011 by Ron Bueing

One of the most perplexing questions for many businesses is whether a worker is properly classifed as an employee or an indepndent contractor. Many businesses falsely believe that they have an option to treat workers as independent contrators or…

State Tax Nexus Guide

Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 by Ron Bueing

For those businesses engaged in multistate business activities, you might want to review a legal guide that I recently posted on Avvo. The title of the guide is “An Overview of Nexus for Businesses Engaging in Multistate Activities” and it…

IRS Issues Guidance for Estates of 2010 Decedents

Posted Monday, August 15, 2011 by Ron Bueing

On August 5, 2011, the IRS issued guidance to executors of estates for decedents who died in 2010. In Notice 2011-66, the IRS provides that executors of the estate of a decedent that died in 2010 may make an election on Form 8939 on or before November…

Maximize Estate Tax Savings with GRATs

Posted Monday, August 8, 2011 by Ron Bueing and Michael A. Larson

President Obama’s 2012 budget, while nowhere close to law, does indicate areas of estate tax planning that taxpayers should consider using before they are restricted. One of these techniques is grantor annuity trusts or GRATs. Obama would place…

Economic Presence Nexus Regulations Moving Forward

Posted Thursday, July 28, 2011 by Ron Bueing

Yesterday I attended the Washington Department of Revenue hearing on proposed WAC 458-20-19401 (Rule 19401) and WAC 458-20-19404 (Rule 19402). Rule 19401 covers the minimum nexus threshold for apportionable activities in Washington. Although the concept…

"The Missing Link" on the Burke-Gilman Trail - Debate Continues

Posted Thursday, July 14, 2011 by Christopher L. Thayer

For recreational riders and bike commuters the section of the Burke-Gilman Trail (between the Ballard Fred Meyer and the Locks) known as the “Missing Link” has been the source of some ongoing controversy and, unfortunately, a number of…

Aggressive Nexus Actions by States Encourage Taxpayers to Get a Nexus Checkup and Consider Amnesty Programs

Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2011 by Ron Bueing

In preparing for an upcoming speech on recent developments in state tax nexus, it became all too obvious that states are increasingly looking to out-of-state taxpayers to fill significant holes in their state budgets. By adopting click-through nexus…

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