In the News November 17, 2015

Bloomberg BNA Quotes Mary Benton on Evolving State Tax Law on Cloud Services

States continue to eye new laws on taxing cloud computing, and other government branches are taking notice.

Mary T. Benton, partner in Alston & Bird’s State and Local Tax Group, characterized local revenue seekers imposing older statutory constructs on cloud services as, “the epitome of trying to fit the square peg in the round hole, because they are left with these 20th-century constructs and 21st-century technology.”

Benton explained that state administrative rulings don’t provide “that degree of certainty that taxpayers want,” because so many moving pieces play into those determinations, including rotating leadership and local revenue agencies and varying factual scenarios.

However, Benton said she has seen a positive shift that is generating better guidance “piece by piece, because you are seeing legislatures that are taking action, exempting them or subjecting them to tax, but on a more defined basis.”
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