Archive for the ‘Nevada’ Category

Bozo Tax Tip #9: Nevada Corporations

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

As we continue with our Bozo Tax Tips–things you absolutely, positively shouldn’t do but somewhere someone will try anyway–it’s time for an old favorite. Given the business and regulatory climate in California, lots of businesses are trying to escape taxes by becoming a Nevada business entity. While I’m focusing on California and Nevada, the principle applies to any pair of states.

Nevada is doing everything it can to draw businesses from California. Frankly, California is doing a lot to draw businesses away from the Bronze Golden State. But just like last year you need to beware if you’re going to incorporate in Nevada.

If the corporation operates in California it will need to file a California tax return. Period. It doesn’t matter if the corporation is a California corporation, a Delaware corporation, or a Nevada corporation.

Now, if you’re planning on moving to Nevada forming a business entity in the Silver State can be a very good idea (as I know). But thinking you’re going to avoid California taxes just because you’re a Nevada entity is, well, bozo.

Nevada Tax Amnesty

Monday, January 18th, 2021

The Nevada Department of Taxation sent out an email with details on Nevada’s tax amnesty program. You’re thinking, “Taxes in Nevada? There are no income taxes in Nevada.” And that’s absolutely correct, but many businesses do pay taxes in Nevada. The amnesty covers:

Sales and Use Tax, Modified Business Tax, Cigarette Tax, Other Tobacco Products Tax, Liquor Tax, Bank Branch Excise Tax, Insurance Premium Tax, Tire Tax, Live Entertainment Tax (non-gaming), Short Term Lessor (Passenger Car Governmental Service Fee), Exhibition Facilities Fees, Commerce Tax, Transportation Connection Tax, Wholesale Marijuana Excise Tax, Retail Marijuana Excise Tax, Centrally Assessed Property Tax, and Net Proceeds of Mineral Tax.

The amnesty program doesn’t cover all taxes (lodging, real property transfer tax, and locally assessed property taxes are among the taxes not covered by the amnesty.

The amnesty program allows penalty and interest to be waived providing the outstanding tax delinquency meets the following criteria:

  1. The tax was due and payable on or before 6/30/2020, which includes:
    • All monthly tax returns due on or before June 30, 2020
    • All quarterly tax returns due on or before April 30, 2020
    • All annual tax returns due on or before January 31, 2020
  2. The delinquent tax amount is paid in full for the period. If a taxpayer has several delinquent returns but is only able to pay one or more periods, the penalty and interest may be waived for each period provided the tax was paid in full and;
  3. The delinquent tax is paid during the amnesty period of February 1, 2021 and May 1, 2021.

The amnesty begins on February 1st and runs three months. Interested taxpayers should read the Nevada Department of Taxation notice and the FAQ.

2021 State Business Tax Climate Index: Bring Me the Usual Suspects!

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

Every year the Tax Foundation publishes its State Business Tax Climate Index. As they state, they look at how each state taxes, not on the how much. Per usual, the names at the top and the bottom haven’t changed much.

The top ten states are:

  1. Wyoming
  2. South Dakota
  3. Alaska
  4. Florida
  5. Montana
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Nevada
  8. Utah
  9. Indiana
  10. North Carolina

The bottom ten states:

41. Alabama
42. Louisiana
43. Vermont
44. Maryland
45. Arkansas
46. Minnesota
47. Connecticut
48. New York
49. California
50. New Jersey

This is what the Tax Foundation states about the bottom ten:

The states in the bottom 10 tend to have a number of afflictions in common: complex, nonneutral taxes with comparatively high rates. New Jersey, for example, is hampered by some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, has the second highest-rate corporate and individual income taxes in the country and a particularly aggressive treatment of international income, levies an inheritance tax, and maintains some of the nation’s worst-structured individual income taxes.

I deliberately waited until election day to make this post. Why? Because some states have ballot measures today that will impact their rankings. For example, Californians will vote on whether to have a “split-roll” property tax, where business properties would be assessed annually based on current value rather than only when a property is sold. California today ranks 14th in property tax; if this measure passes, the ranking will fall dramatically. Illinois votes today on changing their personal income tax from a flat-rate tax to a progressive system.

Nevada, my state, ranks seventh. It’s not that every tax is great in Nevada (we have a poor sales tax system and unemployment insurance taxes); however, we lack income taxes. (We do have a gross receipts tax, called the Commerce Tax, that large businesses must pay.)

Some states, like Utah and Indiana, have most taxes but they administer them neutrally, simply, and with relatively low rates. Contrast that with California, which has an awful income tax system, high rates, and ridiculous regulations.

Below is a map (from the Tax Foundation) of the United States with the rankings of each state. If you’re considering locating a business, it makes sense to look at taxes (and other factors, too); the Tax Foundation’s annual guide is a tremendous resource.

Bozo Tax Tip #7: Nevada Corporations

Monday, July 6th, 2020

As we continue with our Bozo Tax Tips–things you absolutely, positively shouldn’t do but somewhere someone will try anyway–it’s time for an old favorite. Given the business and regulatory climate in California, lots of businesses are trying to escape taxes by becoming a Nevada business entity. While I’m focusing on California and Nevada, the principle applies to any pair of states.

Nevada is doing everything it can to draw businesses from California. Frankly, California is doing a lot to draw businesses away from the Bronze Golden State. But just like last year you need to beware if you’re going to incorporate in Nevada.

If the corporation operates in California it will need to file a California tax return. Period. It doesn’t matter if the corporation is a California corporation, a Delaware corporation, or a Nevada corporation.

Now, if you’re planning on moving to Nevada forming a business entity in the Silver State can be a very good idea (as I know). But thinking you’re going to avoid California taxes just because you’re a Nevada entity is, well, bozo.

2020 Best States for Business: Bring Me (mostly) the Usual Suspects

Thursday, June 18th, 2020

Chief Executive magazine does a survey every year of the best and worst states for business. This isn’t just a list about taxes, but includes other factors; still, it’s a good survey of what business executives look at. The top ten includes my home:

  1. Texas
  2. Florida
  3. Nevada
  4. Tennessee
  5. Indiana
  6. North Carolina
  7. Arizona
  8. South Carolina
  9. Ohio
  10. Utah

The bottom ten has a couple of surprises (for me):

41. Alaska

42. Hawaii

43. Oregon

44. Washington

45. Massachusetts

46. Connecticut

47. New Jersey

48. Illinois

49. New York

50. California

That Texas is at the top isn’t a surprise. “Employers continue to be attracted by the state’s lack of an individual income tax, low business taxes, friendly regulators, a reasonable cost of living, and diverse and growing labor force.” [emphasis added]. Contrast that with California: ” Business owners—especially companies that make things— continue to abandon the state as fast as they can.”

I was surprised by Alaska and Washington. Neither state has a state income tax. Alaska, of course, is hard to get to, and the cost of living is a big issue. In Washington state, it appears that the cost of living and regulations lower the ranking.

I wanted to emphasize the impact of regulations. Regulations are hidden costs for businesses. It’s not that all regulations are bad (that’s absolutely not the case); rather, over-regulations cost business money. Consider a widget manufacturer in Los Angeles. He’ll face California’s burdensome regulations at the state, county, city, and regional level (the air quality district regulates). Here in Nevada, there are state and local regulations, but they’re integrated without the quadruple level of regulations. I read years ago it took Carl’s Jr. (a fast food chain) over a year to get regulatory approval to build a new location in California; it took less than two months in Texas.

In good times, California has prospered because of the entertainment industry and Silicon Valley. We’re not in good times right now, and the budget hit to the Golden State is severe (they’re projecting a $54 billion deficit). Sure, Covid isn’t the fault of California (or any other state). But the reaction of the legislature demonstrates that they’re not learning anything: Increase taxes and hope for a federal bailout (one that I doubt is coming).

For those who think that state policies don’t matter, this survey tells you otherwise. The states at the top (run by Democrats or Republicans get this). The states at the bottom mostly don’t.

We’re Number One!

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

I think we can all use a little levity right now, and in the email was a study from IPX1031 about where the biggest tax procrastinators are. Not surprisingly to me, it’s fabulous Las Vegas–my home.

A friend of mine is a tax professional in Orlando, and he tells me has few people who wait until September to file. Our rush in September – October is greater than the April tax deadline rush!

So where are the biggest procrastinators?

  1. Las Vegas
  2. Denver
  3. Seattle
  4. San Francisco
  5. Washington, DC
  6. Portland, OR
  7. Austin
  8. Baltimore
  9. Dallas
  10. Houston.

If we look at this based on states, Nevada is only number two:

  1. California
  2. Nevada
  3. Texas
  4. Colorado
  5. Oregon
  6. Washington
  7. Hawaii
  8. Georgia
  9. Arizona
  10. Maryland

Given that I expect an announcement in the coming days postponing the April 15th deadline (for those interested, as of today federal tax returns are still due on April 15th), I think statistics for the 2020 Tax Filing Season will be quite different.

The 2020 State Business Tax Climate Index: The Usual Laggards, but Some New Faces on Top

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

The Tax Foundation released its annual State Business Tax Climate Index. There weren’t many surprises with the best states:

1. Wyoming
2. South Dakota
3. Alaska
4. Florida
5. Montana
6. New Hampshire
7. Nevada
8. Oregon
9. Utah
10. Indiana

This is the first time I remember Oregon in the top-ten of this list. These states share one of two attributes: the lack of certain taxes (such as individual income taxes) or low tax rates across all taxes (such as in Utah and Indiana). Meanwhile, it’s “Bring me the usual suspects” for the bottom ten:

41. Louisiana
42. Iowa
43. Maryland
44. Vermont
45. Minnesota
46. Arkansas
47. Connecticut
48. California
49. New York
50. New Jersey

As the Tax Foundation says, “The states in the bottom 10 tend to have a number of afflictions in common: complex, nonneutral taxes with comparatively high rates. New Jersey, for example, is hampered by some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, has the second highest-rate corporate income tax in the country and a particularly aggressive treatment of international income, levies an inheritance tax, and maintains some of the nation’s worst-structured individual income taxes.”

I noted Oregon being in the top ten, but the state is likely going to fall out soon. Oregon adopted a gross receipts business tax, and that’s almost certain to send the state out of the top ten next year. Oregon will be one of only two states with both a corporate income tax and a gross receipts tax.

My home state, Nevada, ranks near the top in individual income tax (fifth), which isn’t a surprise since we don’t have that tax. (A few ‘individuals’ will owe the Nevada gross receipts tax on their businesses, which is why the Silver State doesn’t share the top ranking here.) We also rank towards the top (tenth) in property tax. We’re right in the middle for corporate income tax (25th) which shows the impact of the gross receipts tax. We’re towards the bottom (44th) in sales tax (Nevada sales taxes are relatively high; the rate is 8.25% in Clark County) and in unemployment insurance tax (47th). But overall Nevada is a good state for taxation; this is one reason I moved here in 2011.

Contrast that with California. Corporate taxation is actually in the middle (28th) and property tax is in the top half (16th); the property tax ranking is due to Proposition 13 which Democrats in the Golden State are proposing to partially due away with. Unemployment Insurance Tax ranks 22nd, about average. It’s individual income tax which is the major contributor to California’s low ranking. The state ranks 49th. California also fares poorly in sales tax, ranking 45th.

Note that taxation is just one piece of why businesses relocate. It’s an important component, but it’s not everything. Another major factor is regulatory burden, and that’s another place where California ranks at or near the bottom. This is something I’ll be reporting on in the future.

As to individuals who state that businesses don’t move because of taxes, that’s hogwash. Businesses do move because of this, and will continue to do so. It is just one reason, but it’s a very important reason. California lawmakers who look at the map provided by the Tax Foundation (showing California in dark grey (dark grey indicates a bad score) while numerous neighboring states are in blue (indicated a good score) should be worried. But given how I think the Democratic majority in Sacramento thinks, it’s unlikely they’ll do so.

Nevada Wises Up on Exempt Commerce Tax Companies

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Nevada has a tax on businesses called the “Commerce Tax.” This tax impacts businesses with gross receipts of $4 million or more. If your Nevada business makes less than that, you don’t owe the tax. However, you still had to file a return stating that you didn’t owe the tax.

The state legislature wised up on this:

The 80th (2019) Nevada Legislative session has changed the filing requirement for Commerce Tax. Pursuant to Senate Bill 497, businesses whose Nevada gross revenue for the 2018-2019 taxable year is $4,000,000 or less, are no longer required to file a commerce tax return.

Businesses whose Nevada gross revenue for the 2018-2019 taxable year is over $4,000,000 are still required to file a commerce tax return by August 14, 2019.

I received an email notifying me of this:

This e-mail is to inform you that the filing requirement for Commerce Tax has been changed. If the Nevada gross revenue of your business from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 was $4,000,000 or less, your business is no longer required to file a Commerce Tax return and your Commerce Tax Account will be automatically closed, effective June 30, 2019.

If the Nevada gross revenue for your business from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 was over $4,000,000, your business is still required to file a Commerce Tax return on or before August 14th, 2019.

In the event your Nevada gross revenue exceeds the $4,000,000 threshold in a future year, it is your responsibility to file a return for the year. Failure to do so may result in the assessment of penalty and interest.

It had to cost something for the Department of Taxation to process the $0 returns (which is what most businesses file); Nevada will now save that processing cost. And that’s one less form I have to file. This is a win-win for Nevada and its businesses.

Bozo Tax Tip #9: Nevada Corporations

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Actually, this isn’t that much of a Bozo Tax Tip. Nevada is a great state to have your business in. But the key is being in Nevada (or operating in multiple states and selecting Nevada as your corporate domicile). You cannot escape California taxes by being a Nevada corporation if you’re still operating in the Bronze Golden State.

If the corporation operates in California it will need to file a California tax return. Period. It doesn’t matter if the corporation is a California corporation, a Delaware corporation, or a Nevada corporation.

Now, if you’re planning on moving to Nevada forming a business entity in the Silver State can be a very good idea (as I know). But thinking you’re going to avoid California taxes just because you’re a Nevada entity is, well, bozo.

No Man Is an Island

Monday, March 11th, 2019

On Saturday a superb editorial appeared in the Providence Journal, “When Taxpayers Flee a State.” Here’s an excerpt:

Despite its name, Rhode Island is not an island unto itself. People are free to come and go, including business executives who create jobs and pay high taxes. That is why the state has to be careful that its tax policies do not drive away too many investors or taxpayers…

In high-tax Connecticut next door, billionaires are already escaping. As Chris Edwards of the libertarian Cato Institute notes (“Wealthy Taxpayers are Fleeing These States in Droves,” Daily Caller, Oct. 2), Connecticut in recent years “has lost stock trading entrepreneur Thomas Peterffy (worth $20 billion), executive C. Dean Metropoulos ($2 billion), and hedge fund managers Paul Tudor Jones ($4 billion) and Edward Lampert ($3 billion).”

People can, and will, relocate no matter how nice the climate. I loved living in Irvine, California, but California’s business climate drove me (and I’m not a billionaire) to low-tax, low-regulation Nevada. Rhode Island has lost $1.4 billion of income over the last ten years. The solution for both a small state (Rhode Island) and a large state (California) is identical: low tax rates over a broad swath, rather than very high tax rates in narrow areas. Of course, California now has high taxes over almost everything and a regulatory climate that is the worst in the country.