The BR State + Local Tax Spotlight: December 2021

The BR State + Local Tax Spotlight

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Note from the Editors

Welcome to the December 2021 edition of The BR State + Local Tax Spotlight. We understand the unique demands of staying on top of important State + Local Tax developments, which happen frequently and across numerous jurisdictions. Staying updated on significant legislative developments and judicial decisions helps tax departments function more efficiently and improves strategy and planning. That is where The BR State + Local Tax Spotlight can help. In each edition, we will highlight for you important State + Local Tax developments that could impact your business. In this issue, we will be covering:

  • A recent Ohio appeals court decision that struck down a tax penalty for failure to timely pay property taxes because the taxpayer proved she was kidnapped at the time in question;
  • A recent Delaware Supreme Court decision that invalidated an unpublished Division of Revenue policy regarding net operating losses that violated the Delaware Code; and
  • A recent Louisiana appeals court decision that allowed as timely a company’s appeal of a locality’s refund claim denial despite the locality’s argument that the statutory timeframe had expired.

We invite you to share The BR State + Local Tax Spotlight with your colleagues and visit Blank Rome’s State + Local Tax webpage for more information about our team. Click here to add State + Local Tax to your subscription preferences.

Eugene J. Gibilaro and Anna Uger


Here a Penalty, There a Penalty, Everywhere a Penalty
By Nicole L. Johnson

Back in the “good old days,” penalties were only imposed to punish some nefarious conduct—for example, when a person “hid” funds offshore or purposefully failed to pay the tax due. By definition, a penalty is a punishment. Penalty, Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019) (last visited Dec. 7, 2021). Thus, for a penalty to apply, there must be some conduct that needed to be punished. However, states have expanded the application of penalties to nearly every understatement of tax. Read More »

Delaware Supreme Court Rejects Division’s Longstanding but Unpublished Policy on NOLs
By Craig B. Fields

The Delaware Supreme Court has invalidated an audit policy that had been in place for at least 30 years as being inconsistent with the Delaware Code, demonstrating that just because a taxing agency’s policy is longstanding, does not mean that it is correct. Dir. of Revenue v. Verisign Inc., No. 18, 2021, 2021 WL 5563437 (Del. Nov. 29, 2021). Read More »

Louisiana Court Holds That a Locality Cannot Run Out the Clock on a Refund Claim
By Eugene J. Gibilaro

On November 5, 2021, a Louisiana appeals court held that a company’s appeal of a locality’s refund claim denial was timely inasmuch as it was filed within 90 days of the date of the locality’s notice of disallowance. Nucor Steel La., LLC v. St. James Parish Sch. Bd., No. 20-CA-247, 2021 WL 5149770 (La. Ct. App. Nov. 5, 2021). This is another recent example of a taxing authority appearing to work in good faith with a company in reviewing the company’s refund claim, but then attempting to pull the rug out from under the company with a statute of limitations argument when the matter goes to court. Read More »


Blank Rome’s nationally prominent State + Local Tax attorneys are thought leaders in the community as frequent guest speakers at various local and national conferences throughout the year. Our State + Local Tax attorneys believe it is necessary to educate and inform their clients and contacts about topics that will impact their businesses. We invite you to attend, listen, and learn as our State + Local Tax attorneys interpret and discuss key legal issues companies are facing and how you can put together a plan of action to mitigate risk and advance your business in accordance with state and local tax laws. Read More »

© 2021 Blank Rome LLP. All rights reserved. Please contact Blank Rome for permission to reprint. Notice: The purpose of this update is to identify select developments that may be of interest to readers. The information contained herein is abridged and summarized from various sources, the accuracy and completeness of which cannot be assured. This update should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.