State & Local Tax Bulletin (February 2000)
San Francisco Business and
Payroll Taxes under Attack
By Jeffrey M. Vesely, a tax partner and
Richard E. Nielsen, of counsel in the
San Francisco office of Pillsbury Winthrop
Shaw Pittman LLP.
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This special alert concerning the San Francisco business and payroll taxes is
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Following the appellate court rulings in favor of General Motors concerning
the invalidity of the Los Angeles and San Francisco business taxes many entities engaged in
business in San Francisco have been filing refund claims and refund lawsuits seeking recoupment
of past paid business taxes as well as challenging the imposition of the payroll tax. Our firm has assisted taxpayers in filing the
appropriate refund and appeal documents before the Tax Collector and Board of Review and
ultimately in filing a refund lawsuit. There are several lawsuits pending in the San Francisco
Superior Court and taxpayers should consider filing protective refund claims.
Taxpayers should be aware that as a result of the then pending San
Francisco appellate case, San Francisco in January 1998 attempted to shorten its statute of
limitations from a three-year period to a ninety-day period.
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