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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. If you have or can obtain the Acrobat Reader, or have an Acrobat-enabled web browser, you may wish to download or view our February 2000 State & Local Tax Bulletin (a 61K pdf file), containing a printed version of this article and also available via ftp at ftp.pmstax.com/state/bull0002.pdf.

This special alert concerning the San Francisco business and payroll taxes is part of the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Tax Page, a World Wide Web demonstration project, no portion of which is intended and cannot be construed as legal or tax advice. Comments are welcome on the design or content of this material.

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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