You may have heard about the landmark case, Comptroller v. Wynne that was decided yesterday, May 18, 2015. But what does it mean for you, and does it matter, even if you do not live in Maryland? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”
Hold on, what was this case about?
Comptroller v. Wynne started when the Wynnes, a Maryland couple claimed a credit on their Maryland tax returns for taxes paid in 39 other states. The State of Maryland did not accept the credits, and then issued a notice of deficiency. The Wynnes appealed, but the decision was upheld. The Wynnes amended their petition, using the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, but again were denied. Finally, the Wynnes were successful in their appeal, contending that the State of Maryland was constitutionally required to extend the credit for taxes paid to other states to the county as well as the state. Eventually, this argument took the case to the Supreme Court.
Ok, great – but I don’t live in Maryland so why does this matter?
This case has raised an important question that now needs to be evaluated by many other states: Can a jurisdiction (including Maryland, and also in other states) impose tax on its residents’ entire income, even when that same income may be subject to taxes in other states or jurisdictions? This question is especially critical for those states that have local taxes, and could require employers to track local tax payments, in addition to state tax payments that are already tracked.
No one has a solid answer yet. The ruling will most likely initiate a change in the laws and regulations in many states, but the content and effective date of such regulations is still to be determined. Stay up to date on tax news like this with our free insights! Sign up here.