Skip to Main Content

Leighanne Scott Weighs in on the Top State & Local Tax Cases of 2019

December 20, 2019, Law360

From the U.S. Supreme Court finding that a trust lacked sufficient contacts to be taxed by North Carolina, to a California appellate court upholding the state’s combined reporting regime, 2019 was a busy year for state and local tax cases.

Here, Law360 looks at the most influential state and local tax cases from 2019 and their impact going into the new year.

. . . .

Deere & Company v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue

Wisconsin’s Tax Appeals Commission handed Deere & Co. a win by determining in August that the company is entitled to a dividends-received deduction from a Luxembourg affiliate that elected to be treated as a corporation for federal tax purposes.

The Wisconsin Revenue Department had determined franchise tax was due as a result of the distributions because, among other arguments, the department said the Luxembourg company wasn't a corporation, meaning the dividends-received deduction did not apply to its distributions. The Tax Appeals Commission, however, noted the Wisconsin definition of a corporation includes entities treated as a corporation for tax purposes under federal law.

. . . .

Leighanne Scott, leader of Caplin & Drysdale Chtd.’s state and local tax practice group, said the case highlighted how states have faced challenges in enforcing rules typically drafted when the corporate form was more common, as opposed to the partnership structures more widely used now. Scott added that the department has appealed to the state’s circuit court and had sent notices to other taxpayers with facts similar to Deere & Co.

“Given that the favorable ruling by the commission had larger consequences outside of Deere for the department, this was likely a contributing factor in its decision to appeal,” Scott said, adding that until the circuit court’s decision, expected in 2020, comes down, the long-term impact of the case is unknown.

For the full article, please visit Law360.


About Caplin & Drysdale
Celebrating our 55th Anniversary in 2019, Caplin & Drysdale continues to be a leading provider of legal services to corporations, individuals, and nonprofits throughout the United States and around the world. We are also privileged to serve as legal advisors to accounting firms, financial institutions, law firms, and other professional services organizations.

The firm's reputation over the years has earned us the trust and respect of clients, industry peers, and government agencies. Moreover, clients rely on our broad knowledge of the law and our keen insights into their business concerns and personal interests. Our lawyers' strong tactical and problem-solving skills -- combined with substantial experience handling a variety of complex, high stakes, matters in a boutique environment -- make us one the nation's most distinctive law firms.

With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., Caplin & Drysdale's core practice areas include:
For more information, please visit us at
Washington, DC Office:
One Thomas Circle NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
New York, NY Office:
600 Lexington Avenue
21st Floor
New York, NY 10022


This communication does not provide legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with you or any other reader. If you require legal guidance in any specific situation, you should engage a qualified lawyer for that purpose. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Attorney Advertising
It is possible that under the laws, rules, or regulations of certain jurisdictions, this may be construed as an advertisement or solicitation.
©2021 Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
All Rights Reserved.

Related Professionals

Related Practice Area(s)