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Joseph LipariJoseph Lipari (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)

For a tax professional, one of the most tedious requirements of the job is sifting through (on paper or online) opinions issued each week by the various courts and trying to determine which decisions are relevant to issues faced by our clients. On first glance, the recent case, In re SuperMedia, DTA No. 826264 (N.Y. Div. Tax App., May 25, 2017), appeared to be one that could be skipped since it deals with the sales tax of “yellow pages” phone books, an industry with few participants. However, the particular issue in the case, whether certain commercial delivery services qualified as “common carriers,” is of high importance to sellers and buyers of art. The narrow definition of the term advanced by the Tax Department and accepted by the administrative law judge (ALJ), is likely to dictate how art shipments will be arranged for the foreseeable future.

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