Town of Breckenridge, Vail Resorts reach lift-ticket tax accord

From the Denver Business Journal


Town of Breckenridge, Vail Resorts reach lift-ticket tax accord

Aug 27, 2015, 7:20am MDT

Ben Miller, Contributing Writer

The town of Breckenridge and Vail Resorts Inc. have reached a compromise deal

regarding a lift-ticket tax to fund transit improvements in the town.

If voters approve the plan in November, a 4.5 percent tax would be added to lift tickets at

Breckenridge, which would raise at least $3.5 million for transit improvements. The tax

would add about $6 to a Breckenridge lift ticket.

The Denver Post reported the compromise was reached after the tax plan excluded taxes on

Vail’s Epic Pass, which also includes skiing at Vail Resorts’ (NYSE: MTN) other Colorado


“In the spirit of compromise, the council felt this amount would be adequate to begin to

work on the much needed improvements for this vital issue for our community,” said

Breckenridge Mayor John Warner, in a statement.

Ben Miller contributes to the Denver Business Journal and compiles the Morning

Edition email newsletter.



Colorado Department of Revenue Update System Enhancements Implemented for 2014 Return Processing

The Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) has made the following system enhancements for the 2014 tax return processing season, as a result of discussion with COCPA members who participate on the COCPA/CDOR Joint Task Force.

New Reduced Refund/Carry-Forward Letter – This new letter will be sent when refunds or carry-forwards claimed on a return are reduced because of a penalty assessment for under payment of estimated tax during the year. The letter will show the penalty amount and the resulting net refund or carry-forward amount.

Enhanced Deceased Spouse Credit Transfer – This enhancement automates the available credit transfer in deceased spouse situations when the surviving spouse was not listed as the primary tax filer the prior year. The system will automatically transfer claimed credits for which it finds a match between the two accounts if the deceased check box is selected on the return.

New POA Correspondence Functionality – The system will automatically send the following letters to the POA on-file for the periods covered by the POA. This will be the new default for the system, but the POA or taxpayer can opt-out of this functionality by calling the CDOR call center (NOD, NOFD, Return Adjustment, Inquiry, Inquiry Resolution, Protest Resolution).

Enhanced Estimated Payments Letter – The Estimated Payments Inquiry Letter will show the date and amount of estimated payments on file with the Department. This letter generates when the taxpayer is claiming more estimated payments than are on the account.

Remember, as a Colorado Society of CPAs member, you can request assistance with particularly difficult client issues involving the CDOR by emailing the following information to COCPA CEO Mary E. Medley. Medley will forward your email and attachment(s) to the COCPA’s contact in the Department for assistance.
Taxpayer Name(s)

Colorado Account Number(s) or last four digits of the SSN(s)

Brief summary of the issue(s)

Whether you have a Power of Attorney on file – If yes, the CDOR will contact you to resolve the issue. If no, the CDOR will contact you to let you know a representative will contact your client directly.

Attached recent notice in pdf format, redacted, if you wish, to preserve client(s) confidentiality

Judge Puts Temporary Injunction on Colorado’s Amazon Law

A Denver judge has granted a request to temporarily block a 2010 law aimed at requiring remote sellers, including online merchants, to collect sales tax. The injunction comes after an August decision, where a U.S. court of appeals reversed a previous injunction that was put into place by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn. The previous injunction was reversed on the grounds that Blackburn had overstepped his authority with the injunction (see story here). The current injunction is only temporary, and will stay in place until the case is resolved further.

Read more:

Denver Judge Temporarily Blocks Colorado’s “Amazon Tax” Law

Same Sex Tax Guidence

The Tax Foundation has come out with a comprehensive summary on state guidance for same-sex couples  who are filing joint federal tax returns for 2013.
The summary can be found here:

States Provide Income Tax Filing Guidance to Same-Sex Couples

CO Department of Revenue Releases Draft Report on Uniform Sales and Use Tax Base:

The following is from the Colorado Association of Industry and Commerce regarding the CO Department of revenue’s report on adopting a Uniform Sales and Use Tax Base.

Summary of CO Department of Revenue’s Uniform Sales & Use Tax Report


As you may recall, during the 2013 Legislative Session, House Bill 1288 was adopted that directed the Colorado Department of Revenue to prepare a report that included recommendations on ways to achieve a revenue neutral uniform sales and use tax base in Colorado.  A draft of that report has been released, and includes the following:


  • A uniform list of items that are exempt from taxation      by the State and local taxing jurisdictions;
  • Uniform definitions of the tax exempt items;
  • Rate changes, including consideration of rates of zero      percent that would be necessary to achieve revenue neutrality for the      State and local jurisdictions;
  • A uniform definition of tangible personal property;
  • Other recommendations by the DOR to establish a revenue      neutral sales & use tax base.


Summary of the Recommendations*


Uniform Sales & Use Tax Base -DOR was tasked with identifying which items are currently taxed or exempted by home rule cities and assess how the home rule cities and the State’s base differed.  Their research determined that food for home consumption and residential power provide a large amount of revenue to home rule cities [See chart – pg. 10].  In order to achieve revenue neutrality without large rate increases, the State would need to adopt a broader base and lower its overall rate. 


  • Recommendation:  Based on TABOR limitations on      rate increases, a determination was made that the only way to align the      tax bases without rate increases would be to eliminate 35 current sales      & use tax exemptions.  [See Appendix F – pg. 65]. 


Rate Changes to Achieve Revenue Neutrality

Based on the broader rate base recommended above that would increase revenues, DOR determined that rate changes would be needed to achieve revenue neutrality.


  • Recommendation:  Lower State’s sales and use      tax rate to 2.4%.  Cities & counties would also have to lower      their rates with exemption of a few home rule cities whose tax base would      not change with the implementation of the uniform sales & use tax      base.


Uniform Definitions of Tax Exempt Items – Based on the political challenges of adopting a uniform base, much of the report is focused on the creation of uniform sales & use tax definitions which is more likely to be adopted in the General Assembly.


  • Recommendation:   DOR developed a list of      streamlined sales & use tax definitions while relying on the      Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement.  If no Streamline      definition existed, the DOR sought uniformity between the State and local      tax jurisdictions.  [See Streamlined Definitions in Appendix H –      pg. 77]. 



Uniform Set of Exemptions – Based on the requirement to create uniform definitions, it was clear that a uniform set of exemptions was necessary as well.


  • Recommendations:  A list of revenue neutral,      uniform exemptions have been developed and can be applied to any taxing      jurisdiction in Colorado.  [See Appendix I – pg. 90].


Uniform Definition of Tangible Personal Property – The report includes the definition of Tangible Personal Property as:  personal property that can be seen, weighed, measured, felt, or touched, or that is in any other manner perceptible to the senses. It includes electricity, water, gas, steam and prewritten computer software.


Creation of a Sales & Use Tax Advisory Board – The DOR is recommending that in order to ensure uniform interpretation of the definitions and exemptions, that a Sales & Use Tax Advisory Board be established.


  • Recommendation:  Create a Sales & Use Tax      Advisory Board that is a quasi-legislative, quasi-judicial body that will      ensure uniformity by promulgating and modifying standard definitions,      clarifying language through rules, and issuing tax guidance relating to      definitions.