On Aug. 4, 2021, the Multistate Tax Commission (MTC) adopted updates to its prior statement on PL 86-272 that incorporate e-commerce and provided examples of specific activities that constitute doing business in a state. What does this mean for taxpayers who have previously relied on the federal tax protections of PL 86-272?

Implementing Recent MTC Guidelines:

PL 86-272 and the Finnigan Method

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

1:00 pm-2:50 pm EST, 10:00 am-11:50 am PST

Simply put, PL 86-272 prevents states from imposing an income tax on a business when its only connection with the state is the solicitation of orders of tangible personal property. Many companies have continued to rely on PL 86-272 to shield them from state income tax liability. Enacted in 1959, this statute did not foresee the internet and digital commerce. On Aug. 4, 2021, the Multistate Tax Commission (MTC) adopted updates to its prior statement on PL 86-272 that incorporate e-commerce and provided examples of specific activities that constitute doing business in a state.

These activities include:

  • Transmitting code or electronic instructions via the internet to fix or upgrade products
  • Providing post-sale assistance to in-state customers via chat or email
  • Placing internet “cookies” onto the computers or other electronic devices of in-state customers

As states enact new recommendations, multistate businesses and SALT practitioners need to understand the reach and implementation of the new guidelines.

Listen as our panel of SALT experts reviews new PL 86-272 guidance issued by the MTC, offers recommendations for implementing the latest standards, and reviews other recent MTC recommendations for businesses operating in multiple states.


  1. The Multistate Tax Commission
  2. PL 86-272 background
  3. MTC’s Statement on PL 86-272
  4. MTC’s Model Statute for Combined Reporting: the “Finnigan Method”
  5. Other recent guidelines


The panel will cover these and other key issues:

  • The purpose and mission of the MTC
  • Internet activity that creates state income tax nexus under MTC’s August 2021 guidelines
  • MTC’s recent statement on combined reporting a/k/a the Finnigan Method
  • Tips for businesses transitioning to the new guidelines


Stacey L. Roberts, CPA
State and Local Tax Director

Ms. Roberts has been making SALT less taxing for thousands of businesses over the last 25 years. As a director of the SALTovation team at TaxOps, she is at the table-and in the weeds-helping guide dynamic businesses through compliance and strategic planning that minimizes risk and strengthens tax positions. She entered accounting with Andersen Worldwide/Andersen LLP, where she honed her state and local tax experience. She added stints at KPMG and Deloitte before moving in-house with a Fortune 500 company, managing State and Local Tax Administration. Before joining TaxOps, she led the national SALT practice at a regional firm. Stacey is a member of the Colorado Legislative Task Force Concerning Tax Policy and a frequent speaker and author on SALT issues for industry and professional organizations, including the Journal of State Taxation, Strafford Publishing, and more.

Meredith Smith, CPA
Senior Manager

Ms. Smith expertly weaves real-life examples into why business taxpayers, tax professionals, and tax providers should care about complex state and local tax (SALT) issues. This knowledge comes from expertly navigating the web of tax laws governing SALT issues for 15 years. From working with clients inside their business, she knows the questions, issues and strategies for resolution that keep businesses on the tax compliance track. Ms. Smith combines technical knowledge and in-depth industry understanding in performing nexus studies, identifying areas of risk, and designing sustainable planning opportunities for achieving tax-specific business goals. Her practice covers state income tax, property tax, sales and use tax, and business incentives and credits. Prior to TaxOps, Ms. Smith was a member of the SALT practice at KPMG, serving large, multi-jurisdictional corporations and multi-tier partnerships across industries.

Interested in More on PL 86-272? Listen in at the SALTovation Show

In a two-part series of the SALTovation show, we speak with Brian Hamer, who serves as counsel at the Multistate Tax Commission, about the revisions made to the Statement of Information concerning the practices of Public Law 86-272. Learn the history, new changes and what it all means to businesses and states in the future.

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