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Zelinsky v. Tax Appeals Tribunal of the State of New York

801 N.E.2d 840, 1 N.Y.3d 85, 769 N.Y.S.2d 464 (2003)

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Zelinsky v. Tax Appeals Tribunal of the State of New York

New York Court of Appeals

801 N.E.2d 840, 1 N.Y.3d 85, 769 N.Y.S.2d 464 (2003)

Facts

Edward Zelinsky (plaintiff), a Connecticut resident, was a professor at Cardozo School of Law in New York City. Zelinsky generally taught classes and met with students in New York three days a week and worked from home two days a week. Over breaks and during a sabbatical in 1995, Zelinsky worked exclusively in Connecticut. On his 1994 and 1995 nonresident New York tax returns, Zelinsky apportioned his salary to reflect the days he spent teaching in New York. Zelinsky assigned the remainder of his salary to Connecticut. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued tax deficiencies against Zelinsky. The department applied New York’s convenience-of-the-employer rule and held that the days that Zelinsky worked from Connecticut should be counted in New York because Zelinsky worked from home for his own convenience and was not required to do so by his employer. Zelinsky contested the deficiencies and argued that the application of the convenience-of-the-employer rule violated the Commerce Clause and Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution. The Tax Appeals Tribunal of the State of New York (defendant) rejected Zelinsky’s constitutional claims. Zelinsky filed a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division. The Appellate Division confirmed the tribunal, and Zelinsky appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kaye, C.J.)

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