it depends on the state

We have all heard the phrase from a state tax consultant, "it depends on the state." Why do they say those words? Why can't they just answer my question? Well, the states are not the same. Each state has it's own unique rules. Even if they have the same rule, they have different interpretations and applications. Each day, states are proposing legislation, issuing court case decisions and other rulings that impact a state's position or a taxpayer's ability to take a position. 

All state tax consultants could provide you with a general answer - a likely answer. But without conducting specific research for that state and applying that state's specific rules to your specific facts, the answer would be just that - a general answer with no authority to stand on. We most likely don't know the answer to your specific question at this very moment without performing research to some extent. Generally.