State Income Taxation of Multijurisdictional Corporations: Reflections on Mobil, Exxon, and H.R. 5076

The purpose of this Article is twofold: first, to analyze the Mobil and Exxon decisions; second, to consider the congressional reaction they may engender. Because the terrain that this Article covers may be unfamiliar to some readers, a few further words of introduction may be appropriate.

Taken together, the Mobil and Exxon decisions dealt with the three methods of dividing a multijurisdictional corporation’s income among the states – specific allocation, separate accounting and apportionment by formula. Each method provides a different solution to the problem of determining the portion of the income of multistate businesses that should be taxable by any one state.