DRS: IP 2000(28), Attorney Occupational Tax and Client Security Fund Fee

 

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SERVICES

450 Columbus Blvd
Hartford CT 06103
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

This Informational Publication has been
modified and superseded by IP 2004(38)

IP 2000(28)

Attorney Occupational Tax and Client Security Fund Fee


PURPOSE: This Informational Publication answers frequently asked questions about the attorney occupational tax and the client security fund fee.


EFFECTIVE DATE: Calendar years beginning on or after January 1, 2000.


STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-30, Conn. Gen. Stat. §51-81b, as amended by 2000 Conn. Pub. Acts 170, §32, and Conn. Gen. Stat. §51-81d, as amended by 2000 Conn. Pub. Acts 170, §34.


WHO IS SUBJECT TO THE ATTORNEY OCCUPATIONAL TAX? Any person admitted as an attorney by the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court and who engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut during the preceding calendar year is subject to the tax.


WHAT DOES "ADMITTED AS AN ATTORNEY" MEAN? For purposes of the attorney occupational tax, being admitted as an attorney means having been sworn in as an attorney by a judge of the Connecticut Superior Court. This includes having been admitted on motion, and being temporarily permitted to practice law in Connecticut, as well as, in the case of an attorney from another jurisdiction, being admitted pro hac vice by the Superior Court to appear in individual Connecticut state court cases.


WHEN IS FORM 472 DUE? Form 472, Attorney Occupational Tax Return, must be filed on or before January 15, whether or not tax is owed. If January 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the next business day is the due date. A return is considered timely-filed if the date shown by the U.S. Postal Service cancellation date, or the date recorded or marked by a designated private delivery service, is on or before the due date. See Special Notice 99(14), Designated Private Delivery Services, for more information.


WHAT IF I PAY OR FILE LATE? If you are subject to the tax and pay late, the late payment penalty is $50. Interest accrues on late payments at the rate of 1% per month or fraction of a month from the due date. If you are exempt from the tax but file Form 472 late, a late filing penalty of $50 may be imposed.


WILL FORM 472 BE MAILED TO ME? Form 472 is mailed to all attorneys listed on the roll of attorneys maintained by the Superior Court. If you do not receive Form 472 by January 1, you should request one from the Department of Revenue Services (DRS). (See Forms and Publications on Page 4.) Failure to receive Form 472 does not relieve you from your obligation to file it by the due date.


WHAT IS THE AMOUNT OF THE TAX? The amount of tax is $450. No prorating of the tax is allowed. If you were admitted to practice for less than the entire calendar year, or were exempt from the tax for part of the year, the tax due is still $450. For example, if a judge of the Superior Court swore you in on December 31, and you engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut on that day, you must pay the entire tax of $450 for that year.


WHAT DOES BEING "ENGAGED IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW" MEAN? For purposes of the attorney occupational tax, engaged in the practice of law means performing any act in Connecticut in your capacity as an attorney, whether or not you receive any remuneration for such act. This includes any act with respect to any judicial or administrative proceeding in Connecticut.

For example, you are engaged in the practice of law if you enter an appearance or file any type of pleading or document in: any Connecticut court, including probate court; any federal, state, municipal or other administrative agency within Connecticut; or any federal district court in Connecticut, including bankruptcy court, even if the appearance, pleading or document is mailed in from out of state and you do not personally enter the state.

You are engaged in the practice of law if you perform legal services in Connecticut free of charge for friends or relatives. You are engaged in the practice of law if you perform any act as a Commissioner of the Superior Court authorized by Conn. Gen. Stat. §51-85.

If you are employed by an employer that is not a law firm, such as an accounting firm or an insurance company, you are nevertheless engaged in the practice of law if you are employed as an attorney, or if your being an attorney is a factor in your employment.


WHAT ABOUT PRO BONO WORK? If you are otherwise exempt from the attorney occupational tax, performing pro bono legal services in Connecticut for no consideration (rather than for reduced consideration) does not change your exempt status.

For example, an attorney who is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut, and who engaged in the practice of law exclusively in New York except for performing pro bono legal services in Connecticut, is not subject to the tax.

Providing free legal services to friends or relatives is not considered pro bono services.


AM I EXEMPT FROM THE TAX? You may be exempt from the tax if one of the following exemptions applies to you. Form 472 must be filed by the due date even if you claim exemption from payment of the tax.

  1. Your name was removed from the roll of attorneys maintained by the Clerk of the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford.

    If your name was removed from the roll anytime during the calendar year, even on December 31, you are exempt from the tax for that year.

    Attorneys who die are considered to have had their names removed from the roll as of the date of death and are exempt for the calendar year during which their death occurs.

    Attorneys suspended from the practice of law for a definite period are not considered removed from the roll, and are not exempt from tax. Attorneys who are disbarred are considered removed from the roll and are exempt for the calendar year during which the disbarment occurs. A disbarred attorney who is subsequently readmitted to practice law in Connecticut is subject to the tax for the year in which the readmission occurs, unless the attorney is otherwise exempt from the tax.

  2. You engaged in the practice of law, but not as an occupation, and received less than $450 from the practice of law.

    The requirements of this exemption are conjunctive: you must have been "engaged in the practice of law, but not as an occupation" and received less than $450 from the practice of law, during the calendar year, in order to be exempt.

    Engaged in the practice of law, but not as an occupation, means to be primarily engaged in an occupation other than law, where being an attorney is not a factor in your employment. For example, you may have been employed as a school teacher, physician, or law enforcement officer, while being admitted to practice law in Connecticut. If you were employed in an occupation other than law and you received less than $450 from performing legal work, you qualify for the exemption.

    If you engaged in the practice of law as an occupation, you do not qualify for this exemption, even if you received less than $450 during the calendar year from such employment.

  3. You were a judge, senior judge or referee and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law.

    This exemption applies to all Connecticut state court judges, including family support magistrates authorized under Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-231; and magistrates appointed under Conn. Gen. Stat. §51-193l et seq., who worked exclusively as judges or magistrates and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law during the entire calendar year. The exemption applies to probate court judges, but not if the probate court judge otherwise engaged in the practice of law during the calendar year.

    This exemption also applies to federal judges who did not otherwise engage in the practice of law during the entire year.

  4. You were a Connecticut state employee employed as an attorney and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law.

    This exemption applies only if you were a Connecticut state employee employed as an attorney for the entire year (or for the entire portion of the year during which you were admitted to practice in Connecticut), and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law in Connecticut.

    If you worked as a contractor or vendor to the State of Connecticut, such as a per diem advocate for the Juvenile Court or a special public defender, you were not a state employee for purposes of this exemption. Employees of the Probate Court Administrator are state employees for purposes of this exemption. (Employees of a Connecticut Probate Court, see exemption 7.)

    If you were employed by the State of Connecticut, but not as an attorney, you do not qualify for this exemption. However, you may qualify for exemption 2 or 9.

  5. You were a federal government employee, employed as an attorney and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law.

    This exemption applies only if you were a federal government employee employed as an attorney by the federal government for the entire calendar year (or for the entire portion of the year during which you were admitted to practice in Connecticut), and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law in Connecticut.

    If you were employed by the federal government, but not as an attorney, you do not qualify for this exemption. However, you may qualify for exemption 2 or 9.

  6. You were an employee of a Connecticut political subdivision employed as an attorney and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law.

    This exemption applies only if you were a Connecticut political subdivision employee employed as an attorney for the entire year (or for the entire portion of the year during which you were admitted to practice in Connecticut), and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law in Connecticut.

    If you worked as a contractor or vendor to a Connecticut political subdivision, you were not an employee of a Connecticut political subdivision for this exemption. However, you may qualify for exemption 2 or 9.

    A Connecticut political subdivision is any Connecticut city or town, any tax district within a Connecticut city or town, or any district comprised of two or more Connecticut cities or towns.

  7. You were an employee of a Connecticut Probate Court employed as an attorney and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law.

    This exemption applies only if you were a Connecticut Probate Court employee employed as an attorney for the entire year (or for the entire portion of the year during which you were admitted to practice in Connecticut), and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law in Connecticut.

    If you worked as a contractor or vendor to a Connecticut Probate Court, you were not an employee of a Connecticut Probate Court for purposes of this exemption. However, you may qualify for exemption 2 or 9.

  8. You engaged in the practice of law exclusively outside Connecticut.

    This exemption does not apply if you performed any act in Connecticut, or any act with respect to any judicial or administrative proceeding in Connecticut (federal, state or municipal) in your capacity as an attorney during the calendar year, whether or not you received any remuneration for such act, and whether or not such act was connected with your employment as an attorney outside Connecticut. Examples of such acts include, but are not limited to, entering an appearance in a case in Connecticut court or Connecticut federal district court, meeting with a client in Connecticut, witnessing a document or taking an acknowledgment as a Commissioner of the Superior Court in Connecticut.

  9. You did not work or were not employed as an attorney.

    This exemption applies only if you were not employed as an attorney, and performed no act in Connecticut in your capacity as an attorney, during the calendar year.

  10. You were on active duty with the United States Armed Forces for more than six months during the calendar year.

    You may claim this exemption even if you were otherwise engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut during the portion of the calendar year when you were not on active duty.

  11. You retired from the practice of law.

This exemption applies if you were placed on retirement status at any time during the calendar year and filed a written notice of retirement with the Clerk of the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford. For example, if you were placed on retirement status on December 31, you may claim the exemption for the entire calendar year if you notified the Clerk of the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford of your retirement in writing. Complete Form JD-CL-68, Attorney Retirement-Written Notice, and return the original and two copies to the Clerk’s Office. The form is effective the date it is filed with the Clerk’s Office. To obtain Form JD-CL-68, call the Clerk’s Office at 860-548-2700, extension 3723, or the Office of the Client Security Fund Committee at 860-568-3450, or download it from the Judicial Department’s web site http://www.jud.state.ct.usYou are not required to file a written notice of retirement when you retire from the practice of law; however, if you do not do so, you do not qualify for this exemption.


WHAT IF MY ADDRESS CHANGES? If your address changes, you should notify both DRS and the Statewide Grievance Committee. Notifying only DRS does not constitute compliance with Practice Book Section 2-26 or 2-27(d).

To change your address with DRS, fax a written notice of the change, including your Connecticut Tax Registration Number (not your juris number or Social Security Number) as it appears on Form 472, to 860-297-4757, or mail the notice to:

DRS Registration, Maintenance Unit
PO Box 2937
Hartford CT 06104-2937

To change your address with the Statewide Grievance Committee, call the Clerk's Office at 860-548-2700, extension 3723, and ask for Form JD-GC-10, Attorney Registration - Change of Information. Form JD-GC-9, Attorney Registration, which is sent to you annually by the Statewide Grievance Committee, also contains space to indicate your change of address. You may also download these forms from the Judicial Department web site: http://www.jud.state.ct.us.


HOW DO I OBTAIN A JURIS NUMBER? The Clerk of the Superior Court assigns and mails your juris number to you after you are sworn in. Your juris number also appears on your Form JD-GC-9, which is sent to you annually by the Statewide Grievance Committee. If you do not know your juris number, call the Clerk's Office at 860-548-2700, extension 3723, or download it from the Judicial Department web site. Do not call DRS to obtain your juris number.


WHAT IS THE CLIENT SECURITY FUND? The Client Security Fund was established by the judges of the Superior Court to promote public confidence in the judicial system and the integrity of the legal profession. The fund reimburses clients for losses resulting from "dishonest conduct," as defined in Practice book Section 2-69, of attorneys practicing law in Connecticut. Each attorney admitted to practice law in Connecticut and each judge, judge trial referee, state referee, family support magistrate, family support referee, and workers compensation commissioner must pay an annual fee to finance the Client Security Fund (Practice Book Section 2-70).

The fee amount is established by the judges of the Superior Court, based on the analysis and recommendation of the Client Security Fund Committee. In 1999 and 2000, the fee was $75 and the due date was June 15. For more information, contact the Office of the Client Security Fund Committee, at (860) 568-3450.


AM I EXEMPT FROM THE CLIENT SECURITY FUND FEE? You are exempt from the fee only if you have retired, resigned, or have been disbarred. You may be exempt from the attorney occupational tax but not be exempt from the client security fund fee.


EFFECT ON OTHER DOCUMENTS: IP 98(9), Q & A: Attorney's Occupational Tax, is modified and superseded and may not be relied upon on or after the date of issuance of this Informational Publication.


EFFECT OF THIS DOCUMENT: An Informational Publication is a document that addresses frequently asked questions about a current Department position, policy or practice, usually in a less technical question and answer format.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please call DRS during business hours, Monday through Friday:

  • 1-800-382-9463 (toll-free within Connecticut), or
  • 860-297-5962 (from anywhere)

TTY, TDD, and Text Telephone users only may transmit inquiries 24 hours a day by calling 860-297-4911.


FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS: Forms and publications are available all day, seven days a week:

  • Internet: Preview and download forms and publications from the DRS Web site: http://www.ct.gov/drs
  • Telephone: Call 860-297-4753 (from anywhere), or 1-800-382-9463 (toll-free within Connecticut) and select Option 2 from a touch-tone phone.

IP 2000(28)
Attorney Occupational Tax
2000 Legislation
Issued: 11/15/2000