DRS: IP 2007(17), Attorney Occupational Tax and Client Security Fund Fee

 
This Informational Publication has been modified and superseded
 
IP 2007(17)
 
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, 2004.
 

Statutory Authority: Conn. Gen. Stat. §§12-30, 51-81b, and 51-81d, as amended by 2007 Conn. Pub.Acts 46, §1.


1. 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.


2. What does admitted as an attorney mean?

For attorney occupational tax purposes, being admitted as an attorney means that you were sworn in as an attorney by a judge of the Connecticut Superior Court. Being admitted as an attorney also includes being admitted:

  • On motion and temporarily permitted to practice law in Connecticut; or
  • Pro hac vice by the Superior Court, Appellate Court, or Connecticut Supreme Court to appear in a Connecticut state court proceeding.

3. What does being engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut mean?

For attorney occupational tax purposes, being engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut means performing any act in Connecticut that is considered to be the practice of law, as defined in Section 2-44A, Definition of the Practice of Law, of the Connecticut Practice Book, Superior Court Rules and Rules of Appellate Procedure.

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


4. When is Form 472 due?

Form 472, Attorney Occupational Tax Return, is due January 15 of each year 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 Policy Statement 2005(4), Designated Private Delivery Services and Designated Types of Service.


 

5. 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). You can also visit the DRS website at www.ct.gov/DRS to obtain a form. See Forms and Publications. Failure to receive Form 472 does not relieve you from your obligation to file it on or before the due date.


6. What is the amount of the attorney occupational tax?

The amount of the attorney occupational tax is $450.  No proration of the tax is authorized.  If you were admitted as an attorney and engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut but not for the entire calendar year, the tax due is $450.  If you were admitted as an attorney and engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut for the entire calendar year, and were subject to tax for part of the year and exempt from the tax for the rest of the year, the tax due is $450.


7. 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.


8. Effective January 1, 2008, is a person who is an authorized house counsel under Section 2-15A, Authorized House Counsel, of the Connecticut Practice Book, Superior Court Rules and Rules of Appellate Procedure, subject to the attorney occupational tax?

Yes. A person who is an authorized house counsel is subject to the attorney occupational tax and is required to file Form 472, because he or she is both admitted as an attorney under Section 2-15A by the Superior Court and engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut. Under Section 2-15A, which is effective January 1, 2008, a person who wishes to be certified as authorized house counsel is required to file an application with the Bar Examining Committee. Upon recommendation of the Bar Examining Committee, the Superior Court may certify the applicant as authorized house counsel.


9. Effective January 1, 2008, is a person who is authorized to provide legal services on a temporary basis in Connecticut under subparagraph (c)(3) or (4) of Rule 5.5, Unauthorized Practice of Law, of the Connecticut Practice Book, Rules of Professional Conduct, subject to the attorney occupational tax?

No. Although a person authorized to provide legal services on a temporary basis in Connecticut under subparagraph (c)(3) or (4) of Rule 5.5 is engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut, he or she is not admitted as an attorney by the judges of the Superior Court, and therefore, is not subject to the attorney occupational tax and is not required to file Form 472. Subparagraphs (c)(3) and (4) of Rule 5.5 are effective January 1, 2008. A person wishing to obtain the privileges described in subparagraph (c)(3) or (4) of Rule 5.5 is required to notify the Statewide Bar Counsel.


10. Am I exempt from the attorney occupational tax?

Even if you were admitted as an attorney and were engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut, you may be exempt from the tax if one of the following exemptions applies to you. Form 472 must be filed on or before the due date even if you claim one of the following exemptions:

A. 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 who are disbarred are considered removed from the roll and are exempt for the calendar year disbarment occurs. A disbarred attorney who is subsequently readmitted to practice law in Connecticut is subject to the tax for the year the readmission occurs.

Attorneys suspended from the practice of law for a definite period are not considered removed from the roll and are subject to the tax. 

B. You engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut, but not as an occupation, and received less than $450 from the practice of law in Connecticut. The requirements of this exemption are conjunctive. You must have been engaged in the practice of law in Connecticut, but not as an occupation, and the compensation you received from the practice of law in Connecticut must have been less than $450 during the calendar year.

Engaged in the practice of law, but not as an occupation, means you are primarily engaged in an occupation other than law and 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 admitted as an attorney 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 in Connecticut as an occupation, you do not qualify for this exemption even if you received less than $450 during the calendar year from the practice of law in Connecticut.

C. You were a Judge, Senior Judge, or Referee and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law in Connecticut. This exemption applies to all Connecticut state court judges including family support magistrates authorized under Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-231; magistrates appointed under Conn. Gen. Stat. §51-193l et seq.; probate court judges; and federal judges who worked exclusively as judges or magistrates and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law in Connecticut during the calendar year.

D. You were a Connecticut state employee employed as an attorney, and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law in Connecticut. 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 during the calendar year.

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 G.

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

E. You were a federal government employee employed as an attorney, and did not otherwise engage in the practice of law in Connecticut. 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 during the calendar year.

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

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

If you worked as a contractor or vendor to a Connecticut political subdivision, you were not an employee of a Connecticut political subdivision for purposes of this exemption. 

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.

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

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. 

H. You engaged in the practice of law exclusively outside Connecticut. This exemption does not apply if you performed any act in Connecticut that is considered to be the practice of law, as defined in Section 2-44A of the Connecticut Practice Book, during the calendar year. This is true whether or not you received remuneration for the act or the act was connected with your employment as an attorney outside Connecticut.

Examples of acts considered to be the practice of law in Connecticut 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; or
  • Witnessing a document or taking an acknowledgment as a Commissioner of the Superior Court in Connecticut.

This exemption does not apply to any person authorized to provide legal services on a temporary basis in Connecticut under subparagraph (c)(3) or (4) of Rule 5.5, Unauthorized Practice of Law, of the Connecticut Practice Book, Rules of Professional Conduct. Any such person is not subject to the attorney occupational tax and is not required to file Form 472. See Question 9.

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

J. 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.

K. 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, Ext 3723;
  • Call the Office of the Client Security Fund Committee at 860-568-3450; or
  • Download it from the Judicial Branch’s website at www.jud.ct.gov.

You 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.


11. If I am otherwise exempt from the attorney occupational tax, does performing pro bono legal services affect my exempt status?

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 as an attorney in New York and Connecticut, and who is 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 work.


12. What if my address changes?

If your address changes, you should notify both Department of Revenue services (DRS) and the Statewide Grievance Committee. Notifying only DRS does not constitute compliance with Section 2-26 or 2-27(d) of the Connecticut Practice Book.

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:

Department of Revenue Services
Registration, Maintenance Unit
PO Box 2937
Hartford CT 06104-2937

You may also change your address online using the DRS. Taxpayer Service Center (TSC) at www.ct.gov/DRS. Enter your Connecticut Tax Registration Number and follow the prompts to complete the log in process.  Use the TSC to file your Form 472.

To change your address with the Statewide Grievance Committee, make the changes online through Judicial Branch E-Services, or download Form JD-GC-10, Attorney Registration—Change of Information, from the Judicial Branch website, www.jud.ct.gov. 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. Contact the Statewide Grievance Committee with questions about Form JD-GC-9 by sending an email to attorney.registration@jud.ct.gov or by calling 860-568-5157.


13. How do I obtain a juris number? 

The Judicial Branch assigns and mails your juris number to you after you have been sworn in to the bar. You can inquire about your juris number by:

Do not call DRS to obtain your juris number.


14. 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 Section 2-69 of the Connecticut Practice Book, 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. See Section 2-70 of the Connecticut Practice Book.

The fee amount is established by the judges of the Superior Court based on the analysis and recommendation of the Client Security Fund Committee. Currently, the fee is $110.

For more information, contact the Office of the Client Security Fund Committee by:

Email: Security.Fund@jud.ct.gov

Telephone: 860-568-3450; or

Internet: (For frequently asked questions) 
www.jud.ct.gov/CSF/FAQ.htm#FundFee


15. If I am exempt from the attorney occupational tax, am I exempt from the Client Security Fund Fee?

No. You may be exempt from the attorney occupational tax but not exempt from the Client Security Fund fee. 

You are exempt from the Client Security Fund fee if during the calendar year for which the fee is assessed you:

  • Served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States for a period of more than six months;
  • Retired from the practice of law by filing the notice, with the Clerk of the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford, required by Section 2-55 of the Connecticut Practice Book;
  • Resigned from the bar; or
  • Were disbarred

If during the calendar year for which the fee is assessed you do not engage in the practice of law in Connecticut as an occupation and receive less than $450 in legal fees or other compensation for services involving the practice of law in Connecticut, you are partially exempt from the client security fund fee and you are required to pay one-half of the fee amount.  To claim the full or partial exemption, file Form JD-GC-14E, Claim of Exemption.  You may download this form from the Judicial Branch website at www.jud.ct.gov.


16. Is a person who is an authorized house counsel under Section 2-15A of the Connecticut Practice Book subject to the Client Security Fund Fee?

Yes. See subparagraph (d)(3) of Section 2-15A.


17. Is a person who is authorized to provide legal services on a temporary basis in Connecticut under subparagraph (c)(3) or (4) of Rule 5.5 of the Connecticut Practice Book, Rules of Professional Conduct, subject to the Client Security Fund Fee?

No.


Effect on Other Documents: IP 2004(38), Attorney Occupational Tax and Client Security Fund Fee, has been 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 issued by DRS addresses frequently asked questions about a current position, policy, or practice, usually in a less technical question and answer format.


Forms and Publications: Forms and publications are available anytime by:

  • Internet: Visit the DRS website at www.ct.gov/DRS to download and print Connecticut tax forms; or
  • Telephone: Call 1-800-382-9463 (Connecticut calls outside the Greater Hartford calling area only) and select Option 2 from a touch-tone phone, or call 860-297-4753 (from anywhere).

For Further Information: Call DRS during business hours, Monday through Friday:

  • 1-800-382-9463 (Connecticut calls outside the Greater Hartford calling area only), or
  • 860-297-5962 (from anywhere).

TTY, TDD, and Text Telephone users only may transmit inquiries anytime by calling 860-297-4911.


Paperless Filing/Payment Methods (fast, secure, easy, free, and confidential):

  • For business returns, tax payments, and electronic bill payments: Use the Taxpayer Service Center (TSC) to file a variety of tax returns and extensions, as well as to pay taxes or bills over the Internet.  Visit the DRS website at www.ct.gov/DRS and choose the TSC logo or File/Register OnLine for a complete list of taxes that can be electronically filed and paid.
  • For income tax returns, extensions, estimated payments, and electronic bill payments: Use the Taxpayer Service Center (TSC) to file personal income tax returns and extensions, or to make estimated payments and electronic bill payments over the Internet. Visit the DRS website at www.ct.gov/DRS and choose the TSC logo or File/Register OnLine.

DRS E-News Service: Get connected to the latest news from DRS. Receive notification by email of changes to legislation, policies, and procedures. DRS E-News is easy to sign up for – visit www.ct.gov/DRS and follow the directions. Subscription services are available for employer’s withholding tax, TSC-BUS Online Filing Alerts, News – Press Releases, and Top 100 Delinquency List.


IP 2007(17)

Attorney Occupational Tax

Issued: 12/06/2007