Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cross Border Tax Grab Fails Again

It appears there are still some common sense jurists still presiding in the People's Republic of Taxachusetts.

Earlier today the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled the Commonwealth could not force New Hampshire retailers to collect Massachusetts sales tax on tires sold in New Hampshire to Massachusetts residents.

The court's decision was another shot fired in a long standing 'feud' between the two states, one specifically dealing with sales taxes. Massachusetts has a 6.25% sales tax while New Hampshire has none. The recently raised sales tax (from 5% to 6.25%) has goaded even more Bay Staters to cross the border into New Hampshire when they make purchases of higher priced goods to avoid paying the tax.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue filed suit against Town Fair Tire, demanding the new Hampshire outlets collect Massachusetts sales tax on all sales to Massachusetts residents. Both Town Fair Tire and the State of New Hampshire responded, with the state legislature passing legislation making it illegal for other states to force New Hampshire retailers to collect taxes on sales to their residents.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue's argument before the court used as evidence 313 sales invoices from the 'offending' Town Fair Tire outlets as proof of tax liability. But the court, in its wisdom, said the invoices “weren't enough under state law to presume the tires were used in Massachusetts.”

The text of the court's decision, minus footnotes and case citations, can be seen at the first link above (scroll down).

No comments: