Here in Missouri, among the big tax issues that are present for businesses are sales tax issues. Sometimes, disputes can arise between a business and the state over such taxes. Such disputes can come up for all different sorts of businesses. As a case that is currently before the Missouri Supreme Court illustrates, this includes professional sports teams.
The case involves St. Louis’ former NFL team, the Rams. One of the issues in the case is how much of the price of the tickets the Rams sold when they were still in St. Louis should have been subject to the state’s sales tax.
The state argues that the entire price is subject to the tax, and that this means the Rams owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in back sales taxes.
The Rams, on the other hand, argue that the part of the ticket price that covered a city ticket tax should not have been subject to the sales tax. The team claims that putting the sales tax on this portion of the ticket price would be illegal double taxation. The team argues that, given this, its sales tax obligation was improperly assessed in the past and the state consequently owes it hundreds of thousands of dollars to make up for tax overpayments.
The matter was heard by the Administrative Hearing Commission, which decided in favor of the Rams. The state then appealed the matter to the state supreme court. Oral arguments in the case were recently heard by the court.
It will be interesting to see what the Missouri Supreme Court rules in the matter and what will ultimately happen with the case.
As this case illustrates, sales tax disputes can deal with some complex tax matters and can have significant stakes. Given this, a business might have all kinds of concerns when such a dispute comes up for it.
When dealing with a sales tax dispute, a company may want to discuss its concerns and situation with an experienced tax attorney to get guidance on the matter.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Rams ticket tax case goes before Missouri Supreme Court,” Mike Faulk, March 7, 2017