Tax Law

Missouri Court of Appeals Affirms Tracfone Wireless Subject to City of Springfield’s License Tax

The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s finding that Tracfone Wireless was a “home service provider” under the Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act and owed the City of Springfield unpaid gross receipts license taxes. Tracfone argued that since it was not authorized to provide commercial mobile radio services in Missouri, it had no licensed service area. Accordingly, Tracfone argued that the City of Springfield cannot encompass a licensed service area upon which Tracfone was taxable. However, at oral argument, Tracfone admitted to being subject to the tax, but not on the basis used by the lower court. The Court of Appeals held that it is primarily concerned with the correctness of the result, not the route taken to reach it. In determining the amount of tax due, the Court of Appeals disagreed with the city’s contention that it should be based on activation zip code and upheld the lower court’s calculation based on customers’ credit card billing addresses within Springfield.


Full cite: Tracfone Wireless Inc. v. City of Springfield, Nos. SD34937 and SD34948 consolidated (Mo. Ct. App. filed July 17, 2018).