ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 9 denied a petition for review of a decision by the U.S. Tax Court that a distributor of imported cigarettes may not claim tax deductions for unpaid obligations under the national tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) (Vidal Suriel v. Commissioner of IRS, No. 14-11533, 11th Cir.).
AUSTIN, Texas - Two pieces of legislation that would provide tax credits to oil and gas operators conducting hydraulic fracturing were referred to the Texas House Committee on Ways and Means on March 23.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - An Indian tribe waived its objections to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s large employer mandate by not raising them during the rulemaking process, and its action runs afoul of the Anti-Injunction Act's (AIA) bar on tax challenges taxes, the government told a federal judge on March 19 (Northern Arapaho Tribe, et al. v. Sylvia Burwell, et al., No. 14-247, D. Wyo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30480).
DETROIT - The owner of two home health care companies on March 13 pleaded guilty in Michigan federal court for tax fraud as well as his involvement in a $12.6 million Medicare fraud scheme in which services were not provided to patients or obtained through illegal kickbacks (United States of America v. Mohammed Sadiq, et al., No. 12-cr-2027, E.D. Mich.).
CHICAGO - In granting a disability claimant's motion for entry of judgment, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on March 13 determined that the claimant's predisability earnings should be based on the claimant's regular earnings and not based on a tax year in which the claimant's salary was vastly different from other years (Carole Cheney v. Standard Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-4269, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30918).
EDINBURGH, Scotland - A United Kingdom energy firm on March 10 announced that it has filed a notice for international treaty arbitration in relation to a $1.6 billion Indian tax assessment.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 3 held that a retailers trade association lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Colorado tax law, which requires retailers to notify customers of uncollected sales tax on mail order and Internet purchases, is not barred by the Tax Injunction Act of 1937 (TIA) because the lawsuit does not "'restrain' the 'assessment, levy or collection' of Colorado's sales and use taxes" (Direct Marketing Association v. Barbara Brohl, No. 13-1032, U.S. Sup.; 2015 U.S. LEXIS 1738).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied a petition for writ of certiorari, leaving in place a California Supreme Court decision holding that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) does not preempt a California unfair competition law (UCL) lawsuit filed by the state alleging that a trucking company misclassifies drivers as independent contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes or provide workers' compensation (Pac Anchor Transportation, et al. v. People of the State of California, ex rel. Kamala D. Harris, etc., No. 14-491, U.S. Sup.).
DENVER - Papers used to roll cigars or cigarettes do not constitute "tobacco products" within the meaning of a state tobacco tax statute, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 12 (Creager Mercantile Co. Inc. v. Colorado Department of Revenue, et al., No. 13CA1580, Colo. App., Div. 2; 2015 Colo. App. LEXIS 190).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 29 upheld a successor liability decision, as well as a tax component award, in a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 suit brought by a restaurant worker who was subjected to a racist incident and then fired after complaining about it (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Northern Star Hospitality, Inc., d/b/a Sparx Restaurant, et al., No. 14-1660, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1465).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A former tax examiner failed to prove that his firing was retaliatory rather than the result of poor performance, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 9, upholding the trial court's ruling (Olen E. Gibson v. Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, No. 13-2817, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 348).
FLINT, Mich. - The sponsor of a top-hat plan violated the terms of the plan by failing to timely withhold Federal Income Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, a federal judge in Michigan ruled Jan. 6 in granting partial summary judgment to a class of retirees on their claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (John B. Davidson, et al. v. Henkel Corporation, et al., No. 12-cv-14103, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 722).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Jan. 6 declined to certify a class of municipalities suing a number of online travel companies for unpaid taxes, finding that Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 23(b)(1)(A) and 23(b)(3) have not been satisfied (Village of Bedford Park, et al. v. Expedia, Inc. [WA], et al., No. 13-5633, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1012).
CHICAGO - In the fifth appeal to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the appeals court on Dec. 24 dismissed a class action suit that alleged that a defined-contribution pension plan was partially terminated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Robert J. Matz v. Household International Tax Reduction Investment Plan, Nos. 14-1683, 14-2507, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 24448).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 8 heard arguments from a nonprofit retailer association and the Colorado state government over the legislative intent behind a Colorado law requiring out-of-state retailers to collect and provide information regarding state residents' purchase of items via the Internet and mail order (Direct Marketing Association v. Barbara Brohl, No. 13-1032, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court's grant of certiorari in King v. Burwell (No. 14-114, U.S. Sup.) warrants staying en banc review of a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) case challenging the availability of tax subsidies, plaintiffs told the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 10 (Jacqueline Halbig, et al. v. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al., No. 14-5018, D.C. Cir.).