Cases & Deals

Taxpayer's Federation of Illinois and Illinois Retail Merchants Association file amici curiae brief before the Illinois Supreme Court involving proper situs for retailer tax liability

Clients Taxpayers Federation of Illinois Inc. and Illinois Retail Merchants Association

In June 2013, Jones Day filed an amici curiae brief before the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of the Taxpayer's Federation of Illinois and Illinois Retail Merchants Association, urging the Court to affirm the Illinois appellate court's ruling that the proper situs for retailer tax liability arising under the Home Rule County Retailers' Occupation Tax Law, the Home Rule Municipal Retailers' Occupation Tax Act, and the Regional Transportation Authority Act is the location of purchase order acceptance. The brief stressed the importance of certainty and transparency in tax laws for retail taxpayers within Illinois, like Hartney Fuel Oil Co. The brief also emphasized that changes in tax laws and debates about tax policy should occur in the legislature, and not in the courts.

On November 21, 2013, the Court issued its decision, abating the tax liability of Hartney Fuel Oil Co. and holding that the plain language of the regulations established a bright-line test. The Court also held, however, that the regulations were in conflict with the purpose of the tax statutes as enacted by the General Assembly, and invalidated the regulations. The Court agreed with and mentioned Jones Day's amici brief, stating that "[i]t is not incumbent upon this court to decide the best tax policy," and that arguments on tax policy are "well suited for the General Assembly."

Hartney Fuel Oil Co. v. Hamer, Nos. 115130, 115131 cons. (Ill. Nov. 21, 2013)

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