Friday, September 26, 2014
HMB's Jordan Goodman Quoted in Another Qui Tam Article
"Panel: Taxpayers Increasingly Squeezed Between Qui Tam and
Class Action Suits "
Excerpt from Tax Notes/State Tax Today,
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Unless more states follow the
example of Florida and Tennessee, which passed laws completely
removing taxes from false claims acts, taxpayers
will continue to face the threat of both qui tam
whistleblower suits and class action
lawsuits, a panel of practitioners said September 23.
The practitioners, speaking at the
Institute for Professionals in Taxation Sales Tax
Symposium in Washington, made their point by staging a
humorous skit involving a fictional taxpayer that found itself
subject to a qui tam suit for failing to pay sales tax on
shipping charges of its merchandise. Then, after consulting with
counsel, the retailer decided to start paying sales taxes on
shipping and to pass through these amounts on its invoices to
customers. The result: The retailer then found itself subject to a
class action lawsuit for paying and passing on the taxes. But while
their skit was humorous, the practitioners said, the issue could
not be more serious.
Unless lawmakers curb the practice
by taking tax issues completely out of qui tam, "it is
going to get worse and worse and worse," said Kranz, who was joined
on the panel by Carolynn Iafrate Kranz of Industry Sales Tax
Solutions LLC, Jordan
Goodman of Horwood Marcus &
Berk, and William Backstrom Jr. of Jones Walker
Goodman said perhaps the best
solution lies in the American Bar Association's model
statute. The statute would minimize consumer class action
exposure for telecommunications companies dealing with state
transaction tax refund claims. The state tax world has been looking
at it as a framework to help class actions brought against
retailers for the overcollection of state taxes. In recent years,
many of these retailers have been telecommunications companies.
"Talk to your legislators," Goodman
said. "Lobby to get [the model statute] passed."
To read more, please visit the
Tax Analysts website.
Copyright 2014 Tax Analysts.
Reprinted with permission.