[Chugalug] Ot: business attorney
cluon at geeklabs.com
Wed Mar 27 23:59:18 UTC 2013
A shy chugalurker just emailed me 2 questions:
"Where would you, and (briefly) why? And top 3 specific reasons TN is
on *your* suck list?
You know, if you're feeling bored and feel like imparting wisdom, and
I'd actually like to hear *your* answers to those questions. Because
you see things differently than most.... :)"
As a business owner, I have been attacked by the TDR (Tn Dept of Rev)
several times. My lawyer for the biggest one:
http://www.bakerdonelson.com/carl-e-hartley/ is one of the best in the
country, why? Because TN has one of the more punative department of
revenues for any state. TDR claimed the business (HTS Inc aka Chattanooga
Online) owed the state of TN > 500k. The audits were insane. They wanted
us to pay sales tax on vehicles, the building, and things we clearly had
already paid sales tax on. They lost, but it cost HTS a fortune to fight
it, approx $30k-50k (i didn't see the final bills).
TDR also hounded several of my customers, and I got involved. In one case,
a developer charged a few grand for a functional e-commerce website. TDR
"valued" the e-commerce website at the amount of annual revenue it brought
in.. and wanted sales tax, from the programmer, for the assayed value of
the website, not what he got paid. In the end, custom web development /
programming was seen as work for hire, not a taxable product.
In other case, a system was used for brokering truck loads (logistics)
and they came after him for a percentage of the fees he made, for the
estimated percentage of a trip across TN. For example, if the website
brokered a load from S. Georgia to St. Louis and the brokering fee was
$10 and the truck went though TN for 20% of the trip, they wanted taxes on
$2.00... Then they went after the value of the load.. Steve moved his
company and servers to Alabama.
In fact, if you wonder why some things in internet-land are not subject to
sales tax, thank Carl Hartley and others for fighting it.
Personally, I've now been hit up TWICE by the TDR for them claiming that
1099-misc income from doing programmming, networking and such, from income
data they get from the IRS, is supposedly 1099-div (dividends) income and
they hit me up for not filing it, with penalties. Bob Corkers office got
involved the second time and fixed it.
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