The King County Superior Court in Washington dismissed a class action lawsuit which alleged that Kroger, Whole Foods, Safeway, and Town & Country Markets improperly collected sales tax on exempt items. In dismissing the claim, the court found that the sales tax at issue is an excise tax. Further, the court found that the exclusive

The Florida District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s certification of a class in a sales tax refund claim because the class was not “ascertainable.” Plaintiff filed suit against BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. (“BJ’s”) alleging that BJ’s thirty-one Florida stores improperly imposed sales tax on the full, undiscounted price of products purchased with a

By Nicole Boutros and Andrew Appleby

A federal court dismissed a class action lawsuit against Whole Foods, finding the consumers lacked standing because they could not demonstrate they purchased any of the mislabeled foods for which they claimed Whole Foods systemically overcharged. The consumers alleged that Whole Foods engaged in deceptive trade practices and had

By Stephen Burroughs and Amy Nogid

The Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County, rejected the Department of Revenue’s request that rental car companies be granted only prospective relief from the court’s earlier decision which declared the car rental charge illegal. The voter-approved surcharge was enacted for the Arizona Tourism and Sports Authority to finance the

By Sahang-Hee Hahn and Pilar Mata

The California Supreme Court held that taxpayers may file a class action lawsuit to claim a refund of local telephone user taxes (TUT) paid to the City of Long Beach. The taxpayer class alleged that the City unlawfully collected the TUT on services that were determined to be nontaxable

By Jessica Kerner and Timothy Gustafson

The Georgia Court of Appeals dismissed a customer class action lawsuit seeking a sales tax refund from a utility company, holding that the applicable statutory provisions for claiming a refund of sales taxes did not authorize the customers to bring a direct refund cause of action against the seller.

In the latest edition of A Pinch of SALT, Carley Roberts, Jack Trachtenberg and Tim Gustafson discuss the significant increase in third-party enforcement actions, including consumer class actions and qui tam actions involving state tax questions, which is forcing corporate taxpayers to assess unfamiliar and possibly conflicting risks in connection with their compliance obligations.