By Christopher Chang

A New York State trial court has denied a motion filed by Sprint Nextel Corporation and its subsidiaries (Sprint) to dismiss a claim brought under the New York False Claims Act (FCA) alleging the company knowingly filed false tax returns and underpaid New York State sales taxes on fixed-rate monthly wireless telephone

The Multistate Tax Commission’s (MTC) Sales and Use Tax Uniformity Subcommittee is moving forward with a broad sales tax nexus model statute that includes click-through, affiliate and attributional nexus provisions. The Subcommittee also discussed a memorandum related to class actions and false claims acts. The nexus and class action projects are in the educational stage

False claims act (FCA) statutes allow private persons to bring civil actions against alleged wrongdoers on behalf of the government. FCAs and qui tam actions vary, but generally impose significant penalties for “knowingly” failing to comply with a state law. In this edition of A Pinch of SALT, Sutherland SALT’s Jack Trachtenberg, Jeff Friedman and

New York amended its False Claims Act (FCA) to allow whistleblowers to bring qui tam actions against taxpayers for false claims under New York tax law. If subject to the FCA, a taxpayer could be subject to civil penalties, treble damages, and reimbursement of the plaintiff’s costs including attorney fees. N.Y. STATE FIN. LAW § 189(1)(g), (3).

While the FCA has been in existence in New York since 2007, the recent amendment repeals a statutory preclusion for actions related to the tax law. Under the amendment, a taxpayer is subject to the FCA if it has at least $1 million in income or sales in a tax year and the whistleblower pleads damages in excess of $350,000. Id. § 189(4)(a). This dramatic change occurred quietly because the FCA is in the Finance Law rather than the Tax Law. Interestingly, Eric Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General, was a chief proponent of the amendment while a member of the New York Senate, and he now has enhanced authority to investigate and commence civil actions under the amended FCA. Id. § 190(1).Continue Reading Rise of the Tax “Snitch”: How Amendments to New York’s False Claims Act May Ensnare Taxpayers and Practitioners Alike