BSW Tax Blog

Federal and Louisiana Taxes

Tax Collector's Attorney's Fee in Excess of Statutory 10% of Tax, Interest, and Penalty?

Nicole F. Gould, M.B.A., J.D.
State and Local Tax Controversy

Of Counsel—Baton Rouge
Phone:
225.381.3165 nicole.gould@bswllp.com

In Livingston Parish School Board, Through its Sales and Use Tax Division v. Highway 43, LLC, et al, 2012-0103 (La. App. 1st Cir., 5/23/2012) the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal has suggested in dicta that the tax collector’s cause of action for reimbursement of attorney’s fees may be in excess of 10% of the tax, penalty and interest.  La. R.S. 47.337.13.1 provides for the tax collector’s reimbursement of attorney’s fees for any collection action of final and due sales taxes in the amount of 10% of the tax, interest and panalty; however, the fees are to be reviewed for reasonableness.  The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal stated that,

“We believe that the attorney fees can be higher or lower than ten percent if that would be reasonable in the instant case.”

However, this is only dicta.  The appellate court made judgment on other issues we are all well-versed in:  the local sales tax collector may proceed in district court for an injuction against the taxpayer’s pursuit of business when the taxes assessed are “due and final”, that any assessed taxes not appealled become “due and final”, and the taxpayer’s failure to file any defense prior to hearing is a bar to asserting any defenses at the hearing.  To read the full opinion, click here:  http://www.la-fcca.org/opiniongrid/opinionpdf/2012%20CA%200103%20Decision%20Appeal.pdf

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: