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Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the physical presence nexus requirement for state sales and use taxes in South Dakota v. Wayfair, 138 S. Ct. 2080 (2018), taxpayers and practitioners have questioned the extent to which the Court’s holding applies to locally administered sales and use taxes.  This question is often rooted in the Court’s statement in Wayfair that “States may not impose undue burdens on interstate commerce” and its reference to Pike v.…

A Colorado district court held that Target Brands, Inc. (“TBI”), a subsidiary intangible holding company of Target Corporation (“Target”), had economic nexus with Colorado but the Department of Revenue (the “Department”) failed to use a reasonable alternative apportionment method when it assessed nearly $20 million in state corporate income tax for tax years 1999 through 2009 (the “Tax Years at Issue”). The case, Target Brands Inc. v. Department of Revenue, 2015CV33831, decided by the District Court of the City and County of Denver on January 27, 2017, highlights yet another example of aggressive economic nexus and alterative apportionment arguments of state revenue agencies to expand their revenue base by capturing income from out-of-state intangible holding companies.

After years of litigation, injunctions, and a U.S. Supreme Court decision, the controversy between Data & Marketing Association (“DMA”) (formerly Direct Marketing Association) and the State of Colorado has come to a conclusion. On February 22, 2017, DMA and the Colorado Department of Revenue (the “Department”) entered into an agreement (the “Settlement Agreement”) resolving the dispute in Direct Mktg. Ass’n v. Colo. Dep’t of Revenue, Colo. Dist. Ct., No. 13-CV-34855, which involved a challenge to the Colorado use tax reporting requirements enacted in 2010.  (The Settlement Agreement is available at http://thedma.org/wp-content/uploads/DMA-Colorado-Executed-Settlement-Agreement.pdf.)  Under the Settlement Agreement, the Department agrees that compliance with those use tax reporting requirements will not be required until July 1, 2017 and agrees to waive any and all penalties for non-collecting retailers who failed to comply with the use tax reporting requirements prior to July 1, 2017.  So on July 1, 2017, a new day of use tax notification and reporting enforcement will dawn in Colorado – and it would not be surprising if other states follow suit.