Court Rules that Territorial Limits Apply to Gross Receipts Taxation


In Ford Motor Credit Company (“FMCC”) v. Chesterfield County (Va. S. Ct., Dkt. No. 092158, March 4, 2011), the Virginia Supreme Court reversed the Chesterfield County Circuit Court’s determination that all gross receipts of FMCC’s Richmond office were generated in Chesterfield County.  Because FMCC’s business of reviewing and closing consumer automobile loan applications and dealership financing packages in the Richmond office relied heavily on activities in numerous other FMCC offices, the Virginia Supreme Court found that the FMCC Richmond office “had only a receivable, not gross receipts.”  The court held that, since the gross receipts of the FMCC Richmond office were attributable to services performed outside Chesterfield County and attribution of the gross receipts among the various offices was “impractical or impossible to determine,” the tax assessment under Virginia’s Business, Professional and Occupation License should be calculated using payroll apportionment, and remanded the case for further proceedings.

The court’s ruling is relevant to limiting the revenues subject to telecom taxes imposed by some municipalities on communications services furnished within their municipal boundaries.

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