Tabet DiVito & Rothstein successfully represented the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) before the Illinois Supreme Court in a case argued by partner Gino DiVito. The Supreme Court’s decision in Hartney Fuel Oil Co. v. Hamer, 2013 IL 115130 is a landmark case that will determine the way that Illinois sales tax obligations are imposed on businesses. The decision provides for clear, fair, and consistent taxation.
The issue in the case was whether taxpayers could avoid paying sales tax within the RTA’s jurisdiction by creating “sales offices” in lower-tax downstate counties. The Illinois Supreme Court embraced the RTA’s interpretation of Illinois Retailers Occupation Tax statutes, finding that those statutes “were enacted to allow local jurisdictions to tax the composite of selling activities taking place within their jurisdictions,” so that tax obligations are imposed “in relation to services enjoyed by the retailer.”
Adopting the RTA’s arguments, the Supreme Court found that setting up “sales offices” to avoid tax was not “consistent with the statute or this court’s precedent.”
The Hartney Fuel Oil decision has significant consequences for how Illinois businesses meet their legal obligations under Illinois tax laws.
Tabet DiVito & Rothstein has extensive experience representing a diverse range of clients in complex tax litigation. Also representing the RTA’s interests before the Supreme Court were TDR attorneys Karina DeHayes, Daniel Konieczny, John Fitzgerald and Jack Barber.