State and Local Taxation

BPOL Tax and Internet Tax Freedom Act

BPOL Tax and Internet Tax…

On February 14, 2020 in Bd. of Supervisors v. Caxcom, LLC, Case no. CL-2019-5800, the Circuit Court of Fairfax County issued a letter opinion granting Cox Communications' motion for partial summary judgment and denying Fairfax County’s motion for summary judgment.

The issue concerns the application of the business, professional, and occupational license (BPOL) tax on the gross receipts of Cox Communications in light of the moratorium on taxes imposed on internet access by the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act. The issues were whether the BPOL tax is a tax covered by the Internet Tax Freedom Act and whether the burden shifts to Fairfax to show that the tax is grandfathered.

The Court determined that the BPOL tax is a tax covered by the Internet Tax Freedom Act, and not a fee levied for a specific and narrow purpose. On the second issue, the Court shifted the burden to Fairfax to prove that the BPOL tax falls within the protection of the grandfather clause of the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

Christian Tennant is a Virginia tax attorney and former employee of the Virginia Department of Taxation. Mr. Tennant regularly speaks and writes on Virginia taxation. In his private practice he advises and represents businesses and individuals on a range of tax matters.

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