Normand v. Wal-mart.com

  • Court: Louisiana Supreme Court
  • Issue: Tax
  • Status: Pending

At issue is whether a local tax authority can interpret state tax law in a manner inconsistent with prior state tax agency interpretation to retroactively apply a Louisiana state law requiring "dealers" to collect and remit sales tax on third-party retailer marketplace platform sales. RILA members are concerned about the implications of the decision and the ability to obtain uniform state-wide relief if individual parishes or local counties can enforce their own contrary interpretations of state law.

RLC's Position:

(1) Following the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision in Wayfair v. South Dakota, the RLC and RILA support state legislatures enacting legislation to require all retailers (in-state and e-commerce retailers) and marketplaces to collect and remit state and local sales taxes on a prospective basis. However, we do not support individual local tax authorities developing new expansive interpretations of old state tax law and applying these interpretations retroactively, which is what is happening in this case when the 5th circuit ruled in favor of Newell Normand, Sheriff & Ex-Officio Tax Collector for the Parish of Jefferson.

(2) The Court of Appeal's decision allowing one local tax authority to develop a new unique local specific interpretation of state tax law raises the possibility of multiple local tax authorities developing differing interpretations and application of identical state tax law provisions threatening the uniform application of state tax law and creating uncertainty and confusion for the business community.

The RLC felt that it was vital to file an amici brief in this case because of the potential that the intermediate court's decision has to undermine the retail industry's efforts to build upon the success of the Wayfair decision. We will update you as the case develops. In the interim, if you have any questions on this case or if we may be of assistance in any other way, please let us know

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