Atlantic Technology Cries Foul Over Wash. State Tax
Boston-area loudspeaker manufacturer Atlantic Technology said it is being dunned for a “business & occupation” tax by the state of Washington “even though the company has no offices, facilities, or employees in that state,” said Atlantic.
Atlantic’s only connections to Washington, it said, are independently-owned sales agencies and retail stores who buy Atlantic’s products for resale. Although those dealers and reps pay business taxes to Washington, the state says their “sales connections” with Atlantic constitute a “nexus of business” in the state that justifies the application of their business and occupation tax, according to the manufacturer.
“This is a clear case of taxation without representation,” said Atlantic President Peter Tribeman. “We are being asked to contribute money to a state in which we have no voice and will receive none of the civic benefits that tax dollars are used for. [It is] a practice that any sixth grade history student could tell you is a contradiction with the most basic American ideals. While paying this tax to one state won’t break the bank, we have dealers and sales reps in all 50 states. The specter of paying business taxes to all these states could quickly close our doors.”
Atlantic said Florida and Pennsylvania “have also begun to levee taxes on companies that have no facilities in their states, claiming that if companies sell goods to a dealer in their state, they have a legal presence and should pay a business tax.”
Although Atlantic explained to the state that it had no employees, offices, warehouses or service facilities in Washington, its arguments have not been accepted. The state is assessing Atlantic Technology over $3,500 with growing interest and penalties and Atlantic said the state is “threatening a lien on anything they can attach. For now, that is impossible because any Atlantic goods in that state are the property of our dealers. They know this but have said they will proceed with filing liens in [Atlantic’s home] state of Massachusetts.”