Massachusetts cannot collect taxes from N.H. tire retailer, court says
The unanimous ruling found the Department of Revenue, which initiated the case in 2003 while Mitt Romney was governor, overreached in its interpretation of state law and failed to prove the tires sold by Town Fair Tire Centers were actually used in Massachusetts.
The revenue department had tried to collect $109,000 in sales taxes from the Connecticut-based retailer after one of its auditors found 313 invoices in the New Hampshire stores listed Massachusetts addresses for buyers. The state argued it was owed the taxes because those customers would have been charged in Massachusetts.
But the court's ruling said state law does not require vendors to collect taxes unless and until "the storage, use or consumption of tangible personal property occurs in Massachusetts, either at the time of sale or at some later point." The state never produced evidence showing the tires were used in Massachusetts.