The Louisiana Court of Appeal, First Circuit held that a taxpayer was not entitled to a refund of franchise tax under an interpretation of the franchise tax law by the Department of Revenue that was struck down in Utelcom, Inc. v. Bridges, 2010-0654 (La. App. 1 Cir. 9/12/2011); 77 So. 3d 39. In Bannister, the court relied on La. R.S. 47:1621(F) finding that such section precluded the Department from issuing a refund because the tax was paid as a result of a “mistake of law arising from the misinterpretation by the secretary of the provisions of any law or of the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.” Instead, the taxpayer could only seek to recover franchise tax paid under a mistaken interpretation of law by the Department by (1) paying the tax under protest (and filing a petition to recover the payment under protest), or (2) seeking recovery from the Louisiana Legislature under the claim against the state procedure. (Bannister Properties, Inc. v. State of Louisiana, Dkt. No. 2018-0030 (La. App. 1 Cir. 11/02/2018)).
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Louisiana Court Limits Availability of Refund Procedure
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