The Alaska Superior Court denied the Alaska Department of Revenue’s (“DOR”) petition to enforce an administrative subpoena against Turo, Inc. (an out-of-state car sharing company), which sought all of the company’s business records from its inception in 2009 to 2017 in connection with an ongoing investigation regarding vehicle rental taxes. The court held that the subpoena was overly broad, lacked detail and encompassed too long a time period. Further, the court concluded, “the scope of the Tax Division’s authority to issue a subpoena is broader than the court’s ability to enforce the very same subpoena.” Although the court determined that Turo’s activities in Alaska – such as, allowing access to its website and mobile app in Alaska but not some other states, earning a percentage on each transaction, having users sign terms of agreement, and otherwise regulating transactions using its app in Alaska – were sufficient for personal jurisdiction, the court nevertheless lacked the authority to enforce the subpoena as enforcement under Alaska Stat. § 43.05.040 is only proper when the party that received the subpoena is an Alaska resident or was served the subpoena in Alaska. The court noted that the DOR might need to seek assistance from the courts in Delaware or California, where Turo is a resident. The court, however, reserved judgment on the issue of whether Turo is subject to Alaska’s Vehicle Rental Tax.

Alaska Dep’t of Revenue v. Turo, Inc., No. 1JU-18-580 CI (Alaska Sup. Ct., Jun 28, 2018).