JEFFERSON CITY -One of the nation's largest telecommunications companies has run afowl with Missouri's Department of Revenue.
On April 4, AT&T's sales tax license was revoked in over 200 municipalities in the state, according to the Department of Revenue website. Operating without a valid sales tax license is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $500 for the first day of operation and $100 for each succeeding day, with a maximum fine of $10,000, according to Revenue Department documents.
Kerry Hibbs, a spokesman for AT&T, said he was unaware of the revocation of his company's license. Hibbs mentioned a previous tax issue AT&T had settled with over 300 Missouri municipalities last year, but he said he was unsure if the two issues were related.
While the Revenue Department is prohibited by law from commenting on a specific business's taxes, Ted Farnen, a spokesman for the department, said that in general a business will be notified several times of delinquent taxes before a license will be revoked. If the business then continues to operate without a valid license, the Revenue Department's Criminal Investigation unit will be notified and fines can be levied. One fine would be registered per company, he said, regardless of how many locations in which it operates.
Farnen said in this case the sales tax is based on where customers live, rather than the location of specific AT&T stores. As of Monday morning, 17 days after AT&T had its license revoked, the company was still billing customers in Missouri for sales taxes.
AT&T Global Network Services, LLC., as the company is listed on the Revenue Department's website, was organized in Delaware, according to documents on file with the Secretary of State's office.