Related link: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1039054470520
Citrix, which is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, is suing to get a refund of all the state corporate income taxes paid over the last several years. (Their lawyer also says that he is considering adding the IRS as a defendant to the suit, but it’s hard to see what effect that would have in a state court lawsuit.) The proposed legal theory is that information and communication companies have a Constitutional right to free speech, and taxing speech has a chilling effect on that freedom. Ergo, any company that helps process information or enable communication should not pay income tax.
According to the story, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Revenue laughed when asked to comment on the lawsuit, and said that the DOR is looking forward to the pending litigation. A law professor noted that “crackpots” usually file suits like these, and is suprised that a large company would make such a broad claim to tax exemption.
Attempts to get other companies to join the suit do not appear to be going all that well. The Miami Herald declined to participate, but it won’t say why. The suit currently includes their customers, who must “opt out” to refrain from participating.
According to Citrix’s attorney, the lawsuit is not related to a dispute with the state over a $90,000 R&D tax credit, and that the company doesn’t “want this [lawsuit] to be seen as big business trying to save money.”