Court Says LLC Member Not Doing Business In California

2 Replies

I received an email about this today.  Here is what was in the email:

A California Superior Court has ruled that an out-of-state corporation whose
only connection with California was its 0.02% ownership interest in a LLC was
not "doing business" in California and therefore was entitled to a refund of the
$800 annual franchise tax, interest, and penalties imposed by the FTB. (Swart
Enterprises, Inc. v. California Franchise Tax Board, Fresno Superior Court, No.
13CECG02171, Order on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, November 14, 2014)

The court found that because Swart's interest in the LLC was an investment
interest and Swart had no ability or right to manage the affairs of the LLC,
Swart's interest was not comparable to a general partnership interest and did
not give rise to doing business in California.

If you have not filed a claim for refund for non-California corporations or LLCs
who have filed and paid tax to California based on their investment in a
California LLC, we suggest you do so now before the statute of limitations

The FTB will most likely appeal the case, but by filing the protective claim you
reserve the right to a refund should Swart prevail in the end.

Does anyone care to speculate how this would apply to other scenarios where one was a minority partner without sole controlling interest in California entities OR to entities that just had a place of business in California where the entity was formed in another state?  Hopefully California overreaching will end up biting them in the a$$ on this.

If anyone goes to the trouble of requesting a refund for both the taxes and/or their money spent filing a bs return please let me know.  I am too busy to pursue it, but it would be nice to get this money back....even if it takes a long time to do.  

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