Bank Not Entitled to Illinois Sales Tax Refund

The Illinois Department of Revenue determined that a bank that financed purchases for retailers was not entitled to a refund of Illinois sales tax paid related to debts it wrote off as bad for federal tax purposes because the bank did not remit any of the sales tax to the department. Retailers are entitled to a bad debt credit on sales tax remitted to the department to the extent that the retailer paid tax on a portion of the sales price that it did not collect from a customer. The bank started or acquired customer charge accounts and receivables from retailers under nonrecourse agreements. When a customer financed a purchase using an account, the bank would pay the retailer the amount that the customer financed, which included some of or the entire purchase price and the sales tax that the purchaser owed on the purchase. When some customers defaulted on their debts to the bank, the bank sought a refund for the amount of sales tax that was not paid by the defaulting customers. The retailers remitted the sales tax to the department, not the bank. Therefore, the bank was not entitled to a refund of the sales tax. (Administrative Hearing Decision No. ST 12-19, Illinois Department of Revenue, December 11, 2012)

Posted on February 25, 2013