Connecticut found Dell does not have nexus due to how it services its customers’ computer repairs.

Dell Catalog Sales has a service repair contract with BancTec USA, Inc, an unrelated computer repair company. Under the contract BancTec will perform onsite repairs for Dell Catalog Sales consumers when computer issues can not be resolved by Dell Catalog’s technical support department over the phone and the customer has previously purchased a Dell service contract. Dell Catalog Sales does not have any physical presence in Connecticut. They sell computers by advertising through national media and they only accept orders in Texas placed by telephone, facsimile, mail, email, or through the internet. All Dell Catalog Sales deliveries are made through common carrier. The argument against Dell Catalog Sales was that BancTec was acting as a representative of Dell to service Dell computers. However, it was agreed that Dell had no direct control over BancTec operations. It was ruled that BancTec performed a minimal number of on-site calls based on the revenue allocations for all Dell customer service contracts. (Dell earned 90% and BancTec earned 10%) As a result, it was ruled Dell Catalog Sales does not have more than a slight presence in Connecticut and this is below the threshold necessary to establish nexus in the state. Dell Catalog Sales agrees that sales of service contracts by BancTec to Connecticut customers are taxable. (Connecticut Superior Court, Dell Catalog Sales v. Commissioner of Revenue Services., July 10, 2003.)

Posted on December 15, 2003