Tax Court MLM Cases

Missouri

Amway Corporation, Inc. v. Director of Revenue, 794 S.W.2d 666 (Mo. 1990) The Supreme Court of Missouri held that: (1) sale of distributorships constituted the sale of intangible personal property permitting taxation of the corporation under the Interstate Commerce Tax Act, § 101, 15 U.S.C.A. § 381 (the federal statute precluding imposition of net income tax on income derived from interstate commerce if person only solicits orders for sales of tangible personal property in state); and (2) Missouri’s imposition of apportioned net income tax on the corporation was consistent with Fourteenth Amendment requirement of due process.

Oregon

Timberland Sales, Inc. v. Employment Division, 530 P.2d 880, 20 Or.App. 192 (1975). The Oregon Court of Appeals held that Tupperware distributors performed services for remuneration and that Tupperware failed to prove that distributors were customarily engaged in independently established business of the same nature as those involved in the contract of service, and thus were “employees” for the purposes of Oregon’s unemployment compensation statute.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue concluded that Wrigley’s in-state business activities during had been sufficient to support imposition of a franchise tax. Wrigley objected to the assessment, maintaining that it was immune under 15 U.S.C. s 381(a), which prohibits a State from taxing the income of a corporation whose only business activities within the State consist of “solicitation of orders” for tangible goods, provided that the orders are sent outside the State for approval and the goods are delivered from out-of-state. Ultimately, the State Supreme Court disallowed the imposition of the tax.