New Cingular sues city to recover 500000

first_imgA wireless telecommunications affiliate of AT&T has sued the city of Vancouver to recover over $500,000 that the city improperly collected in taxes from the company’s customers between 2005 and 2010.The city intends to fight the repayment demand, said Brent Boger, a Vancouver assistant city attorney.The lawsuit filed by New Cingular Wireless is one of many being filed across the state and nation over tax overcharges that the company attributes to its own coding error. Because of the error, cities and states taxed New Cingular customers not only on telephone services, which is allowed, but also on internet access, according to the lawsuit. State and federal law prohibits taxation of internet access, the suit says.Customers in Washington and 29 other jurisdictions filed suits against AT&T Mobility Services and its affiliates, including New Cingular, to recover payments from the improper tax. The cases were consolidated into a single case in which New Cingular agreed to seek refunds from cities and counties that collected the tax.Vancouver was asked to repay the tax money in 2010 but has refused to return the funds, the lawsuit says. Boger said the city will raise numerous legal defenses, including whether the lawsuit was filed after expiration of the statute of limitations.Vancouver isn’t alone in resisting payment. AT&T spokesman Marty Richter said Friday that the telecommunications company is in the process of filing lawsuits against Washington cities that have not responded to the repayment demand or that have refused to pay. Similar actions are taking place throughout the country.last_img

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