Download all Court Cases [146 pages, 553 KB]
The Los Angeles Municipal Code was amended to provide for the following on January 1, 2002.
The term "gross receipts" as used in this article shall not include any amount received from or charged to any person which is a related entity to the taxpayer. A person is a related entity to a taxpayer if 80% or more of the ownership interests in both value and voting power of said person and the taxpayer are held, directly or indirectly, by the same person or persons. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any amount received from or charged to any person which is a related entity to a taxpayer shall be included in “gross receipts” when said amount is compensation for activities, including, but not limited to, selling, renting and service, performed by the taxpayer for any person which is not a related entity to the taxpayer.
These court cases continue to be used as they define issues not only for related companies but also for other companies doing business in the City of Los Angeles.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES v. SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC. [5 pages, 64 KB]
(1975) 46 Cal. App. 3d 950
The taxpayer provides billing services and collections for its subsidiaries, and provides personnel to its subsidiaries. The subsidiaries reimburse the taxpayer for the salaries of the persons who serve the subsidiaries. The court ruled that "the entire payroll, regardless of what form of or for when work was performed" was the taxpayer's own obligation, and reimbursement of the salaries were taxable gross receipts.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES v. CLINTON MERCHANDISING CORPORATION [8 pages, 72 KB](1962) 58 Cal. 2d 675
The court affirmed City of Los Angeles' position that taxpayer providing merchandise to affiliates was subject to taxation pursuant to LAMC Section 21.42 (Wholesale) rather than LAMC Section 21.47 (Commission Brokers).
A secondary issue, in regards to LAMC Section 21.49 (Professions / Occupations) activity, decided by the court was that the taxpayer was subject to taxation pursuant to Section 21.190 (Professions/Occupations) only for revenue received for services it rendered to its affiliates. The court held that receipts received from its affiliates as an agent of the affiliates were not subject to taxation.
REXALL DRUG COMPANY v. PETERSON [2 pages, 54 KB](1952) 113 Cal. App. 2d 528
The taxpayer provided administrative services for its subsidiaries and charged each subsidiary its proportionate cost. The court rejected the taxpayer's claim that receipts received for the administrative services provided on a nonprofit basis were not subject to taxation by the City of Los Angeles.
The court was not persuaded by the taxpayer's following arguments that: (a) a business may not be taxed unless it is conducted for a profit or for livelihood; (b) Rexall was not an independent contractor.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES v. CENTEX TELEMANAGEMENT, INC. [6 pages, 65 KB](1994) 29 Cal. App. 4th 1384
Neither the City nor the taxpayer can bring a lawsuit until all administrative remedies have been exhausted per the provisions of LAMC Section 21.16 (Assessment-Administrative Remedy). The Statute of Limitation is tolled and no litigation may be instituted until the administrative procedures are exhausted.
Claims Against The Application of the LAMC
HOSPITAL MEDICAL COLLECTIONS, INC. v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES [9 pages, 75 KB](1976) 65 Cal. App. 3d 46
The court found that the taxpayers, which were collection agencies, were taxable on the entire gross receipts earned, including amounts paid as commissions to independent collection contractors.
ALCO PLATING CORP. v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES [5 pages, 62 KB](1974) 39 Cal. App. 948
The City may tax at different rates businesses primarily engaged in manufacturing and selling, and businesses primarily engaged in providing a service.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES v. W.J. TANNAHILL, et al [5 pages, 64 KB](1951) 105 Cal. App. 2d 541
The City can adopt a rational classification, like LAMC Section 21.195 (Trucking / Hauling), which affects equally all persons of the same class; it is lawful to tax trucks operated for hire based upon their unladen weights and amount of use.
Constitutionality of the Tax
TIMES MIRROR COMPANY ET AL v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES [20 pages, 110 KB](1987) 192 Cal. App. 3d 170
The City of Los Angeles Business Tax levied against newspaper companies was Constitutional; the First Amendment does not exempt newspapers from generally applicable economic regulations and taxes.
Failure to Pay Business Tax
DAVID B. EDWARDS v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES [6 pages, 96 KB](1941) 48 Cal. App. 2d 62
The taxpayer was subject to taxation pursuant to LAMC Section 21.43 (Hotel, Apartment, etc.) for the rental of apartments. Additionally, the taxpayer was subject to prosecution for failure to pay the business tax.
PROGRAMMING-ENTERPRISES, INC, v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES [9 pages, 104 KB](1989) 215 Cal. App. 3d 281
The taxpayer employment agency argued that monies received to pay the salaries of independent contractors should not be taxable gross receipts. The court ruled in favor of the City of Los Angeles on three issues.
First, taxpayer's claim that it acted as the agent of an independent contractor and, therefore, the exemption found in LAMC Section 21.49 (c)(6) (Professions / Occupations) should apply to a percentage of taxpayer's gross receipts was rejected. The gross receipts were not received by the taxpayer on behalf of another.
Second, the taxpayer's gross receipts for work performed by independent contractors were found not to be subject to apportionment given that the taxpayer had neither property nor employees located outside the city.
Third, the taxpayer's gross receipts derived from work performed by independent contractors was not subject to taxation pursuant to LAMC Section 21.48 (Miscellaneous Services-Temporary Help Agency) since the taxpayer was not supplying its own employees to others on a temporary basis.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES v. H.R. SHERWOOD et al [6 pages, 65 KB](1978) 85 Cal. App. 3d 347
The court rejected the taxpayer's contention that it operated as an agent, and determined it to be an independent contractor whose gross receipts were taxable. Furthermore, it was determined that certain receipts were not collected by the taxpayer on behalf of another as claimed and that said receipts were subject to taxation.
INDEPENDENT CASTING-TELEVISION, INC. v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES [7 pages, 69 KB](1975) 49 Cal. App. 3d 502
Plaintiff casting agency sued for a tax refund, claiming that gross receipts did not include monies it received to pay the extras' salaries. The court ruled that the taxpayer was not due a refund of taxes paid since it determined that the taxpayer was the employer of extras placed with producers. It was held that taxpayer was not acting in the capacity of agent and was subject to tax on its reimbursed wages.
AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES, LTD. v. FRANCHISE TAX BOARD [11 pages, 84 KB](1970) 3 Cal. App. 3d 587
The court ruled that a taxpayer's actions as an independent contractor on behalf of another party cannot be considered acts of the other party, and the taxpayer's gross receipts include amounts earned as an independent contractor.
"In Lieu" Tax or Gross Premium Tax
CALIFORNIA FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION et al., v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES [9 pages, 74 KB](1995) 50 Cal. 3d 402
All Savings and Loan Associations are exempt from the City's business tax since they pay an "in lieu" tax to the State of California and have a financial institution status.
MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NEW YORK v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES [22 pages, 122 KB](1990) 50 Cal. 3d 402
Insurance companies that pay the "in lieu" tax or the gross premiums tax are exempt from paying the city’s business tax.
Professional License vs. Municipal Taxation
FRANKLIN v. PETERSON [5 pages, 64 KB](1948) 87 Cal. App. 2d 727
The issuance of a professional license by the State of California does not carry with it an exemption from municipal taxation. The City's business tax ordinance does not attempt to regulate the professions, business or occupations that are subject to tax. It provides only for a license for revenue purposes, and is not a regulatory measure affecting the business or profession so taxed, and thus is constitutional.
Proration of the Annual Minimum Business Tax
CITY OF SAN JOSE v. RUTHROFF & ENGLEKIRK CONSULTING STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS, INC. [6 pages, 94 KB](1982) 131 Cal. App. 3d 462
The Court of Appeals held that a minimum annual city business tax must be prorated to reflect the amount of business actually conducted within the taxing city. Out-of-city taxpayers shall remit a business tax which reflects the amount of business actually conducted within the City of Los Angeles.