As tax defense attorneys and former IRS prosecutors, we are very experienced in resolving Maryland and federal tax problems. One of the common issues we encounter involve the failure to pay Maryland sales and use tax.
I. Applicable Statutes and Case-Law
Section 11-102(a) of the Tax-General Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, imposes a sales and use tax on a retail sale in Maryland, or a use of tangible personal property or a taxable service in Maryland, unless otherwise provided. See MD. CODE ANN., TAX-GEN. § 11-102(a)(1)-(2). Section 11-601 of the Tax-General Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, provides for the payment of sale and use tax to the Comptroller of Maryland by buyers or vendors. See MD. CODE ANN., TAX-GEN., § 11-601(b)-(c) (West 2010).
If a vendor that is liable for the payment of sales and use tax, including interest and penalties, is a limited liability company (hereinafter, “LLC”), then personal liability for the same extends to all members of the LLC if there is no operating agreement, or to those individual who manage the business and affairs of the LLC if there is an operating agreement. Id. at § 11-601(d)(2). Under Tax-Gen. § 11-601(e), a member of an LLC is not considered to be managing the business and affairs of the company solely by doing one or more of the following: (a) consulting with or advising the individuals who manage the business and affairs of the company; (b) directing the management of the company in the same manner as a director of a corporation directs the management of a corporation; or (c) voting on any matter required to be voted on by the members of the company. See id. at § 11-601(e).
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