UPDATE: AT&T sales tax license reinstated

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | 5:36 p.m. CDT; updated 8:29 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 29, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — A spokesman for AT&T said the company's sales tax license has been reinstated by the state of Missouri.

Kerry Hibbs, the spokesman for AT&T, said formatting issues in filing the company's taxes led to the revocation of the telecommunication giant's ability to collect sales tax in the state. The issue is being resolved, Hibbs said, and the Department of Revenue has reinstated the company's license.

As previously reported, the Revenue Department revoked AT&T's sales tax license in over 200 municipalities in Missouri on April 9. Ted Farnen, the department spokesman, said he was legally prohibited from discussing an individual company's tax records but the issue with AT&T had to do with where customers were located, not specific AT&T stores.

Hibbs said AT&T had paid its taxes on time but the problem resulted from how the company reported its district data. The format in which AT&T submitted the payment information prevented the Revenue Department from knowing which districts the payments were from, he said.

AT&T appreciates "the cooperation of state officials, and we are in the process of filing amended returns and clearing up any outstanding balances," Hibbs said in an e-mail. He added that the Revenue Department had said they would remove the telecommunications provider from a website featuring companies that have not paid taxes on Monday.

Businesses operating without a sales tax license in Missouri could face fines of $500 for the first day and $100 for each succeeding day with a maximum fine of $10,000, according to Revenue Department documents.

Hibbs said as far as he knows, AT&T will not be fined for operating during the period of license revocation and this issue had "no impact on customer service."

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