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Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

BUSINESS LAW: Rarely is the path from point A to point B a straight line, so our role in a business law practice is to find alternatives, devise workable strategies, and keep your business ideas, goals and objectives moving toward realization. ILG’s business attorneys help clients achieve their goals with respect to business formation, intellectual property, labor and employment, CAN-SPAM, copyright and trademark

COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

WA Legal Roundup: Division II

Qualcomm Inc. v. State of WA Dep’t of Revenue

Qualcomm appeals the trial court’s order for summary judgment in favor of the DOR dismissing Qualcomm’s tax refund claim.  Qualcomm argues that the DOR erroneously found that its truck tracking service was a “network telephone service” rather than being taxed at the buisness and operations tax service rate. 

Qualcomm sells a truck tracking service that requires each truck have mobile communication terminals, system software, and the service that allows the dispatch center to locate and communicate with the individual trucks.  A customer can sign up for one of two services, their standard or deluxe package.  Between 1998 and 2001 Qualcomm paid B&O taxes at a lower service rate than taxes assessed under a “network telephone service.”  After an audit, DOR determined that Qualcomm should have been paying at a higher tax rate because they ruled that the tracking portion of the service fits the definition of “network telephone service,” under a former RCW.  Qualcomm exhausted their venues with the Department and its appeals division, paid the taxes, and filed suit in superior court seeking a refund. 

The appeals court disagreed with Qualcomm’s tax argument and affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment order in favor of the DOR.  The statute states that ““network telephone service”means the providing by any person of access to a local telephone network… or the providing of telephonic, video, data, or similar communication or transmission for hire, via a local telephone network.. microwave, or similar communication or transmission system.”

The court began by a analyzing the plain meaning of the statute, where they determined it was necessary to conduct a primary purpose test to determine whether the primary purpose of the tracking service is data transmission or data processing.  The court acknowledges that the tracking system provides a range of options from finding the trucks location to freeform messages.  The court finds that if the basic truck location system qualifies as the “network telephone service,” the primary purpose of the system will be taxable data transmission.  The court found that because the tracking service provides a communication link between the truck and the mobile terminal and the dispatch center’s computer and tracking software all the data sent qualifies as “network telephone service.”

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