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Noonan’s Notes Blog is written by a team of Hodgson Russ tax attorneys led by the blog’s namesake, Tim Noonan. Noonan’s Notes Blog regularly provides analysis of and commentary on developments in the world of New York and multistate tax law. Noonan's Notes Blog is a winner of CreditDonkey's Best Tax Blogs Award 2017.

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In the “Boring But Important” Category . . .

By on

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently held that UPS violated an agreement it had signed with the state of New York, as well as New York law, when it transported unstamped, untaxed cigarettes from and between Native American reservations for a number of shippers and awarded the state compensatory and monetary damages, with what could mean up to $872 million.

The case concerns non-tribal member UPS, which allegedly transported cigarettes from and between New York State Native American reservations for a number of shippers. The State of New York and the City of New York asserted that in transporting unstamped, untaxed cigarettes, UPS violated an Assurance of Discontinuance it signed with the state in 2005, as well as New York law, New York Public Health Law, the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act, the Contraband Cigarettes Trafficking Act and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

UPS disputed it ever violated its obligations or knowingly transported unstamped cigarettes from or between Native American reservations to unauthorized recipients.

Even so, the Court found that UPS violated its obligations in a number of respects and knowingly transported cigarettes from and between Native American reservations for all but one of the shippers. Therefore, it rejected UPS’s arguments against any liability. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan could determine the exact award as soon as this month.

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