Federally Licensed Indian Trader Assessed State Tobacco and Income Taxes in New York State

Here is the opinion in Attea v. State Tax Tribunal. An excerpt:

As noted by respondent Commissioner of Taxation and Finance, petitioner’s licenses authorized him to sell cigarettes and tobacco products only to Native Americans at the St. Regis and Tuscarora Indian Reservations. Nevertheless, while petitioner produced documents indicating that he imported and shipped tobacco products to Indian reservations, these records included no books of original entry for his business, such as sales journals, general ledgers, balance sheets, expense receipts, income statements or bank statements. In light of these deficiencies, the Tribunal was again unable to substantiate that the sales made by petitioner actually took place on reservations and were made to qualified tribal members-as required by petitioner’s Indian trader licenses-or to formulate any allocation of what percentage of petitioner’s sales might be tax exempt. Accordingly, as in the prior proceeding, we conclude that petitioner failed to meet his “heavy burden of demonstrating by clear and convincing evidence that [his] business traded exclusively with Native Americans and maintained no presence in this State,” and we will not disturb the Tribunal’s determination….