Chapter 11 May Help Save Sales Tax Permits for Distressed Businesses

by Pullman & Comley, LLC

Effective July 1, 2013, Connecticut passed a new law providing that the State must refuse to issue or renew a sales tax permit to any person or entity that owes taxes to the state until the taxes are paid or satisfactory arrangements are made for their payment. P.A. 13-150.  Whether this new law would be enforceable if the delinquent taxpayer files a case under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code has not been tested in the Connecticut bankruptcy courts, but case authority from other jurisdictions suggests that it may be rendered ineffective when bankruptcy intervenes.

There are two sections of the Bankruptcy Code that would arguably apply to prevent the State from refusing to issue or renew a sales tax permit because of unpaid taxes.  When a bankruptcy is filed, section 362(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code imposes an automatic stay, applicable to all entities, including the government, of any action or proceeding designed to recover a claim against the debtor that arose before the bankruptcy was filed.  Such a claim would, of course, include unpaid taxes.  Therefore, the refusal to issue or renew a sales tax permit until delinquent taxes are paid can be construed as an action or proceeding to recover a claim against the debtor.

The second provision that would arguably apply to this situation is section 525(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, which provides, in pertinent part, that the government may “not deny, revoke, suspend or refuse to renew a license, permit…or other similar grant to, condition such a grant to, [or] discriminate with respect to such grant against…, a person that is or has been a debtor [under the Bankruptcy Code]…solely because such bankrupt or debtor is or has been a debtor [under the Bankruptcy Code]…or has not paid a debt that is dischargeable [in the bankruptcy case]….”

The theory for using section 525(a) to prevent the State from denying the issuance or renewal of a sales tax permit for unpaid taxes is that although most taxes, including sales taxes, are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code allows the debtor to pay them over a period of five years from the date on which the bankruptcy is filed; and, a debtor under Chapter 11 is prohibited by law from making any payments on account of a claim that arose before the Chapter 11 was filed.  Thus, a debtor in Chapter 11 would be legally prohibited from making payment on account of the particular unpaid taxes that would be holding up the issuance or renewal of a sales tax permit.

In analogous contexts, sections 362(a)(1) and 525(a), either singly or in combination, have been utilized by federal courts in other jurisdictions to prevent a state from withholding other types of licenses or permits because of non-payment of taxes.  For example, courts have enjoined the State from refusing to renew or issue a liquor license, casino license and contractor’s license to the debtor for its non-payment of taxes.  Thus, there is strong statutory support and case law precedent for achieving the same result in Chapter 11 for a sales tax permit that might otherwise be lost for non-payment of taxes.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Pullman & Comley, LLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Pullman & Comley, LLC

Pullman & Comley, LLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.