Federal Courts and State Taxes: Some Jurisdictional Issues, with Special Attention to the Tax Injunction Act

Posted: 9 Dec 2012 Last revised: 28 Jan 2013

Peter D. Enrich

Northeastern University - School of Law

Date Written: December 6, 2012

Abstract

Typically, controversies concerning state and local taxes are litigated in the state courts, but, for a variety of reasons, one of the parties to such a controversy may prefer to litigate in the federal courts. This article offers a general introduction to the jurisdictional rules and principles governing federal jurisdiction over state/local tax disputes, and to the jurisdictional barriers and hurdles that keep many state/local tax controversies out of the federal courts. The article provides a detailed analysis of the limitations imposed on federal jurisdiction by the Tax Injunction Act, and explores the relationship between the Act and doctrines of comity, a topic brought into sharp relief by the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Levin v. Commerce Energy, Inc. It also seeks to place judicial interpretations of the Act in the broader context of federalism concerns.

Suggested Citation

Enrich, Peter D., Federal Courts and State Taxes: Some Jurisdictional Issues, with Special Attention to the Tax Injunction Act (December 6, 2012). Tax Lawyer, Vol. 65, No. 4, pp. 731-761, Summer 2012; Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 118-2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2185931

Peter D. Enrich (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

400 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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