DirecTV hit with $15M tax bill in South Carolina

DirecTV rooftop satellite dish

A South Carolina appeals court has upheld a ruling (PDF) that DirecTV owes the state $15 million in back taxes. 

The satellite TV operator, now owned by AT&T, had disputed its state tax bill from 2006-2008, arguing that it does not owe nearly $6 million paid for taxes on subscriber fees. 

Not only have the state courts refused to reimburse DirecTV that money, the appeals court also upheld a 2015 administrative law judge’s ruling that the operator owes $6.65 million on subscriber-fee taxes from the period of 2009-2011. On top of that, it was upheld that DirecTV owes another $1.66 million in penalties for under-reporting its taxes during the latter two-year period. 

Oh, and there’s also an interest charge of $653,425.

DirecTV must now decide whether to pay the bill or appeal to the state supreme court. 

“We are in the process of reviewing the decision and considering our options,” a DirectTV spokeswoman told the local Charleston Post and Courier last week. 

DirecTV argued that its income was primarily derived from content development, marketing, broadcast operations and customer service, which should result in a different approach to calculating its income for tax purposes.