Website launched to help non-city residents get St. Louis Earnings Tax refunds
Attorneys for plaintiffs in a proposed class-action lawsuit against the City of St. Louis and Gregory F.X. Daly, the City’s Collector of Revenue, have launched a new website (stlrefund.com) providing guidance to nonresidents on how to protest and seek refunds of their earnings taxes for days spent teleworking during the pandemic.
According to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Bevis Schock and Mark Milton (pictured above), the website’s purpose is “to create a roadmap for people to file the necessary papers to seek their refunds for teleworking days.” The attorneys added, “It is our hope that all those who have sought and been denied refunds for teleworking days will ultimately be added to our case through class action certification, but that issue is ultimately left up to the courts.” The website advises taxpayers to “consult [their] own legal and/or tax advisor with any questions.”
The lawsuit centers on the City’s refusal to issue earnings tax refunds to non-city residents working outside the City during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiffs, who will apply to be representatives of the class, are non-city residents whose employers are located in the City of St. Louis. For several years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the plaintiffs worked remotely from their homes and the City always refunded a portion of the earnings tax withheld from their pay based on the number of days they worked outside the City. Now, the City has reversed course and is refusing to issue earnings tax refunds based on teleworking days.
Plaintiffs were unsuccessful in seeking a temporary restraining order asking the Court to require the Collector of Revenue to change the current form (the 2020 Form E-1R), which plaintiffs insist unlawfully asserts that teleworking days may not be included in the refund claim. The website (stlrefund.com) provides nonresidents with a form they may use to protest the City’s change in policy and seek a refund for their teleworking days.
“One thing is for sure: If you don’t submit forms protesting and demanding a refund, you won’t get a refund,” the site says.
In a recent amended petition filed in the case, the plaintiffs argue that affected taxpayers have until May 17, 2022, to protest and seek a refund for tax year 2020. A copy of the latest amended petition is also available at www.stlrefund.com.