Our law firm set MMR Research Associates, Inc. v. Hegar (Cause No. D-1-GN-16-005569) for trial the week of October 16, 2017. This case concerns whether MMR’s market research consulting service is subject to Texas sales and use tax. Clients hire MMR to provide professional expertise and opinions about the clients’ business goals or decisions, such as the chance of success of a potential product or identifying the cause of and proper response to a decline in customer volume or sales. MMR employs academically-trained, senior research professionals to lead its client projects. The Comptroller audited MMR and assessed sales tax on its service, alleging that the service constitutes either taxable data processing or a taxable information service. MMR asserts that no tax is due because it provides a non-taxable consulting service and, even if shoe-horned into the data processing or information services rules, MMR’s service would fall within the professional services exclusion to taxable data processing and constitute a non-taxable information service because the information is proprietary.
Sales Tax Case to Watch: MMR Research Associates, Inc.