Robert Redford is going to face off New York State in court. The Academy Award-winning director has filed a lawsuit against NY State Department of Taxation and Finance and the department's commissioner, Thomas H. Mattox, for taxing him twice over his 2005 sale of a stake in the Sundance Channel, which is based in New York.
In the suit filed in New York Supreme Court on July 31, he claims that the state tried to collect $1.57 million in personal income taxes over the sale. The actor, a Utah resident, says he already "fully" paid state taxes on the sale in Utah, but New York's tax department treated the money as New York source income.
Redford sold the rest of his Sundance Channel stake in 2008. He claims he reported the resulting gain in the same manner, without objections from New York.
"[Redford's Sundance T.V. Inc] and Plaintiff determined that the gain was non-New York source income and reported it as such [on] their New York State tax returns," the lawsuit reads. It adds, "Plaintiff did not use his ownership interest in [Sundance T.V. Inc.], nor did he use his indirect ownership interest in Limited or Channel, in any trade or business carried on by him in New York. Further, Plaintiff did not have any property, payroll or receipts located in or deemed attributable to the conduct of a trade or business in New York."
The 77-year-old writer/producer asks the court to throw out the tax bill and wants New York state to pay his legal fees.
Sundance Channel, now known as SundanceTV, is devoted to airing independent feature films, world cinema, documentaries and short films. Redford is also the founder of the annual Sundance Film Festival, which spotlights independent films.