Marijuana MSO Trulieve seeks $143M federal refund for 280E taxes

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Multistate marijuana company Trulieve Cannabis Corp. is seeking a federal tax refund of $143 million, saying it “believes it does not owe” the taxes it paid over three years.

“This determination is supported by legal interpretations that challenge the company’s tax liability under Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code,” Florida-headquartered Trulieve said in a Friday news release.

Section 280E prevents state-legal marijuana companies from deducting standard business expenses, resulting in much larger tax bills.

The company acknowledged that actually getting a tax refund is not guaranteed.

Trulieve filed amended federal tax returns for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The company’s Friday statement was short on specifics regarding its “legal interpretations” of 280E.

Asked by MJBizDaily for more details, a Trulieve spokesperson reiterated that “the company believes it does not owe” the taxes.

“We are continually evaluating our tax position and will share additional information as appropriate,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Although some states have started easing their 280E burdens on regulated marijuana companies, the federal rule remains and is enforced by the IRS.

The cannabis sector overpaid its taxes by $1.8 billion in 2022 as a result of 280E, according to a report by Portland, Oregon-based cannabis-sector analysts Whitney Economics.

However, 280E’s burden on the sector could be eliminated if the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration moves marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3.

That’s because the rule applies only to businesses trafficking in Schedule 1 and 2 controlled substances.