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VSP Vision Care Takes Tax-Exempt Appeal to Supreme Court
Date:7/16/2008

Former United States Solicitor General, Kenneth W. Starr, counsel of record

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- VSP Vision Care has added former United States Solicitor General Ken Starr to its legal team as it petitions for a writ of certiorari to The Supreme Court of the United States for a final hearing on its federal tax-exempt status.

Ken Starr joins the VSP appellate legal team that includes senior litigation partner Douglas C. Ross of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, who has represented VSP in this tax matter since 2003, and Thomas A. Fessler, VSP's Vice President and General Counsel.

"This case is really about determining what guidelines the IRS uses to define what constitutes a tax exempt not-for-profit organization," states Ken Starr. "VSP had a tax-exemption for more than 40 years, has not changed their business philosophy or focus on the community and yet lost their tax-exempt status. In the end, we are simply asking the Supreme Court to recognize the significant community benefit VSP offers to more than 55 million Americans."

In 1960, VSP was granted exemption from its obligation to pay federal income taxes pursuant to Internal Revenue Code 501(c)4.

In 2003, based on an examination conducted in 1999, the IRS issued a final adverse determination letter, revoking tax-exempt status for VSP's California Corporation effective as of Jan. 1, 2003.

VSP California filed for and paid income taxes owed for 2003 and then filed suit in federal court for a refund of that amount. VSP California has continued to do business as a not-for-profit and has been paying federal income taxes since then.

On Dec. 12, 2005, Judge Lawrence K. Karlton granted the United States' motion for summary judgment, deciding that "VSP is not operated 'exclusively for the promotion of social welfare' as provided for in 501(c)4."

VSP appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Appellate argument was
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SOURCE VSP Vision Care
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