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Federal District Court Says Contractors Must Include Information Outside Tax Returns in Calculating Size

Source: SMALLGOVCON


When it comes to calculating a company’s receipts for size purposes, the procedure for is (or at least was) pretty simple: Look at the company’s tax returns. Indeed, it has long been SBA’s position that they can only consider tax returns, as noted in Nordstrom Contracting & Consulting Corp., SBA No. SIZ-5891 (Mar. 7, 2018) (“[T]here is no authority for an area office to consider any evidence apart from tax returns…when calculating a firm’s average annual receipts.”) among other cases. In other words, if something was not mentioned in a tax return, it couldn’t be considered by SBA. The only exception was if the tax returns were not filed, in which case SBA will review financial statements or similar information in lieu. 13 CFR § 121.104. Therefore, other than that exception, a contractor only needs to rely on the information in its tax return when making its size representation.


But the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia (DDC) thinks otherwise. On May 18, 2023, it entered a decision on opposing motions for summary judgment in a size protest that had become a False Claims Act case. In this decision, it concluded the opposite: Contractors must in some cases consider information outside their tax returns. Let’s take a deeper dive


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