United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
C. BUCKLEW, United District Judge
cause comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Reconsideration. (Doc. No. 69). Specifically, Defendant moves
the Court to reconsider its June 22, 2017 order denying
Defendant's motion to dismiss or for summary judgment and
granting Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment.
(Doc. No. 48). Plaintiffs oppose the motion (Doc. No. 72),
and Defendant has filed a reply brief (Doc. No. 75). As
explained below, the motion is denied.
a tax refund case for overpayments made by Plaintiffs during
several quarters of 2009-2012. Plaintiffs seek a refund of
the overpayment of the employer portion of the FICA taxes
they paid during that time; more specifically, the
employer's portion of the Social Security tax. The FICA
taxes at issue were paid to the IRS by Plaintiffs and relate
to wages earned by Plaintiffs' clients' worksite
employees. The obligation on Plaintiffs to pay the FICA taxes
arose from agreements between Plaintiffs and their clients,
wherein Plaintiffs agreed to handle payroll for their
clients. Plaintiffs specifically assumed responsibility for
the payment of wages to the worksite employees without regard
to whether the client companies first paid such amounts to
Plaintiffs. Additionally, Plaintiffs assumed full
responsibility for the reporting, collection, and payment of
payroll taxes to the IRS.
parties do not dispute that overpayments were made by
Plaintiffs totaling over $4 million due to Plaintiffs'
miscalculation of the amount of Social Security taxes owed.
However, Defendant disputes that Plaintiffs have standing to
seek a refund for the overpayments.
moved to dismiss or for summary judgment, arguing that
Plaintiffs voluntarily paid over $4 million towards
the employer's portion of the Social Security taxes at
issue and that Plaintiffs lack standing to sue for a refund.
Plaintiffs responded and moved for partial summary judgment,
arguing that they were the statutory employers of the
worksite employees, as defined under 26 U.S.C. §
3401(d)(1), because they had control over the payment of
wages to the worksite employees.
Court agreed with Plaintiffs in its June 22, 2017 order and
found that Plaintiffs had standing to sue for the refunds at
issue. (Doc. No. 48). The Court found that Plaintiffs had
control over the payment of wages to the worksite employees,
and thus were the statutory employers under §
3401(d)(1), based on the recent case law and the following
pertinent facts: (1) Plaintiffs specifically assumed
responsibility for the payment of wages to the worksite
employees without regard to whether the client companies
first paid such amounts to Plaintiffs; (2) Plaintiffs assumed
full responsibility for the reporting, collection, and
payment of payroll taxes to the IRS; (3) Plaintiffs initiated
wage payments to the worksite employees on the same date that
Plaintiffs initiated a debit to the client companies'
bank accounts for the wages and taxes, so wage payments were
initiated (and could not be reversed) prior to Plaintiffs
receiving the clients' funds; (4) Plaintiffs used their
own bank accounts to make the wage payments to the worksite
employees, as well as to pay the payroll taxes to the IRS;
the client companies had no authority over, or access to,
these bank accounts; and (5) Plaintiffs reported their
payments of the employer portion of the Social Security tax
on Forms 941 using their own names, addresses, and employer
instant motion, Defendant moves this Court to reconsider its
June 22, 2017. The Court, however, finds that reconsideration
is not warranted and denies Defendant's motion.
Standard of Review
are three major grounds justifying reconsideration: (1) an
intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability
of new evidence; and (3) the need to correct clear error or
to prevent manifest injustice. Sussman v. Salem, Saxon
& Nielsen, P.A., 153 F.R.D. 689, 694 (M.D. Fla.
1994)(citations omitted). The Court notes that
reconsideration of a previous order is an extraordinary
remedy to be employed sparingly. See id. (citations
Motion for Reconsideration
argues that its motion is based on the need to correct clear
error or to prevent manifest injustice. Upon review of
Defendant's motion, the Court finds that it should be
denied, as Defendant has not shown that there is a need to
correct clear error or to prevent manifest injustice.
Instead, Defendant is merely attempting to refute the basis
for the Court's earlier decision, mostly making the same
arguments that were previously considered and rejected by
this Court. See Allaben v. Howanitz, 579 Fed.Appx.
716, 719 (11th Cir. 2014)(stating that a motion for
reconsideration should not be used to simply rehash arguments
that were previously made).
also raises a new argument in a footnote in its motion. (Doc.
No. 69, p. 7, n.6). However, this argument should have been
raised in the original motion, and a motion for
reconsideration is not an appropriate vehicle for raising
arguments that could have been raised earlier. See Lamar
Advertising of Mobile, Inc. v. City of Lakeland, 189
F.R.D. 480, 490 (M.D. Fla. 1999); see also Johnson v.
U.S., 1999 WL 691871, at *1 (N.D.Ga. July 14,
1999)(stating that “it is not appropriate to raise new
arguments in a motion for reconsideration that could have
been raised when the matter was initially before the
court”). As such, the Court finds that reconsideration
is not warranted.