Sharper Image Corp. v. Arizona Department of Revenue

In Sharper Image Corp. v. Arizona Department of Revenue, 191 Ariz. 475, 957 P.2d 1369 (App. 1998), the taxpayer was using out-of- state printers to prepare and mass mail its advertising catalogs to Arizona recipients. As in Service Merchandise, the Sharper Image taxpayer determined what products it would advertise in its catalogs, created and designed the catalogs, and decided how often, how many, when, where, and to whom the catalogs would be sent. Instead of arguing it was delivering its catalogs through "agents" as the taxpayer had done in Service Merchandise Co. v. Arizona Department of Revenue, it argued it was delivering them to Arizona recipients through the United States Postal Service which, as a matter of law, could not be considered its agent. The Court rejected this distinction explaining: The determinative fact in Service Merchandise was that the non-Arizona taxpayer there accomplished intended dispositions of its personal property in Arizona through other entities acting on its behalf, as its surrogates, instru-mentalities, proxies, or, loosely, "agents." The details of principal-agent and master-servant law were accordingly immaterial there. They are likewise immaterial here. Id. at 477,12, 957 P.2d at 1371