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In December 2007, a man named Robert Thomas bought a $351,800 RV at the Dixie RV Super Store in the city of Hammond in his home state of Louisiana.

But, according to a Bozeman Daily Chronicle, it wasn’t technically Thomas who made the purchase — a fact a court would later agree with. Instead, it was bought by a Montana company, one formed for the sole purpose of buying the RV.

Two years later, when the Louisiana Department of Revenue caught up with Thomas, officials said he owed $49,509 in Louisiana sales tax and penalties, but Thomas appealed — and won.

The Montana company bought the RV, not Thomas, the court said.

It’s a strategy made possible by a loophole in Montana law, and wealthy out-of-state residents have been using it for years — setting up limited liability companies in the state and avoiding paying thousands of dollars in sales taxes to their home states.

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