NOTE 11—COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
In January 2010, one of HSNi's direct-to-consumer subsidiaries received a preliminary notification from a state taxing authority alleging that the subsidiary was required to collect and remit sales taxes for the period from September 2002 through August 2009. The state presented the subsidiary with an assessment relating to this matter in the amount of $22.6 million, including penalties and interest. HSNi has appealed this assessment, with a preliminary trial date scheduled in October 2012. Also during 2010, the same taxing authority notified two other direct-to-consumer subsidiaries of its intent to conduct sales tax audits for the period from 2004 through 2010. HSNi does not believe that it was obligated to collect and remit such taxes, and intends to vigorously defend its position. At this time, no contingent liability has been recorded and no assurances can be given as to the outcome of this situation.
In the ordinary course of business, HSNi is a party to various audits and lawsuits. These audits or litigation may relate to claims involving property, personal injury, contract, intellectual property (including patent infringement), sales tax, regulatory compliance and other claims. HSNi has established reserves for specific legal or tax compliance matters that it has determined the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome is probable and the loss is reasonably estimable. Management has also identified certain other legal matters where it believes an unfavorable outcome is not probable and, therefore, no reserve is established. Although management currently believes that an unfavorable resolution of claims against HSNi, including claims where an unfavorable outcome is reasonably possible, will not have a material impact on its liquidity, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows, these matters are subject to inherent uncertainties and management's view of these matters may change in the future and an unfavorable resolution of such a proceeding could have such a material impact. Moreover, any claims or regulatory actions against HSNi, whether meritorious or not, could be time-consuming, result in costly litigation, require significant amounts of management time and result in the diversion of significant operational resources.
HSNi also evaluates other contingent matters, including tax contingencies, to assess the probability and estimated extent of potential loss. See Note 6 for discussion related to income tax contingencies.