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McGaugh has a Merrill Lynch Individual Retirement Account (IRA). In 2011, he requested that Merrill Lynch use money from that IRA to purchase 7,500 shares of FPFC stock. Merrill Lynch refused. McGaugh initiated a $50,000 wire transfer from his IRA directly to FPFC, on October 7, 2011. On November 28, FPFC issued a stock certificate titled “Raymond McGaugh IRA FBO Raymond McGaugh,” which it mailed to Merrill Lynch. Merrill Lynch says it received the certificate in early 2012, but did not retain it, believing McGaugh’s transaction to have exceeded the 60‐day window for IRA rollovers, 26 U.S.C. 408(d)(3). Merrill Lynch attempted to send the certificate to McGaugh twice, but the Postal Service returned it. The second time, it was marked “refused.” Merrill Lynch then sent the certificate to McGaugh via FedEx; it was not returned. The shares were never deposited into McGaugh’s IRA. The IRS contends that McGaugh possesses the certificate; McGaugh denies that allegation. Merrill Lynch characterized the wire transfer as a taxable distribution and issued Form 1099R. McGaugh claims he never received that form. In March 2014 the IRS issued a deficiency notice and assessed $13,538 tax due and a $2,708 substantial‐tax‐understatement penalty. The Tax Court held that McGaugh did not take a taxable distribution from his IRA. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, finding that McGaugh was never in actual or constructive receipt of the IRA funds. View "McGaugh v. Commissioner Internal Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) sent the Hassens a final notice of intent to levy their property to satisfy an outstanding tax debt of $5,778.32 for the 2004 tax year and subsequently issued a levy against the Hassens’ bank account. In June and December 2013, the Hassens submitted letters requesting an installment agreement. The December letter reflects that the Hassens and the BIR engaged in discussions and that the BIR directed the Hassens to submit IRS Form 9465 to request an installment agreement. The Hassens failed to do so. Thereafter, the BIR issued four additional levies against the Hassens’ accounts. Rather than file an administrative claim as required by 26 U.S.C. 7433(d), the Hassens filed suit under section 7433(a), alleging that the additional levies violated 26 U.S.C. 6331(k)(2), which prohibits the issuance of any levy while a proposed installment agreement is pending. The district court determined that exhaustion of administrative remedies was not a jurisdictional prerequisite, but was a condition to obtain relief, and dismissed their complaint. The Third Circuit affirmed. To bring a claim under section 7433(a), a taxpayer must exhaust the administrative remedies under section 7433(d). While such exhaustion is not a jurisdictional requirement, it is mandatory. View "Hassen v. Government of the Virgin Islands" on Justia Law

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Petitioner claimed a charitable deduction of $16.4 million for donating an easement, but the Commissioner disallowed the deduction. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the tax court's ruling in favor of the Commissioner because petitioner did not make a qualified contribution easement pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 170(b)(1)(E). In this case, because the banks' mortgages were not subordinated before the charitable conveyance occurred in December 2003, petitioner was not entitled to a deduction on its 2003 tax return for a qualified conservation contribution. View "RP Golf v. Commissioner" on Justia Law

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Consolidated appeals arose out of a complaint filed by four Georgia taxpayers in which they challenged the constitutionality of Georgia’s Qualified Education Tax Credit, Ga. L. 2008, p. 1108, as amended (“HB 1133” or the “Bill”). HB 1133 set up a tax credit program that allows individuals and businesses to receive a Georgia income tax credit for donations made to approved not-for-profit student scholarship organizations (“SSOs”). The Bill created a new tax credit statute for that purpose. Generally speaking, the SSO is required to distribute the donated funds as scholarships or tuition grants for the benefit of students who meet certain eligibility requirements, and the parent or guardian of each recipient must endorse the award to the accredited private school of the parents’ choice for deposit into the school’s account. Plaintiffs alleged: (1) the Program was educational assistance program, and the scheme of the Program violated the Constitution; (2) the Program provided unconstitutional gratuities to students who receive scholarship funds under the Program by allowing tax revenue to be directed to private school students without recompense, and also that the tax credits authorized by HB 1133 resulted in unauthorized state expenditures for gratuities; (3) the Program took money from the state treasury in the form of dollar-for-dollar tax credits that would otherwise be paid to the State in taxes, and since a significant portion of the scholarships awarded by the SSOs goes to religious-based schools, the Program takes funds from the State treasury to aid religious schools in violation of the Establishment Clause; and (4) the Department of Revenue violated the statute that authorized tax credits for contributions to SSOs by granting tax credits to taxpayers who have designated that their contribution is to be awarded to the benefit of a particular individual, and by failing to revoke the status of SSOs that have represented to taxpayers that their contribution will fund a scholarship that may be directed to a particular individual. Plaintiffs sought mandamus relief to compel the Commissioner of Revenue to revoke the status of SSOs, and injunctive relief against the defendants to require them to comply with the constitutional provisions and statutory laws set forth in the complaint. In addition to mandamus relief and injunctive relief, plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment that the Program was unconstitutional. The Georgia Supreme Court found no error in the trial court’s finding plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue their constitutional claims, or their prayer for declaratory relief with respect to those claims, either by virtue of their status as taxpayers or by operation of OCGA 9-6-24. Consequently plaintiffs failed to allege any clear legal right to mandamus relief. View "Gaddy v. Georgia Dept. of Revenue" on Justia Law

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West Carrollton City Schools Board of Education (BOE) appealed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that retained the auditor’s update-year valuation of $4,716,690 for 2011 for the two contiguous parcels of property at issue in this case. Specifically, the BOE argued, inter alia, that the BTA acted unreasonably and unlawfully by refusing either to rely on the land-sale price and actual-cost evidence to value to the property. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Ohio Rev. Code barred the direct use of the land-sale price in Carmax Auto Superstores, Inc.’s 2008 acquisition of the property because Carmax spent more than $7 million on subsequently added improvements; and (2) neither the 2008 land-sale price nor the actual construction costs affirmatively negated the auditor’s valuation, and therefore, the BTA acquired no duty to perform an independent valuation. View "West Carrollton City Schools Board of Education v. Montgomery County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Colorado Supreme Court granted certiorari review to determine whether “Blunt Wraps,” a type of cigar wrapper made in part of tobacco and designed to be filled with smoking material and smoked, could be taxed as “tobacco products,” as that term was defined in section 39-28.5-101(5), C.R.S. (2016). The Court concluded Blunt Wraps fell within the plan language of the definition of “tobacco products” in the statue at issue, and are taxable accordingly. View "Colo. Dep't of Revenue v. Creager" on Justia Law

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The Colorado Supreme Court concluded that the statutory scheme property taxation of oil and gas leaseholds authorized the retroactive tax assessment in this case. Petitioner Kinder Morgan CO2 Company, L.P., operated oil and gas leaseholds in Montezuma County, Colorado. In 2009, the assessor for Montezuma County issued a corrective tax assessment on these leaseholds for the previous tax year, retroactively assessing over $2 million in property taxes, after an auditor concluded that Kinder Morgan underreported the value of gas produced at the leaseholds. Kinder Morgan appealed, arguing the assessor lacked authority to retroactively assess these taxes because Colorado law did not authorize a retroactive assessment when an operator has correctly reported the volume of oil and gas sold but has underreported the selling price at the wellhead. In affirming the court of appeals in this matter, the Supreme Court further concluded that the Board of Assessment Appeals did not err in determining that Kinder Morgan underreported the selling price by claiming excess transportation deductions, given Kinder Morgan’s relationship to the owner of the pipeline through which the gas was transported. View "Kinder Morgan CO2 Co., L.P. v. Montezuma Cty. Bd. of Comm'rs" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, tax preparation and refund-advance businesses, filed suit against the IRS under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), alleging several causes of action stemming from plaintiffs' cooperation in a federal criminal investigation. The district court granted the government's motion to dismiss, concluding that the IRS was immune from liability for its conduct under 28 U.S.C. 2680(c). The Ninth Circuit held that section 2680(c) did not confer absolute immunity on the IRS, and, construing the facts in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, the IRS's sting operation did not arise in respect of the assessment or collection of any tax. Accordingly, the panel reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Snyder & Associates Acquisitions LLC v. United States" on Justia Law

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Maine Revenue Services (MRS) assessed MCI Communications Services, Inc. (MCI) $184,873.69 for two types of surcharges - property tax recovery charges (PTRCs) and carrier cost recovery charges (CCRCs) - that MCI imposed upon its Maine customers. The Maine Board of Tax Appeals vacated the imposition of the tax based on its determination that the PTRCs and CCRCs were excluded or exempt from taxation because they were part of the sale of interstate or international telecommunications services. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the PTRCs and CCRCs collected by MCI before July 18, 2008 were excluded from taxation and that those charges collected from MCI from July 18, 2008 forward were exempt from taxation. View "State Tax Assessor v. MCI Communications Services, Inc." on Justia Law

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For purposes of applying the municipal or public purposes tax exemption contained in Fla. Const. art. VII, section 3(a), a public marina owned and operated by a municipality is a traditional municipal function that carries a presumption of tax-exempt status. The owners of a private marina in Fort Pierce filed a complaint challenging the tax-exempt status of the Fort Pierce City Marina and the Fisherman’s Wharf Marina. Plaintiffs’ amended complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief on the basis that the property appraiser unconstitutionally granted ad valorem tax exemptions to the two marina properties owned and operated by the City of Fort Pierce and the Fort Pierce Redevelopment Agency (the City). The trial court ruled in favor of Plaintiffs, determining that neither of the City marinas qualified for the constitutional tax exemption. The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed, concluding that municipal marinas are traditionally considered exempt from taxation. The Supreme Court approved the decision below, holding that Plaintiffs failed to meet their burden to rebut the presumption that the municipally-owned properties that were used exclusively by the City to provide traditional municipal functions were constitutionally exempt from ad valorem taxation. View "Treasure Coast Marina, LC v. City of Fort Pierce" on Justia Law