Justia Tax Law Opinion Summaries

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Plaintiff, one of the largest marijuana dispensaries in the United States, appealed the Tax Court's decision on a petition for redetermination of federal income tax deficiencies. At issue is whether a cannabis dispensary that purchases the marijuana it resells and that values its inventory using the cost method must account for its inventory cost in accordance with section 1.471-3(b) of the Treasury Regulations.The Ninth Circuit affirmed the Tax Court's decision, declining to consider plaintiff's constitutional claim that that I.R.C. 280E violates the Sixteenth Amendment because plaintiff failed to raise the claim in the Tax Court. The panel rejected plaintiff's contention that some of its expenditures, even if they cannot be deducted under section 280E, can be excluded from income as part of its inventory cost under general inventory tax accounting rules. Rather, the panel concluded that the Tax Court did not err in concluding that plaintiff's inventory cost is determined by Treas. Reg. 1.471-3(b), which applies to a purchaser and reseller of the products it sells. Finally, the panel declined to consider plaintiff's contention, which was not raised before the Tax Court, that the Tax Court should have allowed at least some of plaintiff's claimed exclusions as "necessary charges incurred in acquiring possession of the goods" under Treas. Reg. 1.471-3(b). View "Patients Mutual Assistance Collective Corp. v. Commissioner" on Justia Law

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Pro se petitioner-appellant John Minemyer appealed two orders from the United States Tax Court. The first order granted the Commissioner of Internal Revenue’s (“Commissioner’s”) Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and denied Minemyer’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The second order denied Minemyer’s Motion for Reconsideration. Neither order, however, was a final decision by the Tax Court. Further, Minemyer’s appeal of those orders did not ripen after the Tax Court issued an opinion, without a “decision,” addressing the only remaining claim. Accordingly, the Tenth Circuit dismissed Minemyer’s appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction. View "Minemyer v. CIR" on Justia Law

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At Tax Court, the parties disagreed about what types of equipment fall within the definition of "logging equipment" exempt from ad valorem property taxation under ORS 307.27. Specifically, they disagreed about what types of equipment used for logging road work - logging road construction, maintenance, reconstruction, improvement, closure, or obliteration - fell within the definition. Plaintiff Bert Brundige, LLC argued that all types of equipment used for logging road work fell within the definition. Defendant, the Oregon Department of Revenue, argued that excavators were the only type of equipment used for logging road work that fell within the definition. The Tax Court agreed with defendant and entered a judgment in its favor. Plaintiff appealed. Finding no reversible error, the Oregon Supreme Court affirmed. View "Bert Brundige, LLC v. Dept. of Rev." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed an order of the circuit court finding in favor of Welspun Tubular, LLC in this challenge to a disallowed compensating-use-tax exemption, holding that the circuit court did not err.A "sales and use" tax audit of Welspun's books and records for the reporting periods May 1, 2009 through April 30, 2012 resulted in an assessment of compensating-use tax totaling $162,266 on Welspun's purchases of steel grit during the audit period. Welspun brought this suit, arguing that its grit purchases were tax exempt as the purchase of manufacturing equipment. The circuit court found for Welspun, concluding that the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration erred in assessing tax on Welspun's purchases of grit. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not clearly err in finding that the grit was used to manufacture an article of commerce. View "Walther v. Welspun Tubular, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed in part the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that upheld three use-tax assessments based on Appellant's purchase of three trucks, holding that the BTA erred by failing to correlate its findings with the distinct primary uses of the trucks.The trucks at issue were two Peterbilt trucks and one Lodal truck. Appellant argued that because it purchased the three trucks for use in its business as a for-hire motor carrier, the purchase were exempt from sales and use tax under Ohio Rev. Code 5739.02(B)(32)'s "highway transportation for hire" exemption. The tax commissioner and the BTA determined that the exemption did not apply to the purchases because Appellant's use of the trucks to transport waste material to landfills did not qualify as the transportation of "personal property belonging to others." The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) for purposes of section 5739.02(B)(32), waste is "personal property belonging to" the person or entity that generated it when the person or entity has an agreement with the hauler that specifies where the waste is to be taken for disposal; and (2) because the generators of the waste hauled by the Peterbilt trucks designated the destination of the waste, the Peterbilt trucks were entitled to the exemption. View "N.A.T. Transportation, Inc. v. McClain" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court granting judgment on the pleadings in favor of the Affton Fire Protection District, the governor, and the attorney general (collectively, Defendants) in this challenge to Mo. Rev. Stat. 72.418.2 and 321.322.3, holding that the circuit court did not err.The City of Crestwood and two of its resident taxpayers (collectively, Plaintiffs) argued that sections 72.418.2 and 321.322.3, which govern the provision of and payment for fire protection services in certain annexed areas, violate the prohibition against special laws in Mo. Const. art. III, 40 and that section 72.418.2 violates constitutional due process protections and provisions of the Missouri Constitution prohibiting certain taxes and the creation of unfunded mandates. The Supreme Court held (1) a rational basis supported the classification scheme in sections 72.418 and 321.322.3; (2) the fee Crestood pays to the district is not a tax on the resident taxpayers of Crestwood; and (3) section 72.418.2 does not create an unfunded mandate. View "City of Crestwood v. Affton Fire Protection District" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the superior court affirming a 2019 decision of the State Board of Property Tax Review granting the tax abatement requests of Expera Old Town, LLC for the 2014 and 2015 tax years for a wood pulp and paper mill, holding that the superior court erred.Expera Old Town, LLC requested tax abatements for 2014 and 2015, but the City of Old Town denied the requests. In 2017, the Board affirmed the City's denial of the requested abatements. The superior court vacated the Board's decision and remanded the case. On remand, in 2019, the Board granted Expera Old Town's tax abatement requests for the same tax years. The Supreme Court vacated the superior court's judgment, holding that Expera Old Town failed to meet its initial burden of showing that the assessments were manifestly wrong. View "City of Old Town v. Expera Old Town, LLC" on Justia Law

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The IRS began a criminal investigation of Gaetano, who owns Michigan cannabis dispensaries. Portal 42, a software company that provides the cannabis industry with point-of-sale systems, confirmed that Gaetano was a client. Agents served a summons, ordering Portal 42 to produce records “and other data relating to the tax liability or the collection of the tax liability or for the purpose of inquiring into any offense connected with the administration or enforcement of the internal revenue laws concerning [Gaetano] for the periods shown.” The IRS did not notify Gaetano about the summons. Portal 42 sent the IRS an email with a hyperlink to the requested records. An IRS computer specialist copied the documents. None of the personnel in the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division have viewed the records.Gaetano filed a petition under 26 U.S.C. 7609, seeking to quash the summons, arguing that the IRS should have notified Gaetano about the summons and that it was issued in bad faith. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the action for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction because Gaetano lacked standing. Section 7609 waives the government’s sovereign immunity to allow taxpayers to bring an action to quash certain third-party IRS summonses. An exception applies because the summons here was issued by an IRS criminal investigator “in connection” with an IRS criminal investigation and the summoned party is not a third-party recordkeeper. Without a statutory waiver of sovereign immunity, subject-matter jurisdiction cannot obtain. View "Gaetano v. United States" on Justia Law

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In these cases concerning property tax abatement requests the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed two decisions of the superior court vacating a decision denying requests for abatement and granting a petition for judicial review of an adverse decision concerning another request for a tax abatement, holding that the superior court did not err.This consolidated appeal concerned property tax abatement requests made by the Roque Island Gardner Homestead Corporation (RIGHC). The superior court vacated a decision of the Board of Appeals (BOA) of the Town of Jonesport denying RIGHC's requests for abatement concerning three tax years and remanded the matter for the BOA to make an independent determination of the property's fair market value. The court also granted judicial review as to the State Board of Property Tax Review's adverse decision concerning RIGHC's request for another tax year abatement and directed the Town to grant the abatement request. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed both decisions, holding that the superior court did not err. View "Roque Island Gardner Homestead Corp. v. Town of Jonesport" on Justia Law

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To finance the purchase of a home in 2008, Wood borrowed $39,739.44. About six years later, Wood defaulted, with an unpaid balance of $23,066.66. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which had insured the loan, paid that amount and sent Wood a Notice of Intent to Collect by Treasury Offset, using income tax overpayments. In 2017, Treasury offset Wood's federal tax overpayment of $9,961 toward the debt. In 2018, Wood filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, opting to exempt any 2017 income tax overpayment. Treasury nonetheless offset a $6,086 overpayment.Wood requested that the bankruptcy court void HUD’s lien and order a return of the $6,086. The court concluded that a debtor’s tax overpayment becomes property of the estate, protected by the stay, and the debtor may exempt the overpayments and defeat a governmental creditor’s right to setoff. The district court agreed, stating that because Treasury had knowingly intercepted the overpayments after the Woods filed for bankruptcy, equity did not favor granting permission to seek relief from the automatic stay.The Fourth Circuit remanded. The protections typically accorded properly exempted property under 11 U.S.C. 522(c) do not prevail over the government’s 26 U.S.C. 6402(d) right to offset mutual debts. Although the government exercised that right before requesting relief from the automatic stay, there is no reason to abridge the government’s 11 U.S.C. 362(d) right to seek the stay’s annulment. View "Wood v. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development" on Justia Law