Justia Tax Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Indiana
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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial court denying Indiana Land Trust's motion to set aside a tax deed, holding that the LaPorte County Auditor gave adequate notice reasonably calculated to inform Indiana Land Trust Company of the impending tax sale of the property.From 2009 to 2015, the owner of vacant property did not pay property taxes. Through a third-party service, the county auditor sent simultaneous notice of an impending tax sale by way of certified letter and first-class mail to the address listed on the deed for the property. The owner, however, had moved and had not updated its address. Later, notice was published in the local newspaper. The property eventually sold and a tax deed was issued to the purchaser. The original owner moved to set aside the tax deed due to insufficient notice. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's denial of Indiana Land Trust Company's motion to set aside the tax deed, holding that the county auditor provided notice reasonably calculated, under all circumstances, to apprise the owner of the pendency of the action and afforded them an opportunity to present their objections. View "Indiana Land Trust Co. v. XL Investment Properties, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Tax Court determining that Richardson’s RV owed no Indiana sales tax because it took RVs it sold to certain out-of-state customers into Michigan before handing over the keys, holding that Richardson’s structured the Michigan deliveries solely to avoid taxes with no other legitimate business purpose.After an audit, the Department of Revenue issues proposed assessments to Richardson’s totaling nearly $250,000 in unpaid taxes and interest for the Michigan deliveries and deliveries to other states. The Tax Court granted summary judgment for Richardson’s, concluding that Indiana’s exemption statute did not apply to any of these transactions because, as a matter of law, the sales transactions at issue were not made ‘in Indiana.’” The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case, holding (1) the Michigan deliveries were subject to sales tax because Richardson’s executed the Michigan deliveries solely to avoid paying Indiana sales tax with no other legitimate business purpose; and (2) the Tax Court must determine if the non-Michigan deliveries were taxable. View "Richardson's RV, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue" on Justia Law

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Here, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the longstanding principle that direct production involves a process that includes those steps essential and integral to transforming tangible personal property into a distinct marketable good.The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Tax Court affirming the decision of the Department of State Revenue partially denying refund claims submitted by Petitioner for sales tax paid on blast freezing equipment and the electricity used in operating that equipment. Petitioner petitioned the Supreme Court for review, arguing that it qualified for exemptions under the relevant statutes because it engages in “direct production” when it blast freezes another company’s food product and that it engages in its own production process in producing the new, distinct marketable goods. In reversing, the Supreme Court held (1) Petitioner’s blast freezing process constitutes direct production because it represents the crucial final step in creating a distinct marketable good; and (2) the relevant statutes and regulations do not impose a requirement that Petitioner’s blast-freezing procedure be its own, separate production process. View "Merchandise Warehouse Co. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue" on Justia Law