Articles Posted in Tax Law

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The Administrative Hearing Commission erred in finding that the St. Louis Rams did not have to pay sales tax on the entertainment license tax (ELT) they included and collected from ticket purchasers as the amount paid for admission during certain periods from 2007 through 2013. The Commission (1) ordered the director of revenue to issue a refund to the Rams for the ELT included in the period from February 2007 through January 2010; and (2) found the Rams were not liable for sales tax based on the ELT collected and remitted from February 2010 through January 2013. The Supreme Court reversed the Commission’s decision and remanded the cause for further proceedings, holding that the Commission erred in finding the portion of the ticket sales the Rams used to pay the ELT was not subject to sales tax because the ELT was included in the amount ticket purchasers paid for admission via the fixed ticket price charged by the Rams. View "St. Louis Rams LLC v. Director of Revenue" on Justia Law

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Appellants, who owned residential property located entirely in St. Louis County, argued that Jefferson and Franklin counties systematically undervalued property in those counties, causing Appellants to bear a disproportionate share of the cost of operating multi-county taxing districts. After exhausting their administrative remedies, Appellants filed a petition in the circuit court challenging their 2011-12 property tax assessments. The circuit court dismissed the petition for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Appellants’ administrative claims for review and their claim for declaratory relief, holding (1) Appellants failed to assert a violation of the uniformity clause in article X, section 3 of the Missouri Constitution; and (2) the State Tax Commission lacked jurisdiction to hear Appellants’ claims of inter-county discrimination on appeal from the St. Louis County Board of Equalization. View "Armstrong-Trotwood, LLC v. State Tax Commission of Missouri" on Justia Law

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In 2013, TracFone Wireless, Inc. sought refunds of the difference between the sales tax it paid on its sales to Missouri residents and the use tax it believes it should have paid, arguing that it qualified for the “in commerce” exemption from sales tax set out in section 144.030.1. The Director of Revenue denied the requested refunds. The Administrative Hearing Commission upheld the decision, finding that TracFone’s sales were subject to sales tax under Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.020.1(4) and that TracFone was not entitled to claim the “in commerce” sales tax exemption because the true object of the transactions was the sale of access to telecommunications services in Missouri, and the equipment was merely incidental to the sale of access to those services in Missouri. TracFone filed a petition for review, asserting that, while the sales at issue may be retail sales under section 144.020.1, they qualified for the “in commerce” exemption set out in section 144.030.1. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the transactions at issue did not qualify for the exemption set out in section 144.030.1 for sales “in commerce” between states. View "TracFone Wireless, Inc. v. Director of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Commission determined that Charles and Mary Harter improperly calculated their income eligibility for purposes of the Property Tax Credit (PTC), under sections 135.010 to 135.035 of RSMO Supp., and found that the entire amount of Mr. Harter's social security and annuity payments should be included in their “income” for PTC purposes under section 135.010(5). The Harters seek judicial review of the Commission's finding that the Harters were eligible only for a reduced PTC for the 2010 tax year under section 135.030.2 and that they were not eligible for any PTC for the years 2011-13 because their income exceeded the “maximum upper limit” of income eligibility under section 135.030.1(1). The court concluded that the Commission properly determined the Harters' PTC where the Harters met the disability eligibility criterion and the Commission properly calculated the Harters' "income" for PTC purposes. The court also concluded that the Commission did not err in refusing to estop the Director, and the Commission did not err in granting summary decision. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Harter v. Director of Revenue" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

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Gate Gourmet, Inc. owns and operates a facility near the Lambert-St. Louis International airport from which it sells frozen meals to various commercial airlines. Gate Gourmet filed sales tax returns for the tax years 2008-2010 in which it reported sales of frozen meals to its airline customers at the reduced sales tax rate of one percent as provided in Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.014. After an audit, the Director of Revenue issued sales tax assessments to Gate Gourmet totaling $296,357, concluding that the sale of airline meals should have been taxed at four percent under Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.020. The Administrative Hearing Commission upheld the Director’s determination. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission’s decision was based upon a proper construction of the law and was supported by competent and substantial evidence. View "Gate Gourmet, Inc. v. Dir. of Revenue" on Justia Law

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Krispy Kreme sought a refund for sales tax it had remitted on retail sales of donuts and non-hot beverages between April 2003 and December 2005, arguing that not more than eighty percent of its food products were sold for immediate consumption on or off the premises of the establishment, and therefore, the lower tax rate authorized by Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.014 applied to its food sales. The Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC) ruled that Krispy Kreme was not entitled to a refund, determining that the lower tax rate did not apply to Krispy Kreme’s food sales. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Krispy Kreme failed to prove that sales of food prepared for immediate consumption did not constitute more than eighty percent of its total gross receipts and failed to show it was entitled to a lower tax rate under section 144.014. View "Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. v. Dir. of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Director of Revenue assessed use tax on the service charges Bartlett International Inc. and Bartlett Grain Co., LP (collectively, Bartlett) paid to install a grain conveyor at one of its grain elevators in Missouri. The Administrative Hearing Commission determined that the Director improperly assessed tax on the disputed charges. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the service charges were subject to use tax because they were part of the sale of tangible personal property under Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.605(8); and (2) Bartlett failed to show that the disputed charges were subject to a statutory exemption or exclusion. Remanded. View "Bartlett Int’l, Inc. v. Dir. of Revenue" on Justia Law

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In 2012, IBM Corp. filed a use tax return for its sales of hardware and software to MasterCard International, LLC for MasterCard’s use in processing credit and debt card transactions, claiming that the equipment it sold to MasterCard was exempt from use tax because MasterCard’s activities qualify as “manufacturing” under Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.054.2. The Administrative Hearing Commission granted IBM a refund, finding that MasterCard’s use of the hardware and software qualified as “manufacturing a product” as that term is used in the tax exemption set out in the statute. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that MasterCard’s use of the hardware and software does not qualify as the “manufacturing of any product” under section 144.054.2, and therefore, IBM is not entitled to an exemption from use tax. View "IBM Corp. v. Dir. of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Macon County Emergency Services Board (Board) filed a petition for declaratory judgment against the Macon County Commission (Commission) seeking a judgment that it was entitled to receive a share of Mason County’s use tax revenue proportionate to its share of the county sales tax revenue. The circuit court denied the Board’s request. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.757 does not direct third-class counties as to the disbursement of county use tax revenue, it is within the discretion of the Commission whether to share that revenue with the Board. View "Macon County Emergency Servs. Bd v. Macon County Comm’n" on Justia Law

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Office Depot, Inc., which is incorporated in the state of Delaware and headquartered in Florida, contracts with a printer to have catalogs printed in Illinois and Indiana. The Postal Service delivers the catalogs to customers in Missouri. Office Depot accrued and paid almost $85,000 in Missouri use tax based on the cost of the printed catalogs between 2008 and 2010. Office Depot filed an application for use tax refund for the amount it paid. The Director of Revenue denied Office Depot’s refund claim. The Administrative Hearing Commission reversed, finding that Office Depot was entitled to a full refund because use tax may be imposed only if Office Depot used the catalogs in Missouri but that Office Depot did not. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Office Depot did not exercise any right or power incident to ownership or control over the catalogs in Missouri, and therefore, it did not “use” the catalogs in Missouri. Consequently, Office Depot was entitled to a refund of use tax under the use tax statute. View "Office Depot, Inc. v. Dir. of Revenue" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law