Articles Posted in Tax Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s judgment affirming a hearing examiner’s decision that an exemption from taxation for real property be increased to 100 percent but reversed the award of attorney fees, holding that the circuit court correctly upheld the hearing examiner’s decision but erred in its award of attorney fees. The Pennington County Board of Equalization established an exemption of thirty-two percent for the 2017 tax year for real property owned by American Legion Home Association Post 22. On American Legion’s administrative appeal, the hearing examiner concluded that the real property qualified for a 100 percent exemption under S.D. Codified Laws 10-4-9.2. The Supreme Court held that the circuit court (1) did not err in affirming the hearing examiner’s decision that the property was entitled to a 100 percent exemption under the statute; but (2) awarded attorney fees without sufficient information to determine a reasonable fee. The Court remanded the attorney fee issue. View "American Legion Home Ass’n Post 22 v. Pennington County" on Justia Law

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After the United States Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the Supreme Court affirming the circuit court’s summary judgment in favor of Defendants, the Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment and remanded the case for proceedings consistent with the United States Supreme Court’s opinion. In 2017, the Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s summary judgment in favor of Defendants, holding that the statutory scheme requiring internet sellers with no physical presence in South Dakota to collect and remit sales tax violated the Commerce Clause. The United States Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded the case. The State subsequently filed a motion requesting the Supreme Court to remand the matter for further proceedings. Defendants filed no response. Accordingly, the Supreme Court dispositively remanded this case for further proceedings not inconsistent with the United States Supreme Court’s opinion. View "State v. Wayfair Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s judgment affirming a certificate of assessment issued by the Department of Revenue requiring Valley Power Systems, Inc. to pay alternate contractor’s excise tax, use tax, interest, and a penalty. Valley Power contracted with Black Hills Power, Inc. (BHP) to install new exhaust manifolds on five mobile power units that were used by a utility company to provide supplemental power at one of its power plants, but Valley Power did not pay any tax with respect to the transaction. Instead BHP paid use tax on the transaction. After an audit of both companies, the Department refunded BHP’s use tax and issued a certificate of assessment requiring Valley Power to pay $54,404. An administrative hearing examiner and the circuit court affirmed the assessment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Department did not err in concluding that Valley Power was required to pay excise and use tax. View "Valley Power Systems v. S.D. Department of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting summary judgment for certain Internet sellers (Sellers) and enjoining the State from enforcing 2016 legislation extending the obligation to collect and remit sales tax to sellers with no physical presence in the state. Pursuant to the legislation, the State brought this declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that Sellers, who had no physical presence in the state, must comply with the requirements of the 2016 legislation. The circuit court enjoined the State from enforcing the obligation to collect and remit sales tax against Sellers, observing its obligation to adhere to Supreme Court precedent prohibiting the imposition of an obligation to collect and remit sales tax on sellers with no physical presence in the State. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court correctly applied the law when it granted Sellers’ motion for summary judgment. View "State v. Wayfair Inc." on Justia Law

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The Department of Revenue subjected several corporations owned by North American Truck & Trailer, Inc. (collectively, Taxpayers) to a sales-and-use-tax audit, which uncovered errors regarding Taxpayers’ reporting of use tax. Thereafter, the Department assessed Taxpayers for unpaid use taxes. Taxpayers paid the assessment under protest and requested an administrative hearing. At the hearing, Taxpayers argued that the shop supplies assessed were exempt from use tax and offered exhibits in support of their position. The hearing examiner declined to consider a sales invoice offered by Taxpayers demonstrating a typical transaction that involved the cost of supplies because Taxpayers submitted it more than sixty days after the audit began, in violation of S.D. Codified Laws 10-59-7. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the hearing examiner did not err when it (1) affirmed the Department’s refusal to consider the sales invoice; and (2) affirmed the Department’s certificate of assessment of use tax due and owing on transactions where shop supplies, purchased without payment of sales tax, were used and consumed. View "Black Hills Truck & Trailer, Inc." on Justia Law

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USA Tire Management Systems Inc. entered into a contract with Great Western Bank to “take title to, remove, and transport” tires and casings from a foreclosed property that a bank was attempting to sell. After an audit, the South Dakota Department of Revenue issued an assessment on the gross receipts USA Tire received from Great Western under their contract. USA Tire contested the assessment. The circuit court affirmed the assessment. USA Tire appealed, arguing that it was entitled to a trucking services tax exemption. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that USA Tire did not meet its burden of proving that its services were exempt trucking services under S.D. Codified Laws 10-45-12.1. View "In re Sales Tax Liability of USA Tire Mgmt. Sys., Inc." on Justia Law

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In 2012, the South Dakota Department of Revenue (Department) commenced an audit of Taxpayer’s excise tax and sales tax licenses for tax period 2009 through 2012. At issue in this case was whether Taxpayer’s construction management at-risk services provided to public and non-profit entities were subject to a contractor’s excise tax under S.D. Codified Laws 10-46A-1. Taxpayer did not remit excise tax on the gross receipts it received from its construction management at-risk services provided to public and non-profit entities. As a result of the audit, the Department issued Taxpayer a certificate of assessment for $43,020, which included excise tax and interest. The circuit court reversed the Department’s certificate of assessment, ruling that Taxpayer’s services were not subject to a contractor’s excise tax under section 10-46A-1. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Taxpayer’s act of entering into a contract with a public entity to guarantee a satisfactorily completed public improvement project by a specific date for a specific cost was subject to excise tax under section 10-46A-1. View "Puetz Corp. v. S.D. Dep’t of Revenue" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was the homestead exemption’s prohibition on the collection of real property taxes under S.D. Codified Laws 43-31. In January 2014, prior to turning seventy years old, John Reints filed an application for a prohibition on the collection of real property taxes assessed on his home in 2013. Pennington County denied Reints’s request because he had not turned seventy prior to January 1, 2014. The Department upheld the determination, determining that the prohibition does not apply to taxes assessed prior to the year in which the applicant reaches seventy years of age. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, albeit on different grounds, holding (1) once a prohibition is granted under chapter 43-31 a county is restrained from collecting any real property taxes on the applicant’s single-family dwelling, regardless of when those taxes were assessed; (2) nevertheless, an applicant cannot establish a base year under the exemption until he actually reaches the age of seventy; (3) because Reints was only sixty-nine years old when he submitted his application, he had not established a base year as required by section 43-31-32; and (4) therefore, Reints’s application was properly denied. View "Reints v. Pennington County" on Justia Law

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The South Dakota Department of Revenue assessed Northern Border Pipeline Company, the operator of an interstate pipeline that provides transportation services to natural gas owners who desire to ship their gas, for use tax on the value of the shippers’ gas that the shippers allowed Northern Border to burn as fuel in compressors that moved the gas through the pipeline. An administrative law judge affirmed the assessment. The circuit court reversed, holding that Northern Border’s burning of the shippers’ gas was exempt from use tax under a tax exemption. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Northern Border did not own the gas, use tax may not be imposed under this Court’s precedents. View "N. Border Pipeline Co. v. S.D. Dep’t of Revenue" on Justia Law

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In 2012, Citibank, Inc. filed with the South Dakota Department of Revenue a request for a refund of bank franchise taxes paid for the tax years 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002. The Department denied the tax refund claim, concluding that the refund claim was filed after the three-year statute of limitations had expired pursuant to S.D. Codified Laws 10-59-19. Citibank requested an administrative hearing before the Office of Hearing Examiners (OHE). OHE dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction, finding that the refund claim was time-barred by the three-year statute of limitations. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Citibank’s 2012 request for a refund of bank franchise taxes was time-barred by section 10-59-19 and, furthermore, equitable tolling was not available to Citibank in this case. View "Citibank, N.A. v. S.D. Dep’t of Revenue" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law