Property tax appeal for lakefront home purchased in “short sale” falls short – Indiana Board of Tax Review finds that seller’s “financial duress” and limited marketing time for property sold at auction compromised reliability of comparable sales

Taxpayers acquired a lakefront home at auction in 2009 and challenged the property's assessed value.  The Knechts relied on the price that they paid for the property in a “short sale,” as well as on two appraisals prepared in conjunction with obtaining financing.  The date of …

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Department of Revenue finds that design software was used in “pre-production” and not exempt from Indiana sales tax

In Letter of Findings 04-20110391 (posted April 25, 2012), the Indiana Department of Revenue found that software and related items used to design plastic injection molds, tools and dies were used in “pre-production” and therefore not exempt from sales tax.  Indiana exempts from sales tax the …

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Indiana RV owner outruns 100% fraud penalty and use tax on 3 vehicles purchased with Montana LLC, where assessments were issued beyond statute of limitations

Montana is called “The Treasure State,” but the Indiana Department of Revenue charged an Indiana resident with fraud in using a Montana LLC to make the “Hoosier State” a “State of Lost Treasure.”  In its Letter of Findings No. 04-20110450 released last month, the Department …

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The shifting burdens of Indiana assessment appeals: New “5% rule” may shift the burden of proof multiple times

Who has the burden to prove a property tax assessment is correct on appeal?  Before July 1, 2009, the answer was nearly always the taxpayer at both levels of appeal – local and state.  But the Indiana General Assembly passed a "burden-shifting" statute that placed the burden on the assessor if the …

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Indiana Department of Revenue may not use Rule of Professional Conduct as a “procedural weapon”

It’s rare to find a rule of professional conduct at the heart of a tax ruling.  But that was the case when the Indiana Tax Court rejected the Department of Revenue’s efforts to disqualify counsel for the taxpayer (Utilimaster) as “necessary witnesses” in a sales and use tax refund …

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Property Tax – Actual posting of tax sale notice on property was “suspect” as applied to “un-improved, bare land” under the “unique” circumstances of the case.

In Marion County Auditor v. Sawmill Creek, Cause No. 49S02-1106-CV-364 (Ind.,  March 21, 2012), see http://1.usa.gov/GGOVfV, the Court reversed a trial court's order setting aside a tax sale deed on grounds that the Auditor's efforts to notify the taxpayer (Sawmill) fell short of constitutional due process …

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