“Fiction” trumps “facts” in the application of the 5% burden-shifting rule. Once sold by developer, subdivided lots were not the “same property,” so buyers had the burden to prove the lots’ property tax assessments were incorrect.

Indiana Assessors have the burden of proof on appeal to show that their assessments are correct, “if the assessment that is the subject of the review or appeal increased by more than five percent (5%) over the assessed value determined by the [assessor] for the immediately preceding assessment date for the … [Read more...]

Prices of two vacant lots at “compulsory” auction reflected market values in their neighborhood and supported reductions of the lots’ property tax assessments

The auction prices of two lots established their values for purposes of determining their property tax assessments, the Indiana Board ruled last month in Norris v. Howard County Assessor, Pet. Nos. 34-002-10-1-5-00149 and -00151 (May 31, 2012) [Small Claims Docket].  See http://1.usa.gov/LNEnrG.  On … [Read more...]

Indiana Supreme Court holds that captive reinsurers failed to prove that they were “doing business” in Indiana and thus “subject to” premiums tax

My colleague Benjamin Blair co-authored this post. Ordinarily, when a court rules in a tax appeal that the taxpayer was not doing business in the state, the taxpayer celebrates a hard-fought victory.  But "ordinary" was not on the docket today with the Indiana Supreme Court's ruling in Indiana Department … [Read more...]

Indiana Department of Revenue will give at least 30 days notice for a seller to file its sales tax returns, if the seller is registered under the SSUTA and has no legal requirement to register with Indiana

The Indiana Department of Revenue has published Sales Tax Information Bulletin No. 80 (June 2012) - Assessment of Retail Sales Tax Liability for Certain Sellers Registered Under the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA), see http://1.usa.gov/MGjFyg.  This represents one of the first … [Read more...]

Indiana Tax Court dismisses real property tax appeal due to taxpayers’ failure to timely file the agency record, where agency issued sufficient notice and taxpayers’ “own inaction” was not “excusable neglect.”

Indiana Tax Court Rule 3(E) requires the appealing party to request a certified copy of the agency record from the Indiana Board of Tax Review within thirty days of filing the petition.  And the rule further directs:  "The petitioner shall transmit a certified copy of the record to the Tax Court within … [Read more...]

Appraisals were “hearsay” and could not, standing alone, support reduction in home’s assessed value

In Thiry v. Dearborn County Assessor, Pet. No. 15-020-10-1-5-0001 (May 17, 2012) [Small Claims Docket], the Indiana Board of Tax Review considered the assessor's objection to the admission of the homeowners' two appraisals as "hearsay." See http://1.usa.gov/MEQgB3.  Indiana Rule of Evidence … [Read more...]