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In reversal, tax court says estate not entitled to interest on refund, judgment

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The estate of a Lowell chef and food production expert is not entitled to interest on a refund or judgment interest that the Lake County probate court awarded, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Friday.

After John A. Schoenenberger died in November 2003, his estate made an estimated inheritance tax payment of $1.8 million to the Lake County Treasurer, preserving a right to a 5 percent discount for an early estimated payment.

In 2008, the probate court determined the tax liability and subsequently Lake County sent a refund of $742,128. The estate then asked for interest on the funds the county had held for years, but the county declined, citing Indiana Code 6-4.1-10-1 as amended in 2007. The estate said that because the 1980 language was in effect at the time the payment was made, that law should have governed.

When the matter went to probate court, the estate was granted summary judgment and $199,347 in interest plus judgment interest.

“The estate … did file a valid refund claim on April 14, 2008, six days after the probate court determined its inheritance tax liability and more than nine months after the 2007 version took effect. Thus, the 2007 version of Indiana Code § 6-4.1-10-1 governed any right the estate had to interest on its refund claim,” Tax Court Judge Martha Wentworth wrote in Indiana Dept. of State Revenue, Inheritance Tax Division v. The Supervised Estate of John A. Schoenenberger, Deceased, 49T10-1010-TA-54.

“That version of the statute provided that the estate would receive interest on its refund claim if the Department failed to pay the refund claim within ninety days of its receipt. See I.C. § 6-4.1-10-1(b)-(c) (2007). The Department paid the claim well within that period, just twenty-nine days after receiving the claim; therefore, the probate court erred in granting the Estate interest on its refund claim and judgment interest thereon.”

The matter was remanded to the court for further proceedings.

 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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