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Judge: not all farm expenses are tax deductible

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A probate court incorrectly allowed an estate to deduct three farm-related expenses from its inheritance tax return, but affirmed the deduction of the remaining nine in question, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Tuesday.

Curtis Daugherty inherited his uncle’s farm following the uncle’s death. He was also the personal representative of the uncle’s estate. The farm was in disrepair and he made many repairs and improvements to it. In filing the inheritance tax return, the estate claimed numerous deductions, including farming-related expenses. The probate court accepted the return as filed.

The Indiana Department of State Revenue asked the probate court for a rehearing on the filing because it believed some of the farm-related deductions were improper. The estate filed a counterclaim to deduct 10 more farm-related expenses and alleged that the regulation the department relied on to preclude the deductions was invalid. The probate court upheld its earlier ruling and also found the estate’s counterclaim was untimely.

In Indiana Dept. of Revenue v. Estate of Bernard A. Daugherty, No. 49T10-0909-TA-49, Tax Judge Thomas Fisher affirmed the denial of the estate’s motion to dismiss the department’s claim. The department alleged the farming-related deductions were improper pursuant to 45 IAC 4.1-3-11. The estate claimed that regulation is invalid. The probate court, in applying the same rules of construction that apply to statutes, held the regulation was presumed to be valid until the estate demonstrated otherwise. Since the estate argued the burden of proof was on the department to prove the statute wasn’t invalid, the estate didn’t show the statute was invalid.

Judge Fisher also affirmed that the probate court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the estate’s counterclaim to add 10 more farming-related deductions. He rejected the estate’s argument that because its compulsory counterclaim was timely filed, Indiana Trial Rule 13 extended the 120-day statute of limitations for filing its own petition for rehearing. Because the estate sought affirmative relief with a counterclaim filed 128 days after the probate court’s initial determination, there was no error in finding the counterclaim was time-barred.

The probate court incorrectly allowed all 12 farming-related deductions. The deductions for clay drainage tiles, electrical repairs, grain bin repairs, and pole barn repairs were proper, as those expenditures were incurred during the course of administering the estate and were done to preserve, maintain, and repair the assets of the farm. The expenses related to the fertilizer bill, a pre-existing debt, were also deductible.

However, Curtis’ three expenditures for wheat spray weren’t deductible because he incurred those expenses while operating the farming business, wrote the judge. He remanded for the calculation of the proper amount of inheritance tax and interest due from the estate.
 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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