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Judge: Reformatted tax appeal untimely

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Even though a couple had originally filed their tax appeal within the 45-day deadline, the Indiana Tax Court still dismissed their appeal because their reformatted documents and notice of intent to appeal weren't filed until after the deadline.

In E.L. & B.L. Holsapple v. Monroe County Assessor, No. 49T10-0907, TA-33, the Holsapples wanted to appeal the final determination by the Indiana Board of Tax Review regarding the real property assessment of their duplex, pole barn, and one acre of land for the 2006 and 2007 tax years. The board issued its final determination May 8, 2009. The Holsapples, pro se, filed a handwritten petition to appeal with the clerk's office June 22. The petition was returned two days later for reformatting. The Holsapples resubmitted the documents July 3 and the clerk forwarded and mailed copies of the petition to the appropriate parties.

The Monroe County Assessor moved to dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because the petition wasn't filed within 45 days. The Holsapples maintained the Tax Court should recognize the June 22 date as the date they filed and consider the reformatted petition to be an amendment to that filing. They believed the letter they received from the clerk requesting them to reformat their petition granted them a reasonable extension to file.

Even if Tax Court Judge Thomas Fisher assumed the reformatted petition relates back to June 22, the court still lacks jurisdiction to hear the appeal because copies of the petitions weren't served nor was notice of intent to appeal filed with the Indiana Board of Tax Review within the deadline, he wrote. As such, he granted the assessor's motion to dismiss.

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