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Justices reverse Tax Court in UPS case

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The Indiana Supreme Court found that two reinsurance companies of the United Parcel Service are foreign companies that don’t do business within Indiana, so they aren’t exempt from Indiana adjusted gross income tax.

In Indiana Department of Revenue v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 49S10-1107-TA-417, UPS argued its two affiliated reinsurance companies – UPINSCO, formed under the laws of the U.S. Virgin Islands and UPS Re, formed under the laws of Bermuda – are subject to Indiana’s gross premium privilege tax statute, so they would be exempt from adjusted gross income tax here.

In Indiana, insurance companies are required to pay tax on earned premiums in lieu of state corporate income tax. The premium tax works like an excise tax allowing a foreign insurer to do business in Indiana, wrote Justice Robert Rucker.

UPS contracted with several companies to provide workers’ compensation insurance and liability insurance for damage to its packages, but UPINSCO and UPS Re ultimately insured UPS’s risks.

UPS sought to exclude in 2000 and 2001 from its federal taxable income the income of its affiliates UPINSCO and UPS Re. The Indiana Department of State Revenue disallowed the exclusion and claimed UPS underpaid taxes in 2001. The Indiana Tax Court granted summary judgment for UPS and denied the department’s motion. The Tax Court reasoned that because UPS was “subject to” the premium tax under Indiana Code 6-3-2-2.8(4), it was exempt from the adjusted gross income tax.

The justices concluded that the affiliates were not doing business in Indiana. The record shows – and the parties don’t dispute – that the reinsurance transactions took place between foreign companies as neither the primary insurers nor the affiliates are organized under the laws of Indiana, Rucker wrote.

“… even assuming UPINSCO and UPS Re reinsured Indiana risks, there is no evidence in the record before us that the reinsurance transactions took place in the State of Indiana,” he wrote. “Because this is a necessary condition in order to be ‘subject to’ the premium tax, UPS failed in its burden of establishing that it is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. Because we are definitely and firmly convinced the Tax Court’s determination to the contrary is in error, we reverse the grant of summary judgment in favor of UPS and remand this cause for further proceedings.”

 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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