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Tax Court rules against UPS reinsurer on case justices reversed, remanded

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United Parcel Service and its reinsurance affiliates are obligated to pay about $650,000 in taxes from the years 2000 and 2001, the Indiana Tax Court held. The court previously ruled in UPS’s favor, but this opinion comes on remand from an Indiana Supreme Court reversal.

In United Parcel Service, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue, 49T10-0704-TA-24, Senior Judge Thomas G. Fisher granted summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Revenue, a reversal of the court’s order in 2010 granting summary judgment in favor of UPS and its reinsurance affiliates UPINSCO and UPS Re.

Indiana statutes governing the insurance premium tax for “foreign” insurers are clear, Fisher wrote, and UPS and its entities were not entitled to an exception for doing business in the state.

“Indeed, nearly a century ago, the Indiana Court of Appeals explained that the predecessor to Indiana Code § 27-1-18-2 was a graduated privilege tax, designed to raise revenue and “imposed upon a foreign [insurance or reinsurance] corporation for the privilege of exercising its corporate franchises and carrying on business in a corporate capacity within the state,” Fisher wrote.

“Moreover, Indiana Code § 6-3-2-2.8(4) merely exempts foreign reinsurance corporations that conduct business within Indiana from the corporate income tax because they are ‘subject to’ the premiums tax under Indiana Code § 27-1-18-2. See I.C. § 6-3-2-2.8(4). These statutes, therefore, plainly concern the regulation and taxation of insurance and are immune from Commerce Clause challenges,” Fisher wrote.  
 

 

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  1. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

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