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Tax Court rules on inheritance tax valuation

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The Indiana Tax Court has rejected an estate’s attempt to sidestep trial rules by allowing verified tax returns to stand in for affidavits in determining a property’s fair market value.

The ruling came today in Estate of Christine L. Neterer, Deceased; Deborah Pollock and Marilyn Humbarger, Co-Personal Representatives v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue, No. 49T10-1006-TA-26, an estate case in which Senior Judge Thomas Fisher ruled that the Indiana Department of Revenue has the ability to investigate any circumstances relating to inheritance tax enforcement and collection.

Deborah Pollock and Marilyn Humbarger served as personal representatives for the estate of their aunt Christine L. Neterer, who died in 2006 and shared one half interest in real property located in Elkhart County. An appraisal found the property had a fair market value of $855,250, and after a 30 percent discount and reduction by the county assessor, the estate’s inheritance tax liability was almost $31,938.

Shortly thereafter, the state department issued a notice indicating the property value and inheritance tax was higher because a life insurance policy had not been included in the return and the 30 percent discount wasn’t allowed. As a result, the estate was ordered to pay $13,279 more in inheritance tax.

The estate disagreed with the 30 percent discount disallowance, but eventually the estate paid the requested additional amount in full. More than a year later, the estate filed an administrative claim contending it was entitled to a refund of the additional tax amount it had paid. That led to a case in Elkhart Circuit’s Probate Court, and the trial judge ultimately found the state department didn’t improperly collect the taxes or disallow the discount under Indiana Code 6-4.1-3-13.

Specifically, the estate tried to use verified tax returns to prove the fair market value warranted the 30 percent discount, rather than supporting or opposing affidavits that are required under Indiana Trial 56(E). The probate court found that the estate didn’t supply those affidavits and so didn’t offer adequate evidence showing the need for the 30 percent discount.

Evidence submitted by the estate wasn’t compiled by experts, Fisher wrote, and it didn’t show the 30 percent discounted was warranted. Fisher affirmed the Probate Court’s summary judgment grant in favor of the state department.

 

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  1. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  2. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  3. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  4. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  5. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

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