Indiana airplane merchant protests imposition of both tax and penalty.

In Indiana, a corporation was found liable for sales tax on the purchase of an airplane that were later leased or rented to the public. The taxpayer’s attempt to contend this sales tax exemption is based on Indiana Code 6-2.5-5-8, which exempts from sales tax retailers who are in the business of leasing aircraft to the public, was denied. Instead, the court classified the taxpayer as a “private flying club” due in part to the reduced fees offered to its members, which fell short of covering operating expenses and therefore produce no profit. As a result of the taxpayer’s neglect to submit the proper amount of tax a ten percent negligence penalty was imposed. It was later determined that the taxpayer did not intentionally neglect to pay the proper tax. The penalty was waived. (Letter of Findings No. 98-0017, Indiana Department of Revenue, September 1, 2004)

Posted on October 22, 2004