Indiana use tax assessment for airplanes leased found invalid.

An Indiana company that purchased two aircraft, one from Canada and another from Connecticut, and used the aircraft to fly to several U.S. destinations before entering Indiana for the first time were assessed for use tax during an audit by the Indiana Department of Revenue. The planes were primarily stored in a hangar within Indiana but were used frequently for interstate travel. However, the company had a private letter ruling from the Department which stated that the lease payments were not subject to Indiana use tax because the aircraft were used primarily for interstate travel. The court upheld the original assessment stating that the tax assessment violated the three prong test set in place by the Supreme Court case Complete Auto Transit, Inc. v. Brady to deter discrimination against unconstitutional taxation of interstate commerce. (Simon Aviation, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue, Docket #49T10-0003-TA-31, Decided April 02, 2004)

Posted on May 15, 2004