Washington successor corporation liable for unpaid use tax.

The Washington Board of Tax Appeals found that a new construction company, Richardson Homes, was both a successor to Richardson Construction and was liable for unpaid use tax on equipment received from Richardson Construction. During the appeal Richardson Homes argued that it did not qualify as a successor because it did not meet the fifth requirement of a successor, as outlined in RCW 82.04.180, which requires the sale or conveyance of a significant amount of materials, supplies, inventory, merchandise, fixtures, or equipment. This was substantiated by Richardson Homes’ claim that the equipment received from Richardson Construction was never owned by Richardson Construction. The court found that there was no evidence that Richardson Construction did not have full access to the equipment and therefore had “substance” ownership. Likewise, Richardson Construction held title/registration to the equipment, creating “form” ownership. Richardson Homes was deemed a successor of Richardson Construction and likewise found liable of unpaid use taxes on the transferred equipment. (Richardson Homes and Land, Inc. v. Washington Department of Revenue, Washington Board of Tax Appeals, No. 57798, September 20, 2004).

Posted on December 15, 2004