190 A. 743 (Conn. 1937), Stanley Works v. Hackett

Citation:190 A. 743, 122 Conn. 547
Opinion Judge:MALTBIE, Chief Justice.
Party Name:STANLEY WORKS v. HACKETT, Tax Com'r.
Attorney:James W. Cooper, of New Haven (Arthur L. Corbin, Jr., of New Haven, on the brief), for appellant. Richard F. Corkey, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Edward J. Daly, Atty. Gen., and Charles J. McLaughlin, Deputy Atty. Gen., on the brief), for appellee.
Judge Panel:Argued before MALTBIE, C.J., and HINMAN, BANKS, AVERY, and BROWN, JJ.
Case Date:March 04, 1937
Court:Supreme Court of Connecticut
 
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Page 743

190 A. 743 (Conn. 1937)

122 Conn. 547

STANLEY WORKS

v.

HACKETT, Tax Com'r.

Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut.

March 4, 1937

Case Reserved from Superior court, Hartford County; John Rufus Booth, Judge.

Action by the Stanley Works against William H. Hackett, Tax Commissioner. From the imposition of an additional tax on plaintiff by defendant under the Corporation Business Tax Act, plaintiff appealed to the superior court, which reserved two questions for the advice of the Supreme Court of Errors.

First question answered in the affirmative.

James W. Cooper, of New Haven (Arthur L. Corbin, Jr., of New Haven, on the brief), for appellant.

[122 Conn. 548] Richard F. Corkey, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Edward J. Daly, Atty. Gen., and Charles J. McLaughlin, Deputy Atty. Gen., on the brief), for appellee.

Argued before MALTBIE, C.J., and HINMAN, BANKS, AVERY, and BROWN, JJ.

MALTBIE, Chief Justice.

The plaintiff a corporation organized under the laws of this state and having its principal office and place of business in New Britain. It is engaged in manufacturing, buying, selling, and otherwise dealing in metal and hardware in this and several other states in the United States. It is authorized under its charter and the General Statutes to buy, sell, and hold

Page 744

stock in other corporations, and in the year 1935 it did hold the stock of three Canadian corporations. It is liable to pay the state a corporation business tax under the provisions of chapter 66b of the Cumulative Supplement of the General Statutes 1935 (section 416c et seq.). In March, 1936, it made the required return to the tax commissioner for the fiscal year of 1935. This showed that it had made a profit during the year such that it was liable for more than the minimum tax provided in the chapter. In the return it stated that it had received the sum of $720,975 in dividends upon the stock held by it in the Canadian corporations, but it did not include this sum in computing the amount of the tax payable. The tax commissioner overruled the plaintiff's claim that this amount should not be included in the computation of the tax and imposed an additional tax of $14,168.99 on account of this item, which was paid by the plaintiff, under protest. Our advice is requested upon two questions, but it is only necessary to consider the first: Whether the tax commissioner erred in including in the computation of the tax the dividends received by the plaintiff upon the stock owned by it in the Canadian corporations.

The plaintiff is the sole owner of the stock of the [122 Conn. 549] three Canadian corporations. They are under the active management of managers resident in Canada. They carry on no trade or business in the United States, but they do carry on in Canada a business of similar type to that of the plaintiff in this country. Part of the dividends in question were paid from earnings of the corporations in 1935, but the larger portion represented surplus or undivided profits earned during the period from 1919 to the end of 1934. The Canadian corporations paid substantial income taxes to the Dominion of Canada based upon the income from which the dividends were paid, and the plaintiff has not received the benefit of any tax allocation outside the state on account of the business done by them.

Chapter 66b of the Cumulative Supplement of 1935, as far as applicable to the case before us, requires every corporation within its scope to pay annually " a tax or excise upon its franchise for the privilege of carrying on or doing business within the state, such tax to be measured by the entire net income as herein defined...

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