313 U.S. 62 (1941), 654, Department of Treasury of Indiana v. Wood Preserving Corporation

Docket Nº:No. 654
Citation:313 U.S. 62, 61 S.Ct. 885, 85 L.Ed. 1188
Party Name:Department of Treasury of Indiana v. Wood Preserving Corporation
Case Date:April 28, 1941
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 62

313 U.S. 62 (1941)

61 S.Ct. 885, 85 L.Ed. 1188

Department of Treasury of Indiana

v.

Wood Preserving Corporation

No. 654

United States Supreme Court

April 28, 1941

Argued April 1, 1941

CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT

Syllabus

1. A State may tax the gross receipts derived by a foreign corporation from goods bought and sold by it within the State. Adams Manufacturing Co. v. Storen, 304 U.S. 307, distinguished. P. 66.

2. A foreign corporation cannot escape such a tax by arranging to have the proceeds of its intrastate transactions paid to it in another State. P. 67.

3. A Delaware corporation, respondent in this case, arranged by telephone from its Ohio office with Indiana producers for delivery of railroad ties in Indiana at a loading point on the line of a railroad company with which it had contracted both to sell ties and to treat them with creosote at its plant in Ohio. When brought to the railroad in Indiana, the ties were examined by the railroad's inspector in the presence of respondent's agent, and those accepted by the inspector were immediately loaded on cars and were hauled to the Ohio plant, under bills of lading naming the respondent as consignor and an officer of the railroad as consignee. Respondent paid no freight for the transportation. Its Ohio office mailed weekly invoices to the railroad at its office in Maryland for the ties so delivered to the railroad, and monthly reports of such invoices were made to respondent's main office in Pennsylvania. All payments for ties were made to respondent's office in Pennsylvania and were there deposited in bank.

Held:

(1) That the sales of ties to the railroad in Indiana were local transactions separate from the creosoting service and the receipts from such sales were subject to the Indiana tax. P. 68.

(2) The circumstance that the billing was in the name of the respondent as consignor is immaterial in view of the completed delivery to the railroad in Indiana. P. 68.

114 F.2d 922 reversed.

Certiorari, 312 U.S. 670, to review the reversal of a judgment against the present respondent in its suit to recover money collected as taxes by the Treasurer of the State of Indiana.

Page 63

HUGHES, J., lead opinion

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This suit was brought by respondent, The Wood Preserving Corporation, to recover taxes collected from it by the Department of Treasury of the State of Indiana under the Indiana Gross Income Tax Act of 1933. The District Court denied recovery, and its judgment was reversed by the Circuit Court of Appeals upon the ground that the taxes were invalid under the Federal Constitution as laid upon income received outside the State and as constituting an unlawful burden upon interstate commerce. 114 F.2d 922. In view of the asserted conflict with applicable decisions of this Court, certiorari was granted, 312 U.S. 671.

The facts were found in accordance with the stipulation of the parties. Respondent is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is qualified to do business in Indiana, but has no agents or employees within that State except as specified. Respondent is engaged in the business of treating railroad ties by creosoting them, and also in...

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