Ingredion, Inc. v. Marion Cnty. Assessor, Case No. 20T-TA-00007

Docket NºCase No. 20T-TA-00007
Citation184 N.E.3d 739
Case DateFebruary 25, 2022
CourtTax Court of Indiana

184 N.E.3d 739

INGREDION, INCORPORATED, Petitioner,
v.
MARION COUNTY ASSESSOR, Respondent.

Case No. 20T-TA-00007

Tax Court of Indiana.

February 25, 2022


ATTORNEY FOR PETITIONER: RANDAL J. KALTENMARK, BARNES & THORNBURG LLP, Indianapolis, IN

ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT: JESSICA R. GASTINEAU, SPECIAL COUNSEL – TAX LITIGATION, ANNE C. HARRIGAN, CHIEF LITIGATION COUNSEL, OFFICE OF CORPORATION COUNSEL, Indianapolis, IN

WENTWORTH, J.

Ingredion, Incorporated challenges the Indiana Board of Tax Review's final determination denying its claim for refund under Indiana Code § 6-1.1-3-7.5 for personal property tax it overpaid for the 2011 tax year. Upon review, the Court affirms the Indiana Board's final determination.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Ingredion timely filed its Indiana Business Tangible Personal Property Assessment Returns reporting the value of its tangible personal property located at its Indianapolis manufacturing facility for the 2011, 2012, and 2013 tax years. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 37-148.) On April 4, 2014, the Assessor sent Ingredion a letter initiating an audit of those returns and requesting certain documents necessary to reconcile Ingredion's reported values with its financial records. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 32 ¶ 9, 149.)

During the course of the audit, Ingredion discovered that its former personal property tax return preparation firm had incorrectly reported the costs of its assets by using the original installed (historical) cost basis instead of the federal tax cost basis. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 33 ¶ 17, 166.) On June 30, 2014, Ingredion provided the Assessor with a written report comparing the historical costs of its personal property costs reported on its Indiana returns to its costs reported on its federal depreciation schedules. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 33 ¶ 18.) The report showed that upon correcting the overstated costs reported for each year, Ingredion would owe additional personal property taxes for 2012 and 2013, but would have overpaid tax for 2011. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 33-34 ¶ 19.)

On April 14, 2015, the Assessor issued two Forms 113/PP (Notice of Assessment/Change) and a letter summarizing his final 2012 and 2013 audit findings, increasing Ingredion's assessments for both 2012 and 2013. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 150-58, 160-61.) The administrative record does not contain a Form 113/PP for 2011, nor did the Assessor's audit summary letter make any reference to audit results for 2011. (See Cert. Admin. R.)

On May 7, 2015, during the pendency of the audit, Ingredion filed a refund claim seeking to recover its tax overpayment for the 2011 tax year. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 162-201.) On August 7, 2018, however, Ingredion sought relief with the Marion County Superior Court because the Assessor had not yet approved nor denied its

184 N.E.3d 741

claim for refund. (See, e.g., Cert. Admin. R. at 257.) On January 14, 2019, the Marion County Superior Court ordered the Assessor to either approve or deny Ingredion's refund claim within 30 days. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 257-70.) On January 25, 2019, the Marion County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals denied Ingredion's claim for refund. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 271-73.)

Ingredion appealed to the Indiana Board on March 4, 2019.1 (See Cert. Admin. R. at 274-82.) Two days later Ingredion filed a motion for summary judgment claiming that because the Assessor had discovered Ingredion's 2011 overpayment of tax during the audit, Indiana Code § 6-1.1-9-10 required him to provide either a credit or refund for that overpayment.2 (See Cert. Admin. R. at 12 - 13, 22-28.)

On April 5, 2019, the Assessor filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, claiming that he neither audited nor adjusted Ingredion's 2011 return because Ingredion failed to provide certain information before the three-year statute of limitations in Indiana Code § 6-1.1-9-3(a) had elapsed, barring him from making a change to Ingredion's return. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 288-92.) Consequently, the Assessor argued that the only way that Ingredion could have obtained a refund for 2011 was by filing an amended return, but it failed to do so. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 291-92.)

On January 30, 2020, the Indiana Board issued its final determination granting summary judgment to the Assessor because Ingredion had not filed the requisite amended return. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 322 ¶ 1, 327-28 ¶ 15.) Noting that a taxpayer has twelve months to file an amended return to correct an error on its personal property tax return, the Indiana Board found it was not "likely that the General Assembly intended to waive [the amended return deadline] simply because an assessor initiated an audit." (Cert. Admin. R. at 327 ¶ 14.) Accordingly, the Indiana Board determined that if Ingredion wished to correct the error, it should have filed an amended return. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 327 ¶ 14.)

On March 13, 2020, Ingredion initiated this original tax appeal. The Court heard oral argument on October 8, 2020. Additional facts will be supplied as necessary.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The party seeking to overturn an Indiana Board final determination bears the burden of demonstrating its invalidity. Hubler Realty Co. v. Hendricks Cnty. Assessor, 938 N.E.2d 311, 313 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2010). The Court will reverse a final determination if it is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law; contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity; in excess of or short of statutory jurisdiction, authority,...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT