Shulbe v. Commissioner of Revenue, 9436-R

CourtTax Court of Minnesota
Writing for the CourtJane N. Bowman, Judge
PartiesKidane S. Shulbe, Appellant, v. Commissioner of Revenue, et al., Appellees.
Docket Number9436-R
Decision Date08 March 2021

Kidane S. Shulbe, Appellant,
v.

Commissioner of Revenue, et al., Appellees.

No. 9436-R

Tax Court of Minnesota, Regular Division, Dakota County

March 8, 2021


ORDER GRANTING COMMISSIONER'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

This matter came before the Honorable Jane N. Bowman, Judge of the Minnesota Tax Court, on the Commissioner's motion for partial judgment on the pleadings.

Appellant Kidane S. Shulbe is self-represented.

Mawerdi Hamid, Assistant Minnesota Attorney General, represents appellees Commissioner of Revenue and the Minnesota Attorney General's Office.

The Commissioner of Revenue moves for partial judgment on the pleadings, arguing this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over many-but not all-of the claims raised against the Commissioner, and that this court similarly lacks subject matter jurisdiction over all the claims raised against the Minnesota Attorney General's Office. This court also analyzed, sua sponte, its jurisdiction over named appellees Ashley Rose Henke and Kyle William Brooks.

Having heard and considered the arguments of the parties, and upon all the files, records, and proceedings herein, the court now makes the following:

ORDER

1. The Commissioner's motion for partial judgment on the pleadings is granted.

a. Appeals of the Commissioner of Revenue's orders dated April 29, 2019 (for tax year 2017), and June 27, 2019 (for tax year 2018), are dismissed.

b. Claims against the Minnesota Attorney General's Office are dismissed.

2. Ashley Rose Henke and Kyle William Brooks are dismissed from Mr. Shulbe's tax appeal.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

MEMORANDUM

Jane N. Bowman, Judge

Mr. Shulbe appeals the Commissioner of Revenue's orders dated April 29, 2019; June 27, 2019; and August 11, 2020.[1] Mr. Shulbe's appeal also names the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, Ms. Henke, and Mr. Brooks as appellees.[2] The Commissioner moves to dismiss appeals of two of the three orders as untimely.[3] The Commissioner further moves to dismiss the Minnesota Attorney General's Office from this appeal.[4] Finally, this court, on its own initiative, dismisses Ashley R. Henke and Kyle W. Brooks from this appeal.

I. Background

With a July 9, 2018 letter, the Department of Revenue notified Mr. Shulbe that it was reviewing his 2017 individual income tax return.[5] As a result of this review, the Department issued a Notice of Change to Individual Income Tax dated August 23, 2018, which changed his filing status from head of household to single, disallowed claimed dependents, and disallowed the working family credit.[6] Mr. Shulbe administratively appealed the August 23, 2018 order.[7] With an April 29, 2019 Notice of Determination on Appeal, the Department affirmed its original determination.[8]

With a March 6, 2019 letter, the Department notified Mr. Shulbe that it was reviewing his 2018 individual income tax return.[9] On June 27, 2019, the Department issued a Notice of Change to Individual Income Tax, which adjusted Mr. Shulbe's filing status to single and disallowed dependents, the working family credit, and the K-12 education credit.[10]

Finally, with a July 20, 2020 letter, the Department notified Mr. Shulbe that it was reviewing his 2019 individual income tax return.[11] On August 11, 2020, the Department issued a Notice of Change to Individual Income Tax, which again changed his filing status to single and disallowed dependents, the working family credit, and the K-12 education credit.[12]

Mr. Shulbe filed this appeal on September 17, 2020, challenging the Notice of Determination on Appeal for 2017, and the Notices of Change to Individual Income Tax for 2018 and 2019.[13] On November 2, 2020, the Commissioner brought the current motion, which Mr. Shulbe opposed.[14] A telephonic hearing was held on December 8, 2020.[15]

II. The Commissioner's Motion to Dismiss Mr. Shulbe's Appeal Concerning the 2017 and 2018 Tax Years

The Commissioner first moves for partial judgment on the pleadings, arguing the appeal of two of the three orders are untimely.[16] Civil Procedure Rule 12.03 states that "[a]fter the pleadings are closed but within such time as not to delay the trial, any party may move for judgment on the pleadings." Minn. R. Civ. P. 12.03. Under Minnesota law, a taxpayer has 60 days to appeal an order of the Commissioner. Minn. Stat. § 271.06, subd. 2 (2020).[17] Failure to timely file an appeal deprives the court of subject matter jurisdiction. Langer v. Comm'r of Revenue, 773 N.W.2d 77, 80 (Minn. 2009); see also Olson v. Comm'r of Revenue, No. A20-1048, __ N.W.2d __, 2020 WL 7765883 (Minn. Dec. 30, 2020) (affirming this court's dismissal of an untimely appeal).

Mr. Shulbe's appeal was received by this court on September 17, 2020.[18] Although his appeal of the August 11, 2020 order was timely, his appeal of the April 29, 2019 and June 27, 2019 orders was filed well after the close of the statutory 60-day appeal period. Accordingly, this court does not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear the late-filed appeals; the challenges to the April 29, 2019 and June 27, 2019 orders are dismissed. See Land O'Lakes Dairy Co. v. Hintzen, 225 Minn. 535, 538, 31 N.W.2d 474, 476 (1948) ("[A] statute defining and limiting jurisdiction is to be construed as jurisdictional and as limiting the power of the court to act.").

III. The Commissioner's Motion to Dismiss Claims Against the Minnesota Attorney General's Office

The Commissioner next moves to dismiss claims against the Minnesota...

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