AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court dismissed an insurer's appeal in a dispute over excess coverage for defense costs incurred in an underlying lawsuit alleging that the insured failed to fully remit hotel taxes, according to its Jan. 15 pronouncement (Illinois Union Insurance Co. v. Sabre Holdings Corporation, et al., No. 15-0716, Texas Sup.).
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - An intellectual property dispute between a tax preparation firm and its former employee will proceed, a Virginia federal judge ruled Jan. 5 (Tax International LLC v. Rasheme Kilburn et al., No. 15-23, E.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1416).
SALEM, Ore. - An Oregon magistrate judge on Dec. 11 granted a motion for summary judgment filed by the Oregon Department of Revenue, finding that the "wholesale sales price" of untaxed tobacco products constituted the total sales price that was paid by a hookah distributor (Global Hookah Distributors Inc. v. Department of Revenue, State of Oregon, No. 140466N, Ore. Tax, Mag. Div.; 2015 Ore. Tax LEXIS 159).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appellate panel on Dec. 4 affirmed the New Jersey Tax Court's ruling that a tobacco company with no operations inside of New Jersey did not owe a tax bill of more than $24 million (Lorillard Licensing Company LLC v. Director, Division of Taxation, No. A-2033-13T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. Lexis 2789).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Rhode Island federal judge held Nov. 12 that the Central Coventry Fire District's tax liens can be considered property that the district owned or was legally liable for, denying an insurer's motion for summary judgment in a dispute over coverage for the district's $1.6 million budget shortfall caused by a tax error (Mark Pfeiffer, in his capacity as receiver of the Central Coventry Fire District v. American Alternative Insurance Corp., No. 14-521, D. R.I.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153299).
WAUKESHA, Wis. - A trial court properly relied on testimony of a business valuation expert to conclude that a failure to pay tax liabilities did not constitute marital waste, a Wisconsin appeals panel affirmed Oct. 28 (In re the marriage of: Rebecca Lynn Sternat v. Shawn William Sternat, No. 2014AP2844, Wis. App., Dist. 2; 2015 Wisc. App. LEXIS 776).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Sept. 17 dismissed a lawsuit brought by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) that had contended that federal agencies wrongly ignored a report the company issued pertaining to tax assessments on cigarette sales (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. United States Department of Agriculture, et al., No. 14-1388, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124159).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey tax judge on Aug. 26 granted a motion for summary judgment filed by a director of the division of taxation, finding that a New Jersey resident was liable for paying taxes on cigarettes he purchased from an Internet vendor (Kenneth Hudacko v. Director, Division of Taxation, No. 015082-2014, N.J. Tax; 2015 N.J. Tax Unpub. LEXIS 70).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appellate court on Aug. 24 affirmed a trial court ruling that it was not an abuse of discretion for Chicago agencies to revoke a tobacco store's license for its violations of the city's municipal code regarding proper packaging - and payment of taxes - pertaining to cigarettes (Smoke N Stuff v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 1-14-0936, Ill. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 646).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 18 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an insurer has no duty to defend former directors of a now-defunct company because their business and management indemnity insurance policy's professional services exclusion bars coverage for claims that the insureds engaged in a payroll tax scheme (Darryn Begun, et al. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., No. 13-16211, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14495).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 4 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that there is no coverage for two underlying lawsuits alleging that an insured committed negligence and fraud with respect to its provision of professional services pertaining to tax documents (Financial Strategy Group PLC v. Continental Casualty Company, No. 14-6296, 6th Cir.).
ATLANTA - Handwriting and fingerprint experts for the U.S. government in a tax fraud and identity theft case against a Florida man were qualified, used scientifically reliable methodology and provided testimony that was helpful to the jury, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found July 2 in affirming the man's conviction (United States of America v. Lee Ervin Dale, No. 14-10733, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11433).
CINCINNATI - A Texas appeals panel on June 25 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an excess insurer has a duty to reimburse the defense costs that its insured incurred in an underlying lawsuit alleging that it failed to fully remit hotel taxes (Illinois Union Insurance Co. v. Sabre Holdings Corporation, et al., No. 02-14-00130-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 6567).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s structure suggests the availability of tax subsidies in the federal exchange, and Congress could not have intended the state insurance market "death spirals" likely to result from barring such subsidies, a divided U.S. Supreme Court held June 25 (David King, et al. v. Sylvia Mathew Burwell, et al., No. 14-114, U.S. Sup.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - The federal judge in New Jersey presiding over the litigation brought by a school district seeking damages related to a chemical spill caused by the derailment of a train crossing the bridge over Mantua Creek on June 8 partially dismissed some of the claims against the railroad company defendants. The judge ruled that the school district had shown that the defendants owed it a duty of care, but the judge also concluded that the defendants were not liable for negligence resulting in a reduction in the property taxes (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 24 declined to exclude the testimony of a patent validity expert but limited the testimony of a damages expert so that taxes are not deducted from an accused infringer's gross profit margin, finding that if there is infringement, it is more equitable for the patent holder to receive any windfall that may occur by not deducting the taxes paid (Chico's Fas, Inc. v. Andrea Clair, et al., No. 2:13-cv-792, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67394).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 9 denied a petition for review of a decision by the U.S. Tax Court that a distributor of imported cigarettes may not claim tax deductions for unpaid obligations under the national tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) (Vidal Suriel v. Commissioner of IRS, No. 14-11533, 11th Cir.).
AUSTIN, Texas - Two pieces of legislation that would provide tax credits to oil and gas operators conducting hydraulic fracturing were referred to the Texas House Committee on Ways and Means on March 23.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - An Indian tribe waived its objections to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s large employer mandate by not raising them during the rulemaking process, and its action runs afoul of the Anti-Injunction Act's (AIA) bar on tax challenges taxes, the government told a federal judge on March 19 (Northern Arapaho Tribe, et al. v. Sylvia Burwell, et al., No. 14-247, D. Wyo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30480).