Articles Posted in Tax Law

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The New Castle County Office of Assessment (“New Castle County”) valued office condominium units for real property tax purposes but failed to take into account depreciation. The Superior Court affirmed the decision of the New Castle County Board of Assessment Review (the “Board”) upholding New Castle County’s valuation. The property owner appealed, arguing that its office condominium units were over-assessed because New Castle County and the Board did not factor in the age and resulting depreciation of the units. Because Delaware law required that all relevant factors bearing on the value of a property (in its current condition) be considered, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed and required that New Castle County reassess the value of the units, taking into account the influence depreciation has on their taxable value. View "Commerce Associates, LP, et al. v. New Castle County Office of Assessment, et al." on Justia Law

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Textron, Inc. appealed a Superior Court judgment which held that the company was not entitled to reimbursement from its former fastening manufacturing business, now known as Acument Global Technologies, Inc. for paying certain pre-closing contingent liabilities in the United States. The Superior Court's opinion centered on the meaning of a "tax benefit offset" provision in the parties' Purchase Agreement under which Acument was required to reimburse Textron if Acument received a "tax benefit" related to the contingent liabilities. Textron argued that even if the tax benefit had to be actual rather than merely hypothetical, the Superior Court erred by not finding that Acument actually enjoyed the right to tax benefits. Textron contended that its payment of the pre-closing liabilities constituted a tax benefit because the payments automatically increase Acument's tax basis under U.S. tax law. The Supreme Court disagreed after its review of the appeal: the Agreement, taken as a whole, guaranteed that Acument would not receive a net tax benefit simply because Textron made a required indemnification payment. Accordingly, Textron's argument that Acument has received a tax benefit triggering Textron's right to reimbursement was without merit, as the total effect of Textron's payments is tax-neutral. Similarly, Textron's second and related claim that the Superior Court erred in "redefining" the required tax benefit to mean only a "deduction" rather than any "reduction" was meritless. The therefore affirmed the Superior Court's judgment. View "Textron v. Acument Global Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law

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A monition action was brought by the City against defendant for the collection of taxes and charges. The real property was sold at a sheriff's sale to the successful third-party bidder, One-Pie. After confirmation, One-Pie filed a petition for tax deed. The Superior Court confirmed a Commissioner's order denying the petition, because defendant had successfully redeemed the property. One-Pie raised three claims on appeal, contending that the Superior Court erred by: (i) determining that the property had been redeemed properly; (ii) determining that One-Pie lacked standing; and (iii) allowing defendant to use One-Pie's funds for redemption. The court found no merit in the appeal and affirmed the judgment. View "One-Pie Investments, LLC v. Jackson" on Justia Law

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Appellant filed requests with appellee for refunds of taxes that appellant paid on premiums derived from certain life insurance policies, for tax years 2001 to 2003. The Delaware Insurance Commissioner ("Commissioner") denied appellant's request on the basis that appellant could not aggregate the premium income from those insurance policies into one unitary "case" for tax purposes under section 702 of the Delaware Insurance Code. At issue on appeal was the meaning of the term "case," which appeared in section 702. The court held that the plain meaning of section 702(c)(2)b, both pre- and post-amendment, was that the premiums received from insurance policies could be aggregated into one "case" only if those policies were issued through the same private placement memorandum. Therefore, appellant could not aggregate the seven insurance policies that were issued via separate private placements into one "case."