Thursday, February 6, 2014

Revenue Agrees Utility Bills Payment Service Not Sale of Taxable Goods

Excerpts of Revenue's Determination follow:

Taxpayer is a company doing business in Indiana. Taxpayer was audited by the Indiana Department of Revenue ("Department"). As a result of the audit, the Department determined that Taxpayer owed additional sales and use tax. Following the audit, Taxpayer filed a protest.

Taxpayer protests the assessment of additional sales and use tax on various transactions. The issue is whether Taxpayer has provided sufficient information to establish that the assessment was incorrect.
Taxpayer provided checking account statements purporting to show automatic withdrawals by an unrelated company. Taxpayer provided utility bill payment services on behalf of the unrelated company. These transactions represented transactions for which a utility customer went to Taxpayer in order to pay the customer's utility bill. These transactions did not represent the sale of tangible personal property by Taxpayer or any other transaction taxable for sales and use tax purposes. Rather, Taxpayer served as a conduit for the customer to remit funds to the unrelated company. Thus, to the extent that Taxpayer has provided information establishing payments by Taxpayer to "Amer. Pay Sys." for the period covered by the Department's statistical sample, Taxpayer's protest is sustained.
Taxpayer has also provided other information purporting to establish that its sales were otherwise overstated. With regard to this information, Taxpayer has not provided sufficient legal or factual grounds to establish that the proposed assessment was incorrect.