Appellate Litigation and State Local Tax (SALT): Siegel-Robert, Inc. v. Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue, 2009 WL 3486625 (Tenn. Ct. App., 2009)
Won excise tax refund case at trial court and on appeal on behalf of automotive parts manufacturer, holding that Tennessee's excise tax assessment on excess funds invested in treasury securities was unconstitutional under the federal Due Process and Commerce Clauses applying the unitary business principal.
Arista Records v. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue, 2008 WL 2557368 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2008) (interlocutory appeal)
BMG Music v. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue, 2008 WL 2165985 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2008) (interlocutory appeal)
Stones River Motors, Inc. v. Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue, Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court No. 03-3585-I(II), slip op. (2007)
Siegel-Robert, Inc. v. Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue, Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court No. 00-3763-III, slip op. (2006)
In re: First Student, Inc., Tennessee Department of Revenue, Administrative Hearing Office (2006)
GTS Duratek, Bear Creek, Inc. v. Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue, Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court No. 00-3337-III, slip op. (2005)
Prodigy Servs. Corp. v. Johnson, 125 S.W.3d 413 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003), perm. app. denied (Tenn. 2003) (counsel for amici curiae)
America Online, Inc. v. Johnson, 2002 WL 1751434 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2002)
America Online, Inc. v. Ruth E. Johnson, 2002 WL 1751434 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2002)
Application of the Tennessee sales tax to internet access services and determination if online presence is sufficient nexus to allow the state to require the collection of sales or use tax. The case was remanded to the trial court and settled without further litigation.
Estee Lauder, Inc., et al. v. Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue, Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court No. 97-2356-II, slip op. (2001)
Federated Stores Realty, Inc. v. Huddleston, 852 S.W.2d 206 (Tenn. 1992)
Gain from the sale of real estate held to be nonbusiness earnings allocable to the state in which the property is located and not apportionable for purposes of the Tennessee corporate excise (income) tax.
Administrative Challenge of Denial of Refund
Representation of national energy company resulting in a refund in excess of $400,000 resolved at the administrative level.
State and Local Tax
Representation of international manufacturer with respect to Tennessee tax assessments in excess of $5 million resulting in the abatement of the assessments.
Coca-Cola Refreshments U.S.A. v. Alabama Department of Revenue, C.V. 2013-900448 (Mont. County Cir. Ct. 2017) (on appeal)
Granted partial corporate income tax refund involving Alabama’s separate return limitation year rule and separate company net operating losses, and upheld the partial refund granted by the predecessor to the Alabama Tax Tribunal.
State and Local Tax Planning and Litigation Matters
Advising clients with respect to Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi tax planning matters involving franchise and excise tax issues, sales and uses tax issues, property tax and economic incentive matters such as Payment in Lieu of Tax agreements (PILOTs). Representing clients in sales and use tax litigation matters, franchise and excise tax litigation matters, and property tax litigation matters (including matters before the Tennessee State Board of Equalization).
Ameris Bank v. Alabama Department of Revenue, AL Tax Trib. Dkt. No. BIT 16-255 (2017)
Tax Tribunal voided the ADOR’s multiple assessments on the grounds that the bank’s formation of a captive REIT subsidiary to hold a majority of mortgages was legitimate state tax planning and that the dividends received deduction applied to dividends from the subsidiary.
Elbow River Marketing LP v. City of Birmingham, Alabama, Jefferson Co. Cir. Ct. Civ. Action No. 01-CV-2014-0624 (2017)
Circuit Court voided City’s assessment of business license tax, ruling that the natural gas marketing company headquartered in Calgary, Canada and selling to in-state customers through interstate commerce had no taxable nexus with the City.
Henson v. HealthSouth Corporation, Case No. CV 2003-1604 (Jefferson Co. Cir. Ct. 2009)
In the case of Henson v. HealthSouth, a claim was made by an individual taxpayer in the county to void a tax exemption awarded to HealthSouth Corporation in connection with the construction of a new "digital hospital." On remand from the Alabama Supreme Court and after substantial discovery, the case was tried in July 2009 and the Court rendered a judgment in favor of HealthSouth upholding the validity of the tax exemption. The plaintiffs did not appeal.
GKN Westland Aerospace, Inc. v. State Department of Revenue, Admin. Law Div. Dkt. No. BIT. 10-988 (2011)
Voiding final assessments entered against the taxpayer and upholding its calculation of the IRC section 199, Domestic Production Activities Deduction, on a separate company basis for Alabama corporate income tax purposes.
CAO Holdings, Inc. v. Roberts, Commissioner of Revenue (Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court, 2011).
Lead counsel in a successful trial against the Tennessee Department of Revenue in a case on remand from the Tennessee Supreme Court (CAO Holdings, Inc. v. Trost, 333 S.W.3d 73 (Tenn. 2010). Following a multiple day trial, our client obtained a significant use tax refund, interest and attorneys’ fees, relating to the out-of-state purchase of a Cessna aircraft and its subsequent in-state use exclusively for leasing.
Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. v. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue, 2008 WL 2415483 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2008).
Lead counsel on appeal involving the application of Tennessee’s taxpayer confidentiality statutes to discovery requests in tax litigation. The Tennessee Court of Appeals held in the taxpayer’s favor concluding that taxpayer information prepared by the Department of Revenue, and in the possession of the Department, must be disclosed.
Telescripps Cable Company v. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue (Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court).
Lead counsel on successful motion for summary judgment against Tennessee Department of Revenue. We prevailed on a significant issue for the cable industry involving the Tennessee sales tax exemption for cable set-top boxes and remote controls.
In re: Premier Global Productions (Tennessee Board of Equalization)
Lead Counsel on appeal of property tax assessment against entertainment production company involving the application of Tennessee’s personal property tax statutes to the lease of staging and lighting equipment. We succeeded in overturning the assessment through the administrative appellate process.
Bristol Motor Speedway v. Farr, Commissioner of Revenue (Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court)
Lead counsel on successful motion for summary judgment against Tennessee Department of Revenue involving the application of Tennessee's Business Tax to the sale of intangibles.
Elephant Sanctuary of Tenn. v. Tennessee Board of Equalization, (Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court)
Lead trial counsel on case involving application of charitable property tax exemption. The Chancery Court ruled in the taxpayers favor concluding that the Elephant Sanctuary was entitled to a full exemption from Tennessee property tax.
Eastman Chemical Co. v. Chumley, 2004 WL 51822 (Tenn. Ct. App.)
Co-counsel on lawsuit involving the application of Tennessee’s manufacturing exemption to catalysts. The Court of Appeals ruled in the taxpayer’s favor, affirming the Chancery Court’s grant of summary judgment that the exemption applied.
Nissan North America v. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue (Davidson County, Tennessee Chancery Court)
Co-counsel in successful litigation involving application of Tennessee sales tax to preventative maintenance services provided by contractors.
City of Birmingham v. Leaf River Energy Center, LLC (Ala. S. Ct. 2013)
Successfully represented Leaf River Energy Center in appeal of denial of sales tax refund claim related to property ultimately taken out of state.
Alabama Property Tax Appeals
State of Alabama v. Motiva Enterprises LLC, (Jefferson Co. Cir. Ct. 2013)
Upheld Ala. Dep’t of Revenue Administrative Law Division ruling voiding an assessment of wholesale oil license tax or “WOLF” on a distributor where the Dep't of Revenue attempted to impose new record-keeping requirements retroactively and that would have been practically impossible for the taxpayer to comply with and possibly violated federal antitrust laws.
Ace American Ins. Co. v. State (Tennessee Supreme Court 2015)
Co-Counsel in appeal of Tennessee retaliatory tax dispute involving Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation insurers doing business in Tennessee. Case pending before Tennessee Supreme Court.
Nextel South Corp. v. State of Alabama Dep't of Rev. (Admin. Law Div. 2013)
Successfully represented Nextel South in the appeal challenging the Department's calculation of so-called "hot interest" applicable to large corporate underpayments.
Pacific Rim Capital, Inc. v. Tuscaloosa County Special Tax Bd. (Montgomery County Cir. Ct. 2013)
Obtained summary judgment granting refund claim and voiding the final assessment of use tax on pipeline equipment and other rental property.