New York – Winners Garage, Inc. v Tax Appeals Tribunal

SALT Report 1212 – The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, dismissed a petition filed by Winners Garage, Inc., a corporation that leases taxicabs to drivers in New York City, to review two separate determinations by the New York Tax Appeals Tribunal.

In October 2007, the Department of Taxation and Finance audited Winners Garage and determined that they had failed to pay sales and use taxes in the amount of $211,907.10 from December 1, 2004 through August 31, 2007.  After twice consenting to an extension, the Department sent a Statement of Proposed Audit to Winners Garage in January 2009. Winners Garage disagreed with the proposed audit and requested a conciliation conference. The state’s auditor then sent a conciliation conference request form to Winners Garage to fill out and return however, they never returned this form. Neither party disputes that the notices were mailed to or received by Winners Garage.
The notice states that, if Winners Garage disagreed with the amounts assessed by the Department, they had a 90 day period to file either a request for conciliation conference or a petition for a Division of Tax Appeals hearing. Winners Garage filed their petitions with the Division of Tax Appeals five months after the 90-day period had expired.
As a result, the court found that the taxpayers’ failure to request a conciliation conference or petition for redetermination within 90 days was sufficient to dismiss the petition and that the Tax Appeals Tribunal’s dismissal of the petition was not arbitrary, capricious or irrational.  Additionally, given the fact that Winners Garage still had unpaid tax liabilities, the court found that the department had cause to deny the renewal of their sales tax certificate of authority.
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