Retail Convenience Store Assessment Affirmed

In M&A Food Store, Inc. v. Testa, Dkt. No. 2013-4504 (01/27/2015), the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals affirmed the Tax Commissioner’s sales tax assessment against a retail convenience store. The taxpayer attempted to support its contention that the assessment was overstated by offering its 2010 corporate income tax return and an email from a Department of Taxation representative regarding potential adjustments that could be made to the assessment based upon records that had been provided. The BTA treated the Department’s email as a settlement offer, but found a lack of evidence supporting the adjustments discussed in the email. Ultimately, the BTA found the tax return and email were not probative evidence to reduce the assessment without testimony from the taxpayer’s representative to corroborate the representations therein. Accordingly, the assessment was upheld.

This case illustrates the importance for taxpayers, who have the burden to prove to what extent the Tax Commissioner’s assessment is erroneous, to present a complete case to the BTA. This is particularly difficult, yet critical, for convenient stores, who are viewed very suspiciously by the Department. Please contact Steve Dimengo, Rich Fry, or Casey Davis to ensure your case is presented properly to the BTA.

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