By Nick Kump and Carley Roberts

The Indiana Tax Court held that the plain language of Indiana’s utility receipts tax (URT) does not require taxpayers to separately state taxable and nontaxable receipts on their returns. The URT provides that nontaxable receipts are taxable if such “receipts are not separated from the taxable receipts on the records or returns of the taxpayer.” The utilities taxpayer provided the amount of taxable receipts on its returns, but did not state its nontaxable receipts including the receipts for nontaxable connection fees. The Indiana Department of Revenue contended the taxpayer’s connection fees were taxable because the taxpayer did not expressly separate them from the taxable receipts. The court explained that providing taxable receipts “necessarily require[s]” taxpayers to separate taxable and nontaxable receipts, and the URT “merely requires the taxpayer to show on the return that the amount of nontaxable receipts has been separated from the taxable receipts.” Thus, the court concluded that requiring taxpayers to also separately state nontaxable receipts would add an element in the URT that the Legislature did not require. Hamilton Se. Utilities Inc. v. Dep’t of Revenue; Ind. Tax Ct., No. 49T10-1210-TA-00068, Apr. 29, 2016.