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Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

by Booth, George


SC19800, SC19801, SC19802 - Dish Network, LLC v. Commissioner of Revenue Services (Tax appeal; claim that plaintiff satellite video company's failure to request administrative review of audit pursuant to statute (§ 12-268i) barred subsequent request for refund pertaining to same tax period; "The principal issue in this case is the extent to which General Statutes § 12-256 (b) (2) imposes a tax on gross earnings from a satellite television operator's business operations in this state, which include the transmission of video programming, the sale and lease of equipment required to view that programming, the installation and maintenance of such equipment, digital video recording (DVR) service, and payment related fees. The defendant, the Commissioner of Revenue Services (commissioner), appeals, and the plaintiff, Dish Network, LLC, cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court sustaining in part the plaintiff's tax appeals and ordering a refund of taxes previously paid on earnings from the sale of certain goods and services. Addressing the parties' various contentions, we reach the following conclusions: (1) the trial court properly determined that General Statutes § 12-268i does not provide the exclusive procedure for challenging a tax assessment for a tax period that has been the subject of an audit, and, therefore, the plaintiff was not barred from seeking a refund for certain audited tax periods pursuant to General Statutes § 12-268c (a) (1); (2) § 12-256 (b) (2) imposes a tax on gross earnings from the transmission of video programming by satellite and certain payment related fees, but not the sale, lease, installation, or maintenance of equipment or DVR service; and (3) the trial court properly determined that the plaintiff was not entitled to interest on the refund pursuant to § 12-268c (b) (1). Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgments of the trial court.")