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September 30, 2013

MSC to consider what qualifies as a "petition for refund" for overpayment of taxes

In a dispute over $2 million in interest on tax overpayments, Ford Motor Company v Department of Treasury, the Michigan Supreme Court has granted leave and will consider on the following issues:

(1) whether the plaintiff taxpayer’s response to the defendant Department of Treasury’s August 3, 2005 audit determination letter – in light of events and communications that preceded that response, including information provided to the defendant by the plaintiff and the contents of the defendant’s Audit Report of Findings – was a “petition . . . for refund” or “claim for refund” for purposes of the calculation of overpayment interest under MCL 205.30, and

(2) alternatively, whether the plaintiff’s November 17, 2005 request for an informal conference with the defendant, in spite of its later withdrawal of that request, was such a petition or claim.

The court has invited the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Michigan to file a brief amicus curiae.

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