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Mississippi State Tax Commission v. Oscar E. Austin Trust

August 13, 1998

MISSISSIPPI STATE TAX COMMISSION AND THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
v.
OSCAR E. AUSTIN TRUST AND OSCAR E. AUSTIN, TRUSTEE



Before Sullivan, P.j., McRAE And Smith, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: McRAE, Justice

Mississippi State Tax Commission, et al v. Austin, 97-CA-00954-SCT, __ So. 2d __

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/30/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. PAT WISE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - STATE BOARDS AND AGENCIES

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 08/13/98

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

¶1. The Mississippi State Tax Commission appeals a June 30, 1997 order of the Hinds County Chancery Court, granting a motion for summary judgment in favor of Oscar E. Austin and the Oscar E. Austin Revocable Trust and denying the Commission's cross-motion for summary judgment. The chancellor found that the transfer of Austin's automobile into a revocable trust did not subject it to sales tax pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 27-65-201 (1990). We agree.

I.

¶2. Oscar E. Austin established a revocable trust on December 18, 1993, as amended January 29, 1994, known as the Oscar E. Austin Revocable Trust. The trust was designed to provide for his needs and those of his wife during his lifetime, and at his death, to pass assets to his wife through a marital deduction trust pursuant to Section 2056 of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as to his children and grandchildren, and to other named beneficiaries. Various assets were transferred from Austin, as creator, to the trust with Austin as trustee during his lifetime.

¶3. Austin's 1988 Oldsmobile 98 was among those assets placed in the trust. Title was transferred from Austin to the trust on May 4, 1994. At that time, he was assessed sales tax in the amount of $139.00 pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 27-65-201, the casual tax imposed on the sale of automobiles. He paid under protest.

¶4. The Board of Review of the State Tax Commission denied Austin's written Claim for Refund on April 20, 1995. Austin appealed the decision. By order dated September 27, 1995, the Commission denied Austin's request for a refund he sought in the amount of $139.00 he paid upon transferring his automobile to the trust, stating: ... Miss. Code Ann. § 27-65-201 (1972) provides that a three percent (3%) tax is imposed on every "person" purchasing any motor vehicle required to be registered in this state. This statute is commonly referred to as the casual sales tax on motor vehicles. In defining "person," the sales tax law, Miss. Code Ann. ...


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