State Dep’t of Taxation v. Masco Builder Cabinet Group

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Justia Opinion Summary

Taxpayer requested a tax refund from the Nevada Department of Taxation without filing a formal refund claim based on an understanding Taxpayer had with the Department. The Department denied the request. Taxpayer then filed a formal refund claim as part of a petition for redetermination. An ALJ determined that Taxpayer was entitled to a refund despite its late filing of the formal refund claim. The Tax Commission reversed, concluding that Taxpayer's failure to timely file a formal refund claim rendered a portion of its refund request time-barred. The district court reinstated the ALJ's determination that Taxypayer was entitled to a refund, concluding that the Tax Commission had improperly substituted its own judgment for that of the ALJ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Tax Commission improperly substituted its own judgment for that of the ALJ in reversing the ALJ's determination; and (2) because the Tax Department played an active role in causing Taxpayer's formal refund claim to be untimely, the statute of limitations was equitably tolled during the time in which the Department hindered Taxpayer from filing its formal written claim.

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