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Home / Opinions / Courts / Missouri Supreme Court / Missouri Supreme Court Digest: Nov. 7, 2022

Missouri Supreme Court Digest: Nov. 7, 2022

Administrative Law

Sales Tax

Assessment Against Deceased Owner

Petitioner appealed the denial of her complaint challenging the authority of the director of revenue to assess unpaid sales tax owed by a bar against the bar’s deceased owner. When decedent passed away in 2015, the director was in the process of auditing the bar he owned. The following year, the director concluded that the bar owed approximately $58,000 in unpaid sales tax. In 2018, the director filed a claim against decedent’s estate to collect the unpaid sales tax. The trial court initially denied the claim, finding that the liability was assessed against the bar, not decedent. The director subsequently issued an assessment against decedent as a responsible party. Petitioner, the personal representative of decedent’s estate, petitioned to the Administrative Hearing Commission, which concluded that the director had the authority to assess the bar’s unpaid sales tax against decedent.

The trial court’s prior judgment denying an attempt to collect unpaid taxes assessed against the bar from decedent did not preclude the director from later issuing an assessment against decedent’s estate, where the three-year statute of limitations did not apply to assessments against responsible parties of corporations.

Judgment is affirmed.

Lablance v. Director of Revenue (MLW No. 79058/Case No. SC99238 – 12 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Breckenridge, J.) Petition for review of a decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission, McIntosh, C. (Kim S. Summers, Kansas City, for petitioner) (Marie Claire Dwyer and Jason K. Lewis, Jefferson City, for respondent)



Sales Tax

Club Membership Dues

Petitioner, a non-profit sporting club, appealed the denial of its request for a refund of sales tax paid on its monthly membership dues. Several of petitioner’s membership levels granted voting rights, although members did not have an ownership interest in the club. However, petitioner could not sell real property without a vote of the members, and the members were also entitled to vote on the disposition of petitioner’s assets in the event of its dissolution. The Administrative Hearing Commission denied the request for a refund of sales tax remitted for collected membership dues, ruling that the dues were paid for recreational services.

Where the evidence showed that membership voting rights were tied to initiation fees rather than the monthly membership dues and that membership offered no equitable interest, petitioner had failed to prove that members received anything more than recreational services in exchange for the membership dues, especially where it could not establish that any portion of the fees were paid for something other than recreational services.

Judgment is affirmed.

Saddle and Sirloin Club of Kansas City v. Director of Revenue (MLW No. 79057/Case No. SC99453 – 10 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Fischer, J.) Petition for review of a decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission, Prewitt, C. (Todd W. Ruskamp, Kansas City; John W. Simpson, Kansas City, for petitioner) (Maria A. Lanahan, St. Louis, for respondent)