Taxpayer provides hoof-trimming services to local dairies. After reviewing written information provided by the Department, Taxpayer concluded that his receipts from these services were exempt from gross receipts tax under Section 7-9-19, which provides a deduction for handling livestock prior to sale. At a later date the Taxpayer discussed this issue with a Department employee who agreed that the Taxpayer’s receipts were exempt. In June 1996, the Taxpayer contacted the Department again. This time, he was told his receipts were not exempt. In November 1997, the Taxpayer requested a written opinion from the Department and was advised in writing that his receipts were not exempt. The Department subsequently issued a gross receipts tax assessment against the Taxpayer, who protested, arguing that: 1) his receipts from hoof trimming services were exempt under Section 7-9-18 and 7-9-19 and 2) the Department was estopped by Section 7-1-60 from assessing tax against him because of the oral advice received from a Department employee. Held: Taxpayer’s receipts from providing hoof-trimming services were not exempt under Section 7-9-18 or 7-9-19. The Department was not estopped because the Taxpayer had not relied on a written regulation or ruling addressed to the Taxpayer. The Taxpayer’s reliance on oral advice from an employee was not reasonable, nor did the Taxpayer take action to correct his filing once he was advised his receipts were taxable. Protest denied.
Aguadulce Hoof Trimmers