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Drivetime Car Sales Co. LLC



On October 15, 2018, the Department issued a letter denying the Taxpayer’s refund request for motor vehicle excise taxes paid from 2015 to 2018. On January 10, 2019, the Taxpayer filed a timely written protest of the denial notice. The Taxpayer is a motor vehicle dealer that requested the refund on behalf of its customers because the vehicles had been returned and the purchase price applied to a subsequent purchase. The Taxpayer argued that since the vehicles were returned, no purchaser had occurred and no excise tax should have been charged. The Department argued that the tax was still owed since it was presumed to have occurred upon the application for the certificate of title. The Hearing Office determined that, according to the statute, a sale for tax purposes was complete when the Department issued certificates of title for each of the vehicles sold. The sales occurred when the seller and customer entered into the sales contract whereby the customer paid a down payment and took possession of the vehicle. That the customer later signed a new contract, a return agreement, with the dealer did not invalidate the first sales agreement. This having been decided, the Hearing Officer denied the claim for refund.