Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

HOFFMAN MOTORS CORP. v. UNITED STATES

December 30, 1971

HOFFMAN MOTORS CORP., Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES of America, Defendant


Levet, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEVET

OPINION, FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW.

LEVET, District Judge.

 This is an action for the refund of excise taxes allegedly erroneously and illegally assessed and collected from plaintiff (or its predecessors). At the time of the assessment Hoffman-Porsche Corp. ("Hoffman-Porsche"), Hoffman Motors Eastern Division, Inc. and Hoffman Motor Car Company, Inc. were separate corporations. Hoffman Motors Corporation, plaintiff herein, is the successor to those three corporations. Plaintiff's amended complaint contains three causes of action, one for each of its predecessor corporations. Each cause of action is treated separately herein. The third cause of action, relating to Hoffman Motor Car Company, Inc., as amended, contains two separate claims for relief.

 The present issues as set forth in the pretrial order are as follows:

 
"(a) With regard to the first cause of action, whether certain transfers made by Hoffman-Porsche [Corp.] to a related corporation for transfer to an ultimate retail purchaser constituted a sale at wholesale to which the excise tax applies? (Amount assessed $22,700.29).
 
"(b) With regard to the second cause of action, whether certain transfers made by [Hoffman Motors] Eastern Division to a related corporation for transfer to an ultimate retail purchaser constituted sales at wholesale to which the excise tax applies? (Amount assessed $5,030.40).
 
"(c) With regard to the first claim of the third cause of action, was the sale of Alpha Romeo automobiles to Hoffman [Motor] Western Division made at arm's length, and the excise tax paid therefore, correct? (Amount assessed $7,270.88).
 
"(d) With regard to the third claim of the third cause of action, did the charge for local advertising made by [Hoffman] Motor Car [Co.] on behalf of the manufacturers' promotional company, to which said funds were turned over, with the knowledge, consent and authorization of the dealer, and the promotional company constitute an excise tax liability of [Hoffman] Motor Car [Co.]? (Amount assessed $8,945.91)."

 After hearing the testimony of the parties, examining the exhibits, the pleadings, the Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and certain memoranda of law submitted by counsel, this court makes the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law:

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. Plaintiff, Hoffman Motors Corporation, is the successor corporation to the three taxpayers herein involved, to wit, Hoffman-Porsche, Hoffman Motors Eastern Division, Inc., Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc. (Pl.Ex. 1, Parties' Stipulation [hereinafter "Stipulation"]; 5-6). *fn1"

 FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

 (Hoffman-Porsche Corp.)

 (Porsche Cars)

 2. A federal excise tax deficiency assessment in the amount of $26,953.04 plus $12,173.28 interest was duly and timely made against plaintiff Hoffman Motors Corporation as successor to Hoffman-Porsche by defendant on March 26, 1965 (Stipulation P1).

 3. The deficiency assessment, specified in Finding 2, was paid by plaintiff on April 9, 1965 (Stipulation P4).

 4. A claim for refund as to $22,700.29 of the principal assessed in the assessment identified in Finding 2 was filed by plaintiff on October 14, 1965 (Stipulation P5).

 5. The claim for refund challenged the excise tax deficiency assessed for the period October 1, 1953 to September 30, 1959 (plaintiff's amended complaint, Ex. 1).

 6. Hoffman-Porsche was the sole importer in the United States of Porsche automobiles for the period October 1, 1953 to September 30, 1959 (11).

 7. The purchase of a Porsche by Joseph F. Boggia in December, 1958 was fairly representative of the sales conducted by Hoffman-Porsche and Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc., during the excise tax period in suit (Stipulation P6; 23).

 8. On or about November 1, 1958 the said Joseph F. Boggia agreed to purchase and Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc. agreed to sell to the said Boggia, a certain 1600 cc. Porsche Cabriolet, 1959 model, for the sum of $3,950, not including the sales tax (see Ex. 2).

 9. On or about December 1, 1958 Hoffman-Porsche, as importer, sold to Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc. a 1600 cc. Porsche Cabriolet, 1959 model, for $3,646.82, not including the excise and sales taxes (see Exs. 3, 5), at which time the said Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc. contemplated the sale of the said Porsche to the said Joseph F. Boggia.

 10. On or about December 19, 1958 Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc. sold the said 1600 cc. Porsche Cabriolet, 1959 model, to the said Joseph F. Boggia for the total price of $4,017.50, including both excise and sales taxes (see Ex. 4).

 11. On or about December 1, 1958 Boggia paid Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc. $4,017.50 for the automobile (22, 27) and received a sales certificate from said company (Ex. 6). Thus, as conceded by Kelly, secretary of Hoffman Motors Corporation (4), Hoffman-Porsche sold the automobiles to Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc. which, in turn, sold them to the customer (22).

 12. The excise tax was computed and paid by Hoffman-Porsche during the relevant period on the basis of the average wholesale dealer's price, to wit, $3,031.82 (100), and not on the basis of the actual price charged by Hoffman-Porsche to Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc., which was $3,646.82 (Ex. 3; 101).

 13. The deficiency assessment was made on the difference between the excise tax paid and the excise tax due which, for the business conducted by Hoffman-Porsche during the period in suit, totalled $22,700.29 (Stipulation P5, P6).

 14. I find the Government's deficiency assessment to be correct. The transactions conducted by Hoffman-Porsche during the period in suit were sales at wholesale and, under the statute, therefore, subject to tax on the basis of the actual price of each automobile sold.

 SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION

 (Hoffman Motors Eastern Division, Inc.)

 (Mercedes Benz Cars)

 15. A federal excise tax deficiency assessment in the amount of $5,256.57 plus $2,302.53 interest was duly and timely made against plaintiff Hoffman Motors Corporation as successor to Hoffman Motors Eastern Division, Inc. by defendant on March 26, 1965 (Stipulation P2).

 16. The deficiency assessment, identified in Finding 15, was paid by plaintiff on April 9, 1965 (Stipulation P4).

 17. A claim for refund as to $5,030.40 of the principal assessed in the assessment identified in Finding 15 was filed by plaintiff on October 14, 1965 (Stipulation P5).

 18. The claim for refund challenged the excise tax deficiency assessed for the period October 1, 1956 to September 30, 1959 (plaintiff's amended complaint, Ex. 2).

 19. Mercedes Benz Distributors, Inc. was the importer and distributor of the Mercedes Benz automobile and a subsidiary of Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc. (8). Hoffman Motors Eastern Division, Inc. was the successor corporation to Mercedes ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.