Federal corporate taxpayers may not deduct as a cost of goods sold expense an excise tax expense that was never actually incurred or paid according the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals just-released ruling in Sunoco, Inc. v. United States, No. 2017-1402 (November 1, 2018).
In Sonoco, Inc., the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals considered the approximately $1 billion deduction in alcohol fuel mixture credits claimed by Sunoco, Inc., a petroleum and petrochemical company, claimed on its federal excise tax returns to reduce its federal fuel excise tax liability by the same amount. By including the $1 billion in excise tax expenses in its cost of goods sold, Sunoco, Inc. sought to reduce its federal corporate income taxes with an excise tax expense that was never paid. The Federal Circuit held that the plain language of the Internal Revenue Code precluded Sunoco, Inc.’s attempt to obtain a $300 million dollar “windfall” reduction in tax. The court also stated, “We have already established that Congress does not generally allow taxpayers to receive a tax benefit twice.”
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion today affirming the Court of Federal Claims decision that federal corporate taxpayers may not deduct as a cost of goods sold expense an excise tax expense that was never actually incurred or paid,
About The Author
The author of this update, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer is widely recognized for her nearly 30 years’ work with health care, insurance and financial services and other public and private organizations, publications, presentations, advocacy and other work on cybersecurity and other data and privacy protection and compliance, risk management and investigation and mitigation.
A Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel, the American Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation; Former Chair of the RPTE Employee Benefits and Compensation Committee, a current Co-Chair of the Committee, and the former Chair of its Welfare Benefit and its Defined Compensation Plan Committees and former RPTE Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Council (JCEB) Representative, Ms. Stamer is a Martindale-Hubble “AV-Preeminent” practicing attorney and management consultant, author, public policy advocate, author and lecturer repeatedly recognized for her 30 plus years’ of work and pragmatic thought leadership, publications and training on leadership and management, and compliance concerns as among the “Top Rated Labor & Employment Lawyers in Texas,” a “Legal Leader,” a “Top Woman Lawyer” and with other awards by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell®; as among the “Best Lawyers In Dallas” for her work in the field of “Labor & Employment,” “Tax: ERISA & Employee Benefits,” “Health Care” and “Business and Commercial Law” by D Magazine, in International Who’s Who of Professionals and with numerous other awards and distinctions.
Highly valued for her ability to meld her extensive legal and industry knowledge and experience with her talents as an insightful innovator and pragmatic problem solver, Ms. Stamer provides legal, operational and strategic advice, representational and coaching to organizations and their management.
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Before founding her current law firm, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, P.C., Ms. Stamer practiced law as a partner with several prominent national and international law firms for more than 10 years before founding Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, P.C. to practice her unique brand of “Solutions law™” and to devote more time to the pragmatic policy and system reform, community education and innovation, and other health system improvement efforts of her PROJECT COPE: the Coalition on Patient Empowerment initiative.
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