ACCOUNTING WEEKLY

Buffett and IRS resolve dispute

A dispute between NetJets Inc, the private jet-sharing company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on when and how Columbus-based NetJets should pay federal excise taxes was resolved on Monday, after almost two decades of IRS and federal decisions about the matter.

Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus in Columbus, Ohio, ruled against the IRS in its effort to collect more than $366 million in taxes and penalties from NetJets.
Sargus ruled on Monday that the IRS was bound by guidance it gave a NetJets predecessor in 1992 over when to collect federal transportation excise taxes, and could not impose more taxes retroactively.
The judge’s 37-page decision was not a complete victory for NetJets. Sargus rejected a claim by the company that it deserved a $219.5 million refund plus interest on taxes already paid because its services were not “taxable transportation.”
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