Written by: Patrick Price

Recently in Wisconsin, a company thought it had properly filed its claim for recovery of unlawful taxes, believing that the applicable statute did not require taxpayers to pay the disputed tax first. The company asserted the statute only required that the appellant both pay the tax and challenge the assessment by January 31st of the year in which the tax is payable – that there was no requirement for which of the two actions needed to be completed first.

However, both the Court of Appeals and now the Supreme Court of Wisconsin disagree. The high court recently ruled that regardless of whether you pay the tax before January 31, if you file a claim before you have paid the tax, then the claim in invalid. Because at the time of appeal, you were not yet aggrieved by the collection of unlawful tax, and there is not paid tax to recover.

Because of this ruling, the company in Wisconsin lost – not because the tax wasn’t paid on time, but simply because the claim was filed before the tax payment was made.

Ultimately, this was a tricky situation in Wisconsin, proving that knowing the intricacies and requirements in your claims for overpaid taxes is imperative for all tax payers and their consultants in every state. To read the full article from CCH AnswerConnect Wolters Kluwer, click here.

Our property tax professionals collaborate with your internal property tax teams as an extension of your tax department. DMA’s Property Tax team is comprised of jurisdictional experts. Together, we leverage each other’s knowledge in regards to state requirements and regulations that apply to your unique property tax claim, achieving the most successful results possible.

Source: John’s Communities, Inc. v. City of Milwaukee, Supreme Court of Wisconsin, No. 2020AP1696, Nov 22, 2022.