Pennsylvania Refund Request Untimely 

Tax Alert

September 18, 2018

A panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court dismissed a taxpayer’s petition that requested reversal of an order of the Board of Finance and Revenue that a petition for refund of gaming tax for the tax years 2009 through 2011 was untimely. Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc. v. Commonwealth, No. 609 F.R. 2015 (Pa. Commw. Ct. Sept. 6, 2018). In Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc. v. Department of Revenue, 90 A.3d 699 (Pa. 2014), the Supreme Court held that awards to players of property by a gaming facility for slot machine play were deductible from the tax base of gross terminal revenue, even though the awards were not accounted for by the department’s central control computer system that tracked gambling revenues and cash prizes. The case requested a refund of gaming tax for the years 2007 and 2008, which subsequently was granted.

After the decision, the taxpayer petitioned for a refund of taxes for the years 2009 through 2011. The petition was filed after three years from the payment of the tax. The commonwealth court held that the refund claim was untimely under 72 P.S. §10003.1, which requires a refund request generally to be made within three years of payment of the tax. The court held that equitable principles could not be applied to extend the time limitation.

A concurring judge distinguished a case in which a real estate tax appeal was deemed to be an appeal for subsequent tax years because automatic incorporation was expressly provided for by statute. Starwood Airport Realty v. School District of Philadelphia, 115 A.3d 410 (Pa. Commw. 2015).  


Joseph C. Bright


(215) 665-2053

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