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BEFORE THE STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION OF THE STATE CALIFORNIA In the Matter

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BEFORE THE STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION OF THE STATE CALIFORNIA In the Matter
BEFORE THE STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
OF THE STATE
OF CALIFORNIA
In the Matter of the Appeal of
1
) No. 81A-1438~MN
HOLIDAY INNS, INC.
1
For Appellant:
For Respondent:
Earl G. Meggs
Income Tax Manager
State
Donald C. McKenzie
Counsel
O P I N I O N
This appeal is made pursuant to section 25666u
of the Revenue and Taxation Code from the action of the
Franchise Tax Board on the protest of Holiday Inns, Inc.,
against proposed assessments of additional franchise tax
in the amounts of $98,230.53, $175,214.48, $123,193.26,
$70,,950.47, and $37,720.32 for the income years 1970,
1971, 1972, 1973,.and 1974, respectively.
l/ Unless otherwise specified, all section references
sre to sections of the Revenue and Taxation Code as in
effect for the income years in issue.
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Appeal of Holiday Inns, Inc.
The sole question presented by this appeal is
whether the gain from the sale of appellant's interest in
a California.real property partnership may be specifically allocated to California. All other issues have been
resolved, leaving the amounts in controversy as $51,068.29,
$69,091.17, and $70,502.84 for the income years 1970,
1971, and 1972. The income years 1973 and 1974 are no
longer at issue.
Appellant has its commercial domicile in
Tennessee and does business in California and other
states. In 1963, appellant purchased 155 acres of land
in Orange County, California, for commercial development.
In 1964, appellant used five acres, on which it built a
motel, and sold the remaining land to a partnership
formed to purchase (and, apparently, develop) the property. Appellant held a 25 percent interest in the partnership. In 1970, appellant sold its interest in the
partnership, resulting in substantial gain. The gain was
reported on the installment basis over a three-year
period from 1970 through 1972.
Appellant and respondent have agreed that the
income and losses from the sale of real estate to.the
jojnt venture in 1964 and from the operation of the
partnershIp over the next six years were nonbusiness in
nature and wholly assignable to California. They also
agree that the gain on the sale of appellant's partnership interest was nonbusiness income.. On its 1970 tax
return, appellant allocated its share of the joint
venture operating losses to California, but did not
report the installment sale gain from the sale of its
interest in the partnership. Similarly, the gain reportable in 1971 and 1972 was not reported as California
taxable income. Respondent's determination that the
capital gain from the sale of the partnership interest
should be allocated to California led to this appeal.
Appellant derives income from sources both
within and without California. Therefore, section 25101
provides that its tax must be measured by.the net income
derived from or attributable to sources within this state
according to the provisions of the Uniform Division of
Income for Tax Purposes Act (UDITPA) contained in section
25120 through 25139.
"Business income" is apportioned to this state
by a three-factor formula consisting of the property
factor, the payroll factor, and the sales factor. (Rev.
8 Tax. Code, 8 25128.) "Nonbusiness income" is not
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Appeal of Holiday Inns, Inc.
apportioned by- formula, but is specifically allocated to
particular states in accordance with the provisions of
sections 25124 through 25127. (Rev. b Tax. Code, S 25123.)
Section 25125, subdivision (c), provides: "Capital gains
,and losses from sales of intangible personal property are
allocable to this state if the taxpayer's commercial
domicile is in this state."
Appellant argues that, since the capital gain
was nonbusiness income from the sale of an intangible
(its partnership interest), it should be allocated as
provided in section 25125; that is, to the state of
appellant's commercial domicile, Tennessee, rather than
to California. Respondent contends that the gain should
be allocated to California because it was derived from
property located in this state.
.
Respondent states that if the gain were from
the sale of real property, there is no question but that
it would be taxable by California, since subdivision (a)
of section 25125 provides that capital gains from the
sale of real property located in this state are allocable
to this state. We agree with respondent, but fail to see
.the relevance of this statement, since real property, as
even respondent appears to admit, was not sold.
.Respondent appears to argue that appellant's
interest in the partnership was not intangible personal
property. Respondent does not, however, attempt to
characterize the nature of appellant's partnership
interest. However, it was clearly not real property, so
it must have been personal property of some kind. This
conclusion is supported by the California Corporations
Code, which specifically provides that a partner's
interest in a partnership is personal property. (Corp.
Code, § 15026; Stilgenbaur v. United States, 115 F.2d
283, 286 (9th Cir. 1940).) Since a partnership interest
is clearly not tangible personal property, it must be
intangible personal property. In the absence of any
evidence to the contrary, we must so conclude.
Respondent then abandons the line of argument
described above and contends that, even if the partnership interest were an intangible, that characterization
is irrelevant, since it is the location of the partnership property which determines the source of a partner's
income. In support of this proposition, respondent cites
the Appeal of Custom Component Switches, Inc, decided by
this board on February 3, 1977, and the Appeal of H. F.
Ahmanson C Co., decided by this board on-1 5, 1965.
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Appeal of Holiday Inns, Inc.‘
Those two appeals both involved the allocation
of distributive shares of current partnership losses and
neither considered the question of allocating capital
gains from the sale of an interest in a partnership.
Respondent argues that this makes no difference, because
"such gains or losses cannot be separated from the gain
or loss on the sale of partnership property." (Resp. Br.
at 10.) Whether or not respondent's statement is true,
it is irrelevant because we are considering here the sale
of a partner's interest, not the sale of partnership
property. Although it is fairly obvious that respondent
would like to have us treat this sale as that of real
estate, real estate was not sold and, in fact, appellant
could not have separately sold its interest in the real
estate. (Corp. Code, S 15025, subd. (b), Security First
Nat. Bank v. Whittaker, 241 Cal.App.2d 554 [SO Cal.Rptr.
6521 (1966).)
Respondent's second major argument appears to
be that subdivision (c) of section 25125 is a codification of the common law doctrine of mobilia sequuntur
and should be subject to the common law excep-.
7
t on to this doctrine, the "business situs' exception,
which is codified in section 23040. These doctrines were
often used in pre-UDITPA cases to allocate the income
from intangibles to a particular state as the source of
the income; (See Appeal of Standard Oil of California,
Cal. St. Bd. of Equal.,, Mar. 2, 1983.)
However, as we stated in Standard Oil, suprat
"[w]ith the adoption of UDITPA, however, section 25101
was amended to mandate application of the UDITPA provisions in determining income derived from California
sources." We have also held that the provisions of section 23040 do not override the‘provisions of section
25101. (Appeal of Pacific Telephone and Telegraph
Company, Cal. St. Bd. of Equal., May 4, 1979.)
The foregoing leads us inevitably to the conclusion that when a taxpayer has income from sources both
within and without the state, the UDITPA provisions are
the exclusive method to be used for apportioning and
allocating that taxpayer's business and nonbusiness
income. Therefore, we'must look to UDITPA for the proper
method of allocating appellant's capital gains.
.
Subdivision (c) of section 25125 provides a
specific rule for allocating nonbusiness capital gains
from intangibles. However, respondent contends that
under section 25137, the gain should be allocated to
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a
.
Appeal of Holiday Inns, Inc.
California. Section 25137 authorizes discretionary
adjustments to the statutory allocation and apportionment
methods only in exceptional circumstances, that is, where
UDITPA's basic provisions "do not fairly represent the
extent of the taxpayer's business activity in this state."
(Rev. & Tax. Code, 5 25137.) The party seeking to deviate.from the statutory formula bears the burden of proving that such exceptional circumstances exist. (Appeal
of New York Football Giants, Inc., Cal. St. Bd. of Equal.,
Feb. 3, 1977.) We do not believe that respondent has met
this burden.
Respondent has presented no proof as to what
appellant's activities were in this state, beyond an
allegation that they involved "developing the Orange
County property." (Resp. Br. at 20.) Such a vague,
unsupported allegation does not meet respondent's burden
of showing that appellant's business activity would not
be fairly represented if the capital gains were allocated
outside California.
Respondent contends that "appellant's position
would lead to the anomalous [situation] -in which
California would tax the identical property when sold by
the partnership itself but not when the partners
ieil*their interest& in the partnership." (Resp. Br. at
21.) We fail to see the anomaly in this since the partnership property and the partners' interest in the partnership are different interests and different tax results
often occur depending upon the type of interest which is
sold. In any case, this "anomalous" situation does not
show that appellant's business activity in this state is
not fairly represented by applying the normal allocation
rules of DDITPA.
Respondent, having conceded that the income in
question is nonbusiness income, has not presented any
argument which convinces us that the normal allocation
provisions of section 25125 should not be used. Accordingly, respondent's action in allocating the gain from
the sale of appellant's partnership interest to California
must be reversed.
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.
Appeal of Holiday Inns, Inc.
O R D E R
Pursuant to the views expressed in the opinion
of the board on file in this proceeding, and good cause
appearing therefor,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED,
pursuant to section 25667 of the Revenue and Taxation
Code, that the action of the Franchise Tax Board on the
protest of Holiday Inns, Inc., against proposed assessments of additional franchise tax in the amounts of
$98,230.53, $175,214.48, $123,193.26, $70,950.47, and
$37,720.32 for the income years 1970, 1971, 1972x, 1973,
and 1974, respectively, be and the same is hereby
reversed with respect to its allocation of the gain from
the sale of appellant's partnership interest.
Done at Sacramento, California, this 9th day
1986, by the State Board of Equalization,
with Board Mknbers Mr. Nevins, Mr. Collis, Mr. Bennett and
Mr. Harvey present.
of
April
Richard Nevins
I Chairman
Conway H. Collis
I Member
William M. Bennett
r Member
Walter Harvey*
I Member
I
Member
*For Kenneth Cory, per Government Code section 7.9
.
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