Lessor of Aircraft Never Took Possession of Aircraft Prior to Lease
The Michigan Supreme Court has granted leave to appeal the October 16, 2012 judgment of the Court of Appeals in NACG Leasing v. Department of Treasury, No. 306773. The parties must address the applicability of the use tax to a transaction where tangible personal property is purchased by one party and leased to another party when the purchaser does not obtain actual possession of the property. The Court of Appeals held that the owner/lessor was not liable for use tax because it ceded total control over the aircraft to its lessee. The lessor had executed the lease contemporaneously with its purchase of the aircraft. The lessee was already in possession of the aircraft prior to the taxpayer’s purchase, and this possession was uninterrupted. The lessee was responsible for all repairs, insurance, and taxes and bore the risk of loss of the aircraft.
NACG Leasing v. Department of Treasury, Michigan Supreme Court, No. 146234, May 22, 2013, granting application for leave to appeal NACG Leasing v. Department of Treasury, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 306773, October 16, 2012