BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
PETITIONER, ) FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS
) OF LAW, AND FINAL DECISION
) Appeal No. 01-0008
v. ) Account No. #####
AUDITING DIVISION OF ) Tax Type: Sales Tax
THE UTAH STATE TAX )
COMMISSION, ) Judge: Phan
Jane Phan, Administrative Law Judge
For Petitioner: PETITIONER
For Respondent: Laron Lind, Assistant Attorney General
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
This matter came before the Utah State Tax Commission for a Formal Hearing on February 27, 2002. Based upon the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing, the Tax Commission hereby makes its:
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The tax in question is sales tax.
2. The tax year in question is 1999.
3. Petitioner is appealing the audit assessment of sales tax made for his purchase in May 1999 of a travel trailer.
4. Petitioner purchased the trailer in CITY, Utah. At the time of the purchase he signed a Non-Resident Affidavit indicating that he was a resident of STATE. The dealership accepted the affidavit and did not charge sales tax on the transaction. Petitioner then transported the travel trailer to STATE where he registered it and paid sales tax to the State of STATE.
5. Petitioner testified that he was a long time resident of STATE. He had a STATE driver’s license and owned a residence and farm in STATE. Petitioner provided an account history from the power company which indicated consistent usage at an STATE address from 1995 to the present.
6. However, Petitioner had come to Utah in 1994 and 1995 to work and had purchased a home and registered a vehicle in Utah during that time. Then Petitioner sold the home and returned to STATE.
7. In December 1997, Petitioner began working in CITY, Utah. At first, Petitioner commuted between his job and STATE residence, although he did spend a couple of nights per week at his son’s residence in Utah.
8. Tired of the commute, Petitioner convinced his wife to move to Utah. In April 1998, they leased a residence in CITY, Utah near the job site. They did not have a written lease on the property, just rented from month to month. In April 1999, they relinquished the lease and moved back to STATE. However, Petitioner continued to work in Utah for the same employer. He again went back to commuting between Utah and STATE with the exception of the two nights he spent per week in Utah at his son’s residence.
9. During 1999, Petitioner spent more than an aggregate of 183 days, or more than six months, in the State of Utah. Any portion of a day spent in Utah is counted as one day. Petitioner basically spent 5 days per week in Utah. Even allowing for vacation time, this is considerably more than 183 days.
10. Petitioner testified that he had purchased the travel trailer for vacation purposes and it was used almost exclusively in STATE. He states that he did not reside in the travel trailer while working in Utah.
11. Petitioner did file, jointly with his wife, a Utah Resident Individual Income Tax Return for both 1998 and 1999 tax years. The Commission notes that his 1999 income tax returns, although signed in April 2000, nearly one year after Petitioner states he moved from Utah, lists the Utah address as Petitioner’s mailing address. An accounting firm in STATE prepared the returns. However, Petitioner does not recall having a conversation with the accountant about residency and thinks the accountant merely used the Utah address and filing status as a carry over from the prior year.
1. The Tax Commission is required to administer and supervise the tax laws of the state. Utah Code Ann. §59-1-210(5).
2. A tax is imposed on the purchaser as provided in this part for amounts paid or charged for the following transactions: (a) retail sales of tangible personal property made within the state;… Utah Code Ann. §§59-12-103(1) and 59-12-103(1)(a).
3. The following sales and uses are exempt from the taxes imposed by this chapter: (9) sales of vehicles of a type required to be registered under the motor vehicle laws of this state which are made to bona fide non-residents of this state and are not afterward registered or used in this state except as necessary to transport them to the borders of this state; Utah Code Ann. §59-12-104(9).
4. (b) (i) “Resident” means any of the following: (A) an individual who: (I) has established a domicile in this state; (II) regardless of domicile, remains in this state for an aggregate period of six months or more during any calendar year; Utah Code Ann. §41-1a-202(1) (b) (i).
5. In order to qualify as a nonresident for the purpose of exempting vehicles from sales tax . . . a person may not: 1. Be a resident of this state. The fact that a person leaves the state temporarily is not sufficient to terminate residency; 2. be engaged in intrastate business and operate the purchased vehicle as part of the business within this state; 3. maintain a vehicle with this state designated as the home state; 4. except in the case of a tourist temporarily within this state, own, lease, or rent a residence or a place of business within this state, or occupy or permit to be occupied a Utah residence or place of business; 5. except in the case of an employee who can clearly demonstrate that the use of the vehicle in this state is to commute to work from another state, be engaged in a trade, profession or occupation or accept gainful employment in this state; 6. allow the purchased vehicle to be kept or used by a resident of this state; or 7. declare residency in Utah to obtain privileges not ordinarily extended to nonresidents, such as attending school or placing children in school without paying nonresident tuition or fees or maintaining a Utah drivers license. C. A nonresident owner of a vehicle described in Section 59-12-104(9) may continue to qualify for the exemption provided by that section if use of the vehicle in this state is infrequent, occasional, and nonbusiness in nature. . . (Utah Administrative Rule R865-19S-98.)
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Petitioner was a Utah resident during 1999 and at the time he purchased the travel trailer in Utah. Therefore, even though he transported the trailer to STATE and registered it there, the purchase transaction does not qualify for the exemption from sales tax.
DECISION AND ORDER
Based on the evidence which indicates that the Petitioner was a Utah resident during 1999, Petitioner is not entitled to the “non-resident” exemption from sales tax. The audit assessment of tax and interest is sustained. It is so ordered.
DATED this 4th day of April , 2002.
Administrative Law Judge
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION:
The Commission has reviewed this case and the undersigned concur in this decision.
DATED this 4th day of April , 2002.
Pam Hendrickson R. Bruce Johnson
Commission Chair Commissioner
Palmer DePaulis Marc B. Johnson