BEFORE THE STATE TAX COMMISSION OF UTAH
v. ) INFORMAL DECISION
COLLECTION DIVISION OF THE : Appeal No. 86 0186
STATE TAX COMMISSION OF UTAH, ) Account No. XXXXX
STATEMENT OF CASE
An Informal Hearing was held before the Utah State Tax Commission XXXXX. James E. Harward heard the matter for and in behalf of the Utah State Tax Commission.
The Petitioner, XXXXX, was present and represented himself. His wife, XXXXX, was also present. XXXXX and XXXXX, Respondents, represented the Collection Division of the Utah State Tax Commission.
Respondent presented the following facts and evidence which both parties agreed to. A standard request letter was sent by Certified Mail to Petitioner which allowed 15 days for a response. Petitioner failed to respond, so Respondent filed an audit deficiency action asking for a $$$$$ per year evasion penalty. This action was approved by Commissioner, Mark K. Buchi, and a copy was sent to Petitioner. Upon receiving the audit deficiency letter, XXXXX, who is now taking care of Petitioner's business, contacted the Collection Division. XXXXX said she had disregarded the first letter because she thought she had filed a state return when in fact she had not. Petitioner then filed paying both tax and interest; however, the penalty remained on the file because it can't be waived by anyone but the Commission. The issue of this appeal then is the penalty and the interest associated with that penalty.
The Petitioner presented evidence of severe health problems during the years in question. XXXXX, prior to 1977, had taken care of all the family financial matters including taxes; however, because of XXXXX's poor health XXXXX was forced to take over all the financial matters. XXXXX stated that she was unaware of the deficiencies at the time she received the first letter and when she became aware of the deficiencies she did her best to rectify the problems.
XXXXX claims that she did not try to defraud the government. In fact, she presented credible evidence regarding Petitioner's financial integrity. Just prior to 1977 XXXXX's brother left town after starting a construction business with XXXXX. XXXXX were left with many unpaid debts. Rather than declare bankruptcy the XXXXX each took on several jobs and worked hard to pay off all their debts. It was during this time of financial pressure that XXXXX suffered severe health problems. These include a major breakdown, a stroke, gallbladder surgery, and continued speech and memory lapses.
In view of the difficult situation XXXXX was faced with dealing with records and taxes for the first time in her life, coupled with the fact that the actual deficiency was under $$$$$, the Petitioner's contend that the penalty of $$$$$ plus interest is unconscionable and petition the Commission to waive the penalty and its associated interest.
DECISION AND ORDER
Based upon the foregoing facts and the evidence presented at the hearing it is the Decision of the Commission that the penalty be reduced to $$$$$ and the interest associated with that penalty reduction be waived.
DATED this 27 day of August, 1986.
BY ORDER OF THE STATE TAX COMMISSION OF UTAH.
R. H. Hansen Roger. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco