BEFORE THE STATE TAX COMMISSION OF UTAH
v. : INFORMAL DECISION
COLLECTION DIVISION OF THE : Appeal No. 88-1267
UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION, : Acct. No. XXXXX
STATEMENT OF CASE
This is an appeal to the Utah State Tax Commission for reconsideration of a Commission decision denying a request for waiver of penalty and interest assessments on Petitioners' XXXXX personal income tax return. Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. §63-46b-5(1)(b), no hearing was held. A review of Petitioners' file served as the evidentiary basis for this decision.
Petitioners, XXXXX, filed an untimely personal income tax return for XXXXX and were assessed interest charges and a 25% late filing penalty. Petitioners assert that the return was filed late due to an error on their W-2 form. The error was discovered before filing and the W-2 was returned to the employer for correction. However, a corrected copy was apparently never received by the Petitioner, and the return was not filed until a deficiency notice for the matter. It was only upon receiving notice of the tax due--XXXXX months later--that it was paid. Petitioners failure to file a timely return opened them to liability for late penalties as provided for in Utah Code Ann. §59-14a-86 (See Utah Code Ann. §59-1-401) which states the following:
[I]n case of failure to file an income tax return and pay the tax before the date prescribed. . . there shall be added to the amount required to be shown as taxes. . . the greater of $$$$$ or 5% of the amount of such tax [per each month of delinquency]. . . not to exceed 25% in the aggregate. . . .
Interest assessments are provided for in Utah Code Ann. §59-14a-87 to compensate for the loss of use of the tax money rightfully due the state. In accordance with Tax Commission procedure, any payments received are credited first to penalty, then interest, and finally tax.
The Commission is authorized to waive penalty and interest assessments, and the Commission will do so upon a showing of reasonable cause. Although receiving erroneous information from the Tax Commission may be considered reasonable cause, the taxpayer must show that the noncompliance was caused by reliance on that erroneous information. In this case, Petitioners' failure to timely file was not due to reliance on erroneous information received from the Tax Commission.
In response to the case submitted as evidence by the Petitioner, the Tax Commission makes the following comments:
1. Petitioners' employer did file the
correction with the IRS. This is
evidenced by the fact that Utah was notified of the income reported on
Petitioners' federal return.
2. Any conflict over who should be liable for costs incurred by Petitioner due to the employer's negligence must be pursued with the employer. The Tax Commission has no authority to make such determination.
DECISION AND ORDER
Based on the foregoing, it is the decision and order of the Commission that the request for waiver of penalty and interest assessments be denied.
DATED this 29 day of September, 1988.
BY ORDER OF THE STATE TAX COMMISSION OF UTAH.
FOR THE COMMISSION
G. Blaine Davis