BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
Petitioners, : FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
v. : AND FINAL DECISION
COLLECTION DIVISION OF THE : Appeal No. 88-1420
UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION, : Account No. XXXXX
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter came before the Utah State Tax Commission for a formal telephone hearing on XXXXX. Joseph G. Linford, Presiding Officer, heard the matter for and on behalf of the Commission. Present and representing the Petitioners was XXXXX, Certified Public Accountant. Respondent was not represented at the hearing.
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 individual income tax.
2. The periods in question are the tax years XXXXX.
3. During the years in question, Petitioners were utilizing the services of a professional tax preparer whom Petitioners allege has since been prosecuted for dishonest behavior. This tax preparer filed the original returns for XXXXX and XXXXX with several errors on them. He later informed Petitioners that he had filed amended returns. Nothing, however, was filed with the federal government and only the initial returns, without amendments, were filed with the state. For the XXXXX tax year, this tax preparer represented to Petitioners that he had filed an extension, but he apparently did not do so although Petitioners operated under the assumption that he had. Based upon these facts, the Petitioners request that the penalty and interest for the years in question be waived.
4. Petitioners paid all tax, penalty and interest on this account in XXXXX and the Tax Commission accordingly released all liens on the account. There is now a zero balance on the account.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. The Tax Commission is granted the authority to waive, reduce, or compromise penalties and interest upon a showing of reasonable cause. (Utah Code Ann. §59-1-401(8).)
2. Such reasonable cause has not been shown for waiver of the penalty or interest in this case. The delinquency of Petitioners' professional tax preparer caused the difficulties which gave rise to the penalty assessments, but Petitioners as the taxpayers had the responsibility to ensure that the tax preparer in their employ performed his duties adequately. In addition, interest should not be waived because the state was deprived of the tax funds in question for a period of time and should be compensated for that loss of use.
DECISION AND ORDER
Based upon the foregoing, it is the decision and order of the Tax Commission that Petitioners' request for waiver of the penalty and interest is denied. It is so ordered.
DATED this 21 day of August, 1990.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco G. Blaine Davis