BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
Petitioner, : FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
v. : AND FINAL DECISION
: Appeal No. 88-2847
AUDITING DIVISION OF THE :
UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION, :
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter came before the Utah State Tax Commission for a formal hearing on XXXXX. Paul F Iwasaki, Presiding Officer, heard the matter for and in behalf of the Commission. Present and representing the Petitioner was XXXXX. Present and representing the Respondent were XXXXX, Assistant Attorney General, and XXXXX of the Auditing Division of the Utah State Tax Commission.
Based upon the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing, the Tax Commission hereby makes its:
FINDINGS OF FACT
l. The tax in question is sales tax.
2. On XXXXX, XXXXX negotiated with the Petitioner to purchase a motor vehicle. At the time of the purchase, XXXXX was a resident of Montana having lived there for approximately XXXXX years and was employed by XXXXX.
3. After a sales price had been agreed upon, it was learned that XXXXX could not qualify on her own to obtain the necessary loan. At that time, her father, XXXXX, agreed to cosign the loan for her.
4. On the date of the purchase, XXXXX was a resident of XXXXX, Utah.
5. Because of the credit company's requirements, XXXXX was listed as a copurchaser of the vehicle.
6. Possession of the motor vehicle was retained by XXXXX who took the motor vehicle to Montana.
7. At the time of sale, XXXXX completed a nonresident affidavit. Based upon her representations, no sales tax was charged on the transaction.
8. Based upon an audit conducted by the Auditing Division for the period XXXXX through XXXXX, the Auditing Division determined that sales tax on the above described transaction should have been assessed.
9. In XXXXX, automobile dealers in Utah were provided a bulletin from the Tax Commission which informed the dealers that if the sale of a motor vehicle was made to more than one purchaser, each purchaser must qualify as a nonresident for the exemption to apply.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Sales of motor vehicles made to bona fide nonresidents of the state and which are not thereafter registered or used in this state except as necessary to transport them to the borders of the state are exempt from sales tax. (Utah Code Ann §59-12-104(9).)
DECISION AND ORDER
Under the facts and circumstances of this case, the Tax Commission finds that the Petitioner acted in good faith and in a reasonable manner regarding the applicability of sales tax in the transaction in question. At the time of the transaction, the Petitioner acted under the belief that XXXXX was the purchaser of the vehicle and that her father was a cosigner only.
It may be argued that technically XXXXX was a copurchaser of the vehicle rather than a mere cosigner on the loan, and that the Petitioner should have been aware of that fact in light of the informational bulletin provided them. That bulletin, however, was not issued until XXXXX, more than one year after the date of the transaction.
Based upon the foregoing, the Tax Commission finds that under the facts and circumstances of this case, the Petitioner was not liable for the collection of the sales tax for the vehicle in question. It is so ordered.
DATED this 3 day of May, 1990.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco G Blaine Davis