BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
Petitioner, : FINDINGS OF FACT
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
v. : AND FINAL DECISION
AUDITING DIVISION OF THE : Appeal No. 89-1024
UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION :
: Account No. XXXXX
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter came before the Utah State Tax Commission for a formal hearing on XXXXX. Joseph G. Linford, Presiding Officer, heard the matter for and on behalf of the Commission. Present and representing the Petitioner was XXXXX, CPA, and XXXXX. Present and representing the Respondent was XXXXX, Assistant Attorney General, and XXXXX of the Auditing Division of the Utah State Tax Commission.
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 special fuels tax.
2. The period in question is XXXXX through XXXXX.
3. The owner and operator of the Petitioner store, XXXXX, is an immigrant to the United States whose skills in the English language are limited.
4. In XXXXX, Mr. XXXXX visited the offices of the Tax Commission to obtain a sales tax number and was told then that sales tax would apply only to the merchandise that he sold and not gasoline which he would also sell. Apparently, the specific subject of special fuels did not surface at this time. The evidence indicates that there was some confusion on the part of Mr. XXXXX as to what was required of him and some confusion, probably on the part of Tax Commission personnel, in understanding Mr. XXXXX and in communicating to him what was expected under the law. This confusion, undoubtedly, is what has given rise to the problem which this case addresses. Mr. XXXXX was under the erroneous impression that Petitioner would not be required to collect the special fuels tax. Mr. XXXXX bases this upon his conversation with Tax Commission personnel. Mr. XXXXX apparently construed the Tax Commission employee's instructions to mean that he did not have to collect the special fuels tax.
5. Petitioner's application for a sales and use tax license does indicate that Petitioner would sell special fuels.
6. Petitioner first learned that it was required to collect the special fuels tax in XXXXX, when Tax Commission personnel contacted Petitioner and informed Petitioner that no special fuels tax license had been issued for Petitioner's sales of diesel fuel. On the next working day Mr. XXXXX came into Tax Commission offices, and applied for and obtained a special fuels tax license and number.
7. Based upon these facts, Petitioner contends that the assessment of the special fuels tax which was not collected for a 13-month period is an illegal assessment because notice was never given Petitioner that it would be required to collect this tax. Petitioner is therefore contending that Petitioner should not be liable for the tax in question, nor for the interest assessed upon that tax. No penalty was assessed under the circumstances of this case.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. Utah Code Ann. §§59-13-301 and59-13-302 provide that a special fuels tax shall be imposed on the sale of special fuels and that a license is required for a business that is selling such special fuels.
2. Utah Code Ann. §59-1-402 provides that interest shall be assessed upon the late payment of taxes.
3. The law provides no basis for the granting of Petitioner's request in this case. The special fuels in question were sold by Petitioner and no tax was collected on those sales. The State is entitled to those tax revenues regardless of Petitioner's understanding of whether or not such taxes were to be collected by Petitioner. The contention of Petitioner that there was no notice as to Petitioner's liability for this tax is insufficient because the evidence shows that there was ample confusion on Mr. XXXXX's part as to exactly what was required and notice may indeed have been given him and he may not have understood it. Even if such notice were not given him, the Tax Commission is not required to notify every single taxpayer of every single tax that may be imposed because of the unreasonable burden this would impose upon the Tax Commission. Each taxpayer is presumed to be cognizant of the law as it relates to that taxpayer's circumstances.
DECISION AND ORDER
Based upon the foregoing, it is the decision and order of the Utah State Tax Commission that Petitioner's request be denied.
DATED this 8th day of August, 1990.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco G. Blaine Davis