BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
In Re: ) FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
XXXXX ) AND FINAL DECISION
: Appeal No. 90-1031
: 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 Petitioner were XXXXX and XXXXX.
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 sales tax.
2. The period in question is the second quarter of XXXXX.
3. Petitioner states that the reason the prepayment for the period in question was not timely made was because of staff turnover problems and Petitioner's inability to "instantly educate a new person to the nuances of sales tax rules and procedures." It is Petitioner's position that since the untimely payment was an error, the penalty should be waived. In Petitioner's view a penalty should be assessed only in cases of intentional disregard of law or gross negligence.
Petitioner asserts that the penalty is extreme and punitive and not commensurate with the violation of the prepayment deadline. Petitioner cites a good past history in the timely filing and payment of sales taxes, including past prepayments.
4. Petitioner made the prepayment for the second quarters of XXXXX, XXXXX and XXXXX. Petitioner had received a prepayment tax return for the period in question, but the new employee responsible for sales tax remittance was not informed by the former employee of the necessity of the prepayment.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
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).)
DECISION AND ORDER
Petitioner is responsible for the actions of its employees. Petitioner was aware of the sales tax prepayment requirement since Petitioner had met that requirement in the past. The penalties and interest in this case were assessed only according to law and are not excessive or punitive. Utah Code Ann. §59-1-401 provides that penalties amounting to XXXXX for failure to timely file and XXXXX for failure to timely remit taxes are to be assessed in cases of simple negligence, such as in this case. Gross negligence or intentional disregard of the law are not necessary prerequisites for a penalty to be assessed. Penalties are assessed in cases such as this as an incentive to encourage taxpayers to not be negligent in the timely filing and payment of taxes in the future.
Based upon the foregoing, the Tax Commission finds that sufficient cause has not been shown which would justify a waiver of the penalty and interest associated with the second quarter of XXXXX. It is so ordered.
DATED this 15 day of February, 1991.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco G. Blaine Davis