BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
In Re: ) FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
XXXXX ) AND FINAL DECISION
: Appeal No. 90-1092
: Account No. XXXXX
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter was scheduled to come before the Utah State Tax Commission for a formal hearing on XXXXX, before Joseph G. Linford, Presiding Officer, for and on behalf of the Commission. However, Petitioner's owner, XXXXX, contacted the presiding officer earlier on the day of the hearing and requested that the decision be made on the documents in the file without the necessity of XXXXX appearance.
Based upon the evidence in the file, the Tax Commission hereby makes its:
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The tax in question is sales tax.
2. The periods in question are the third and fourth quarters of XXXXX, and the first, second and third quarters of XXXXX.
3. Before the periods in question, Petitioner had for some time employed the services of an accountant who performed to Petitioner's satisfaction and who ensured that Petitioner's taxes were remitted in a timely fashion.
4. In XXXXX, this accountant sold his business to another accountant with whom Petitioner was dissatisfied. Since that time, Petitioner has been through several accountants, having various difficulties with each one. Petitioner states that the accountants would not follow up in the timely payment of Petitioner's taxes and would not contact or communicate with Petitioner in order to take care of the problems that were occurring.
5. For the periods in question, Petitioner became concerned when the accountant then in its employ did not communicate with Petitioner. When Petitioner contacted him, he informed them that everything had been done for the XXXXX taxes and that he would also take care of the taxes for XXXXX.
6. Again there followed a period of noncommunication after which Petitioner attempted to contact its accountant when Petitioner began to receive notices from the IRS and the Tax Commission. After making several attempts, Petitioner failed to contact this accountant, but then sent a letter threatening legal action if the accountant did not follow up on Petitioner's request. Approximately one week later Petitioner received in the mail a box from the accountant which contained all of Petitioner's records. Nothing had been done by the accountant for the periods in question. Since that time Petitioner has been working to get the account up to date.
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 the accountants in its employ. The difficulties enumerated by Petitioner would be reasonable cause, perhaps, for a short period of time, but the difficulties in this case extend over a period of more than a year. Petitioner is responsible for following up in a timely manner with its accountant to ensure that taxes are timely filed and paid.
Petitioner admits that several times many months went by without Petitioner making the effort to contact its accountant. Petitioner was negligent in essentially leaving everything to its accountant without any oversight or follow up on Petitioner's part until matters began to develop into crisis proportions.
Based upon the foregoing, the Tax Commission finds that sufficient cause has not been shown which would justify a waiver of the penalties and interest associated with the third and fourth quarters of XXXXX, and the first, second, and third quarters of XXXXX. It is so ordered.
DATED this 12th day of February, 1991.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco G. Blaine Davis