BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
In Re: )
: INFORMAL DECISION
: Appeal No. 90-1093
: Account No. XXXXX
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter came before the Utah State Tax Commission pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act and the rules of the Utah State Tax Commission for informal proceedings. No hearing was requested, therefore, this decision is based upon information contained in the Tax Commission's file.
Petitioner states that she did file an income tax return for the year XXXXX. Research into Tax Commission records indicates that Petitioner filed a timely joint return with her then husband for the year in question. At least two amended returns were later filed after Petitioner's separation and divorce from her husband. The first is undated, signed by both Petitioner and her ex-husband, and received by the Tax Commission on XXXXX. The second amended return was signed only by Petitioner's former husband and is dated XXXXX. It appears, then, that Petitioner's former husband filed the later amended return as "married filing separate." Petitioner states she had no knowledge of this later return.
She consequently did not file any amended return for herself as "married filing separate." Tax Commission records indicate that an audit was later performed on Petitioner's account because of this problem, and pursuant to that audit an additional tax amount, together with penalty and interest, was imposed.
Utah Code Ann. §§59-1-401 and59-1-402 provide that penalties and interest shall be assessed for the late filing and payment of taxes.
Utah Code Ann. §59-1-401(8) provides that upon reasonable cause shown the Tax Commission may waive or reduce penalties and interest assessed under the above statutes.
Such reasonable cause has been shown for waiver of the penalty in this case. The difficulties caused by the divorce and Petitioner's former husband's last amended return, of which Petitioner had no knowledge, do constitute sufficient reasonable cause for waiver of the penalty. These were circumstances caused by a person out of Petitioner's control. Interest, however, should not be waived because the state was deprived of the use of the tax funds in question for a period of time, through no fault of its own, and should be compensated for that loss of use.
DECISION AND ORDER
Based upon the foregoing, it is the decision and order of the Utah State Tax Commission that Petitioner's request for waiver of penalty is granted. Interest shall be adjusted to account for the waiver of the penalty. It is so ordered.
DATED this 13th day of November, 1990.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco G. Blaine Davis