BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
Petitioner, : FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
v. : AND FINAL DECISION
COLLECTION DIVISION OF THE : Appeal No. 90-1101
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.
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 individual income tax.
2. The periods in question are XXXXX and XXXXX.
3. Petitioner states that in XXXXX, while he was a resident of XXXXX, he was involved in a limited partnership which invested $$$$$ in a Utah company called "XXXXX" of XXXXX, Utah. This company failed, according to Petitioner, to adequately document its energy tax credits and other deductions and, therefore, in XXXXX, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) declared its intent to disallow the deductions. Negotiations on this issue continued until XXXXX. At that time it was agreed that all elements of the transaction would be collapsed into the single year of XXXXX. Until this time it was never certain which year would be chosen for the transaction to be collapsed into, nor what the result would be when that decision was made. Petitioner states that because of the ongoing process of the negotiations, his XXXXX and XXXXX tax returns were not filed nor paid on time. Petitioner states that he did file an extension in XXXXX, but no such extension is present in Tax Commission files. After all had been finally determined with the IRS, Petitioner began taking care of the filings which he had put off until the IRS decision had been made.
4. Petitioner states that in XXXXX and XXXXX he had refunds due on his income taxes. He states that the amount of the refunds combined is more than the amount which he owed for XXXXX and XXXXX, presumably including the penalties and interest charges. Petitioner states that because the state had possession of sums larger than the amount in question, interest assessments would not be proper. Interest, however, is assessed upon the amounts due for the specific years in question, and the fact that more tax was withheld from Petitioner's wages for subsequent years than he actually owed for those years, does not impact the interest which continued to accumulate for the years in question.
5. Petitioner states that in XXXXX he filed a waiver request form with the Utah State Tax Commission and that this form was apparently lost by the Tax Commission. However, the Tax Commission, by letter dated XXXXX, indicated to Petitioner that his waiver could not be considered until he paid the balance of the tax owing for XXXXX, and that he could resubmit his request for waiver when the balance was paid. Petitioner then submitted a second waiver request form in XXXXX. By letter dated XXXXX, the Tax Commission informed Petitioner that his waiver request had been received and was being processed, and requested that he allow XXXXX to XXXXX days for processing. By letter dated XXXXX, the Tax Commission denied Petitioner's waiver request. Petitioner states that this was more than XXXXX days from the filing of the second waiver request, which is more than the amount of time indicated in the XXXXX letter. Petitioner questions why he should be required to pay interest for the extra amount of time which the Tax Commission took in responding to his waiver request. It should be pointed out, however, that Petitioner had the option to pay the balance due at any time, which would have effectively stopped the accrual of interest, and then if favorable action upon his waiver request was made by the Commission, he could have received a refund. Petitioner, however, did not do this and, therefore, interest continued to accrue on the amount owing. The time frame mentioned in the XXXXX letter was merely an estimate and it should not be expected that the Tax Commission will always be able to stay precisely within that time frame.
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
The Tax Commission finds that there is not reasonable cause for a waiver of the penalty and interest in this case. It was Petitioner's decision to delay filing and paying the taxes for the periods in question and the penalty and interest assessments on that delay have been assessed according to law. Petitioner has not shown that the failure to timely file and pay the taxes for the periods in question was something beyond his control, which is necessary to meet the standard of reasonable cause for the waiver of penalty and interest. Petitioner certainly had the ability to file his tax returns for the years in question with estimated tax amounts for those years.
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 tax years XXXXX and XXXXX. It is so ordered.
DATED this 2O day of August, 1990.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco G. Blaine Davis