BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
In Re: ) FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
XXXXX ) AND FINAL DECISION
: Appeal No. 90-1501
: 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 the tax years XXXXX, XXXXX, and XXXXX.
3. Petitioner states that the tax amounts upon which penalty and interest charges were assessed were imposed upon Petitioner's income from unemployment compensation during periods when Petitioner was unemployed. Because the income came from unemployment compensation, there were no tax amounts withheld. Petitioner was not aware that he would be required to pay taxes on this income. Petitioner states that during the years in question, and subsequent years, he has experienced recurring periods of unemployment, illness and injuries which have rendered it difficult for him to pay taxes when they came due.
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 recognizes the difficulties under which Petitioner operated, and the circumstances of this case. However, the fact remains that Petitioner did owe tax for the periods in question, which was not timely remitted, and Petitioner has offered no persuasive reason beyond hardship for his failure to timely pay these taxes. Penalty amounts are imposed largely as an incentive to encourage taxpayers to timely file and pay their taxes. If the Commission were to waive penalty and interest assessments for each case in which a taxpayer claimed hardship or inability to pay, the Tax Commission would be overwhelmed with untimely payment of taxes and subsequent requests for a waiver of penalty and interest based upon hardship or inability to pay. It is all too easy for a taxpayer to neglect the timely payment of taxes during periods of financial strain and to use the funds which should be remitted to the state to meet other pressing demands. Penalties are imposed in part as a constraint against this practice.
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, XXXXX, and XXXXX. It is so ordered.
DATED this 14 day of February, 1991.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco G. Blaine Davis