BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
In Re: ) FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
XXXXX ) AND FINAL DECISION
: Appeal No. 91-0089
: 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 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 corporate franchise tax.
2. The periods in question are the tax years XXXXX, and XXXXX.
3. Petitioner is a small family corporation with family members serving as officers and directors. Petitioner's tax matters were handled by a professional tax consultant employed by Petitioner. Petitioner essentially turned over all tax matters to this consultant and assumed that the consultant would take care of all of the taxes, including the tax in question.
4. Petitioner's officers were not aware that Petitioner was liable for the state franchise tax until they were notified about the delinquent payments for the periods in question in XXXXX. Once notified, Petitioner promptly paid the tax for the periods in question. The tax for subsequent years has been paid timely.
5. When Petitioner approached the tax consultant and inquired as to why the state franchise tax had not been paid, the consultant replied that he thought that perhaps the Petitioner could just get away with not paying the tax and hopefully no one would notice. Upon receiving this reply, Petitioner fired the tax consultant.
6. Petitioner is of the opinion that the Tax Commission should have notified Petitioner earlier about the delinquency of its corporation franchise tax payments. Petitioner states that the accumulation of the delinquent payments for this long period of time has made the tax liability into a heavy financial burden on Petitioner, which has limited assets.
5. Petitioner relied heavily upon the professional tax consultant for direction and advice, since none of the officers of Petitioner had legal or business backgrounds. All of Petitioner's officers are involved in other professional activities and the business of Petitioner is conducted by them "on the side".
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 penalty and interest in this case should not be waived. As a corporation operating under the laws of Utah, Petitioner is responsible for determining the tax laws applicable to Petitioner and complying with them. Petitioner is also responsible for the actions of the professional tax consultant in its employ. It is apparent in this case that Petitioner did not exercise sufficient oversight relative to the tax consultant, which led to Petitioner's tax difficulties.
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 on Petitioner's corporate franchise tax for the tax years XXXXX, and XXXXX. It is so ordered.
DATED this 7th day of June, 1991.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco G. Blaine Davis