BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
In Re: ) FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
XXXXX ) AND FINAL DECISION
: Appeal No. 91-0449
: Account No. XXXXX
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter came before the Utah State Tax Commission for a formal hearing on XXXXX. Alan Hennebold, Presiding Officer, heard the matter for and on behalf of the Commission. Present and representing the Petitioner were XXXXX and 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. With respect to XXXXX, Commission records indicate that the Petitioner filed his income tax return and paid the liability established thereby in a timely manner. An audit performed in XXXXX increased the Petitioner's tax liability from $$$$$ to $$$$$. A 10% negligence penalty was imposed on the amount of tax found due by the audit. Interest charges were also assessed against the Petitioner. The Petitioner has paid $$$$$ toward his liability, leaving $$$$$ attributable to penalty and interest unpaid. The Petitioner does not recall the circumstances surrounding his XXXXX tax liability.
5. With respect to XXXXX, the Petitioner again filed and paid his income tax liability in a timely manner. However, as a result of an audit of his federal return, his federal adjusted gross income was increased. The Petitioner did not amend his state income tax return to reflect the change in adjusted gross income. As a result, Commission staff made the necessary adjustment and his state income tax liability was increased by $$$$$. When the Petitioner did not pay the additional tax due within 30 days, a $$$$$ late payment penalty and a $$$$$ legal fee were assessed against him, as well as interest. The Petitioner has now paid $$$$$, which is the amount of his tax liability, leaving unpaid the $$$$$ attributable to penalty and interest.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Utah law imposes a penalty of either $50 or 10% of the tax, whichever is larger, for late filing of a tax-due return. An equal penalty is imposed for late payment of tax. (Utah Code Ann. §59-1-401(2).)
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 Petitioner seeks waiver of the various penalties and interest assessed against his XXXXX and XXXXX income tax liability. The Petitioner concedes he does not recall the circumstances of his liability for the XXXXX tax year. With respect to the XXXXX tax year, he explains that he attempted to obtain information regarding the reasons for the additional tax, penalty and interest, but received no clear explanation.
As noted above, the Commission is authorized to waive or reduce such penalty upon a showing of reasonable cause. Reasonable cause, as determined by the Commission, is a cause which arises despite ordinary care and prudence exercised by the taxpayer. In this case, the Petitioner has been unable to recall any circumstances which would support waiver of penalty and interest for XXXXX. With respect to XXXXX, the Petitioner's state income tax liability was increased as a result of an audit of his federal income tax return. The Petitioner may not have agreed with, or even understood, the result of the audit of his federal income tax return. However, once that audit became final, he was obligated to make corresponding adjustments to his state income tax return, as well as pay any increase in liability. It is his failure to pay the increased state liability within a timely manner that has resulted in the assessment of penalty and interest.
Based upon the foregoing, the Tax Commission finds that sufficient cause has not been shown which would justify a waiver of the interest or penalty associated with the XXXXX and XXXXX tax years. It is so ordered.
DATED this 15th day of July, 1991.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco S. Blaine Willes