BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
Petitioners, : FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
v. : AND FINAL DECISION
AUDITING DIVISION OF THE : Appeal No. 91-1484
UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION, : Account No. XXXXX
: Tax Type: Ind. Income
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter came before the Utah State Tax Commission for a formal hearing on XXXXX. Paul F. Iwasaki, Presiding Officer, heard the matter for and on behalf of the Commission. Present and representing the Petitioners was XXXXX. Present and representing the Respondent was XXXXX, Assistant Utah Attorney General.
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 income tax.
2. The periods in question are XXXXX, XXXXX, XXXXX and XXXXX.
3. The Petitioners are husband and wife who, for the audit periods in question, filed joint Utah income tax returns.
4. For each of the years, with the exception of XXXXX, XXXXX income earned in XXXXX was included in calculating the tax due. For XXXXX, XXXXX deducted that income before calculating the Utah tax.
5. In XXXXX, the Petitioners amended their XXXXX, XXXXX and XXXXX income tax returns to exclude all income earned by XXXXX in XXXXX during those periods.
6. The Petitioners were married in XXXXX, one child was born as a result of that marriage. That child was born in XXXXX.
7. Almost immediately after the marriage, the Petitioners began to experience severe marital problems. Those problems were due in part to the fact that XXXXX was unemployed, and also due, in part, to the fact that XXXXX could not get along with the children XXXXX had from a previous marriage which were living with them.
8. In XXXXX XXXXX moved to XXXXX and obtained employment there. Since that time he has continuously lived in XXXXX and currently resides in a mobile home which he purchased.
9. Although XXXXX has continuously lived in XXXXX since XXXXX he would, however, visit his son XXXXX on weekends in XXXXX, Utah where XXXXX and XXXXX lived.
10. The home in XXXXX, Utah which the couple lived in, and which XXXXX currently lives in, is titled in both names. That home was purchased by XXXXX prior to the marriage with money given to her.
11. In XXXXX, XXXXX and XXXXX XXXXX was registered to vote in Utah. In XXXXX he became registered to vote in XXXXX. During XXXXX, XXXXX and XXXXX XXXXX voted in Utah by absentee ballot.
12. XXXXX and XXXXX were registered co-owners of vehicles registered in Utah during the audit period. The testimony was that vehicles registered in Utah were used exclusively by XXXXX and their son. The vehicle used by XXXXX was registered in XXXXX for the years in question.
13. The purpose of registering the cars in both names, as testified to by XXXXX, was for death or estate purposes. That is, in the event that either of them died, the vehicle would automatically belong to the survivor.
14. During none of the years in question did XXXXX spend an aggregate of 183 days or more in Utah.
15. Although duly notified of the time, date and place of the formal hearing, XXXXX did not appear at the hearing.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
A "resident individual" for Utah income tax purposes, who is then subject to the imposition of an income tax, means an individual who is domiciled in this state for any period of time during the taxable year, but only for the duration of such period, or an individual who is not domiciled in the state but maintains a permanent place of abode in this state and spends an aggregate of 183 or more days of the taxable year in the state. (Utah Code Ann. §59-10-103(1)(j).)
"Domicile" means the place where an individual has a true, fixed, permanent home and principal establishment, and to which place he has (whenever he is absent) the intention of returning. It is the place in which a person has voluntarily fixed the habitation of himself and family, not for a mere special or temporary purpose, but with the present intention of making a permanent home. (Utah State Tax Commission Administrative RuleR865-9i-2(D).)
DECISION AND ORDER
In the present case, the issue to be determined by the Commission is whether or not XXXXX was a "resident" for Utah income tax purposes as defined under Utah State Statute and Utah State Tax Commission Administrative Rules.
At the outset, the Commission notes that in those instances where an individual has not made a specific declaration as to his intent, determining that individual's intent is, at best, difficult. Even in those instances where a specific declaration has been made, the actions of the individual may contradict the avowed intention. Given those difficulties, a person's intent as to his place of domicile must be judged from the unique facts and circumstances surrounding each case. Although there are certain factors that should be considered in making that determination, no single factor is necessarily determinative.
Based upon the facts of this case, the Tax Commission finds that XXXXX was a "resident individual" for Utah income tax purposes because he was domiciled in Utah.
Specifically, the Commission finds that the preponderance of the evidence presented at the hearing establishes that XXXXX had established his place of domicile in Utah and that he did not abandon that place of domicile when he went to work in XXXXX. Each piece of evidence that was introduced supports such a determination. Those items of evidence include the fact that he had automobiles registered in Utah; he was a joint owner of a residence in Utah; he voted in Utah; and perhaps most significantly for the years in question he filed his income tax returns as a Utah resident.
Because of those facts, and because XXXXX did not appear at the hearing and thus offered no testimony whatsoever to deny or explain such facts, the Tax Commission is compelled to find that he was a resident of Utah for income tax purposes.
Based upon the foregoing, the Tax Commission affirms the determination of the Auditing Division. It is so ordered.
DATED this 3 day of March, 1993.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco S. Blaine Willes