BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
Petitioner, : FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
v. : AND FINAL DECISION
AUDITING DIVISION OF THE : Appeal No. 91-1576
UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION, :
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter came before the Utah State Tax Commission for a formal hearing by telephone on XXXXX. Lisa L. Olpin, Presiding Officer, heard the matter for and on behalf of the Commission. Representing the Petitioner by telephone was XXXXX, tax manager for Petitioner. 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 sales and use tax.
2. The audit period in question is XXXXX through XXXXX.
3. A sales and use tax assessment in the amount of $$$$$ was assessed for the period in question.
4. An additional 15% penalty for intentional disregard of a law or rule was assessed in the amount of $$$$$.
5. Petitioner had previously been audited for the period of XXXXX. Sales and use tax in the amount of $$$$$ was assessed as a result of this audit. No penalty was applied.
6. Both audits showed that Petitioner had a tax error rate of approximately 24%.
7. In both audits, Petitioner had failed to pay or accrue sales tax on all goods consumed and on all equipment purchases and rentals.
8. Petitioner explained that the sales and use tax is collected and reported at the individual job sites located in Utah (between 10-30 locations).
9. Attempts to properly train personnel include issuing annual bulletins from the XXXXX, XXXXX office and in-person training every XXXXX years.
10. Petitioner claims that employee turnover also has caused problems in its accounting abilities.
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).
The penalty for underpayment of tax is as follows: (a) If any underpayment of tax is due to negligence, the penalty is 10% of the underpayment. (b) If any underpayment of tax is due to intentional disregard of law or rule, the penalty is 15% of the underpayment. Utah Code Ann. §59-1-401(3)(a)(b).
DECISION AND ORDER
The evidence presented supports a finding that Petitioner was negligent in maintaining proper accounting controls and procedures in the collection and remittance of sales and use tax for the period in question. The facts do not support the contention that Petitioner intentionally disregarded a law or rule.
Based upon the foregoing, the Tax Commission finds that sufficient cause has been shown which would justify a reduction of the penalty from 15% to 10% for the period in question. It is so ordered.
DATED this 13 day of July, 1992.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco S. Blaine Willes