BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
Petitioner, ) FINDINGS OF FACT,
) CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
v. ) AND FINAL DECISION
AUDITING DIVISION OF THE ) Appeal No. 91‑1763
UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION, ) Account No. XXXXX
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. Petitioner represented himself. Present and representing 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. Petitioner purchased a XXXXX in XXXXX, Utah on XXXXX.
3. At the time of the purchase, Petitioner signed a non‑resident affidavit, stating he was a resident of XXXXX.
4. Petitioner indeed had moved to XXXXX on XXXXX for his new job. He was renting a place to stay in XXXXX and returned to his Utah home on weekends.
5. At all times, Petitioner owned a residence in Utah, had a Utah driver's license, registered four other vehicles in Utah and filed Utah resident income tax returns.
6. Prior to purchasing the XXXXX, Petitioner contacted the assessor's office in the county where he lived in XXXXX to get information on vehicle registration and taxes.
7. Petitioner also was told by his employer he needed to obtain XXXXX plates within 45 days of his arrival.
8. Acting on the XXXXX county assessor's information and the XXXXX car salesman's recommendation, Petitioner signed the non‑resident affidavit. Petitioner then paid sales tax in XXXXX on the Ford.
9. Petitioner states that he did not read the affidavit in full before he signed it. The salesman filled it out and Petitioner just signed it.
10. Petitioner was assessed Utah sales tax at a rate of 6.25% in the amount of $$$$$. A 15% penalty in the amount of $$$$$ for intentional disregard of a law or rule was also assessed with interest.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Any person qualifying as a resident, who operates a vehicle, or allows the operation of a vehicle, in this state, must register it immediately. (Utah Administrative Rule R873‑22‑1M(12)(1B)).
Resident means "every person who is a legal resident of this state; (the fact that a person leaves the state temporarily will not be sufficient to terminate residency)". Utah Admin. Rule R873‑22‑1M(11). A resident is also any person...who owns, leases, or rents a residence or a place of business within this state, or occupies or permits to be occupied a Utah residence or place of business. Utah Admin. Rule R873‑22‑1M(13).
DECISION AND ORDER
Without question, Petitioner was a resident of Utah at the time of the purchase of the XXXXX. He maintained his primary residence in Utah, registered other vehicles in Utah, and filed his tax returns in Utah.
At issue is the degree to which Petitioner should be penalized for not paying Utah sales tax at the time of purchase. The Tax Commission finds that Petitioner did not intentionally disregard the law in that he relied upon information obtained from a XXXXX county assessor's office and a car dealership salesman when he represented himself to be a non‑Utah resident. A ten percent negligence penalty is assessed, however, in that Petitioner signed the non‑resident affidavit without reading its contents which would have put Petitioner on notice of the tax rule.
Based upon the foregoing, the Tax Commission finds that Petitioner was correctly assessed Utah sales tax on the purchase in question. The 15% penalty is reduced to 10%. Interest is not waived. It is so ordered.
DATED this 23 day of June, 1992.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco S. Blaine Willes
NOTICE: You have twenty (20) days after the date of the final order to file a request for reconsideration or thirty (30) days after the date of final order to file in Supreme Court a petition for judicial review. Utah Code Ann. ''63‑46b‑13(1), 63‑46b‑14(2)(a).