BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
In Re: ) FINDINGS OF FACT
XXXXX : CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
) AND FINAL DECISION
) Appeal No. 92-0074
: 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. XXXXX, C.P.A., represented Petitioner by telephone. XXXXX, Assistant Utah Attorney General, represented the Auditing Division of the Utah State Tax Commission.
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 tax.
2. The period in question is XXXXX through XXXXX.
3. As a result of an audit for the period in question, the Auditing Division assessed Petitioner with additional sales tax of $$$$$, a 10% negligence penalty, and interest. Petitioner appeals only the assessment of penalty and interest.
4. Approximately $$$$$ of the additional tax assessed against Petitioner arises from a bookkeeping error for the second quarter of XXXXX. An improper credit on Petitioner's "sales tax payable" account understated Petitioner's sales tax liability. The error was not discovered until the Auditing Division's audit.
As a result of the error, funds collected as sales tax remained in Petitioner's possession.
5. Upon notification of the foregoing error, Petitioner paid the improperly retained sales tax funds to the Commission, together with interest at the rate earned in Petitioner's bank account.
6. A prior audit for the period of XXXXX through XXXXX resulted in assessment of additional tax of $$$$$, a 10% negligence penalty, and interest.
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 only issue before the Commission is Petitioner's request that penalty and interest assessed against it be waived.
In support of its request, Petitioner argues it has attempted in good faith to comply with sales tax requirements. Petitioner further argues that it was an inadvertent mistake, rather than any intent to evade tax, that caused the underpayment of tax in this case.
Petitioner's error may have been committed innocently. However, the size of the error, the lack of sufficient supervision to prevent such an error, and the fact that a prior audit also disclosed unpaid sales tax liability justify assessment of a 10% negligence penalty.
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 associated with Petitioner's sales tax liability for the period of XXXXX through XXXXX. It is so ordered.
DATED this 6th day of August, 1992.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco S. Blaine Willes