BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
In Re: )
XXXXX ) FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
: AND FINAL DECISION
: Appeal No. 92-0998
: Account No. XXXXX
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter came before the Utah State Tax Commission for a formal hearing on XXXXX. Lisa L. Olpin, Presiding Officer, heard the matter for and on behalf of the Commission. Present and representing the Petitioner was attorney 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 personal income tax.
2. The period in question is the year XXXXX.
3. Petitioner filed and paid his XXXXX personal income tax in the amount of $$$$$ on XXXXX. Penalty and interest was assessed.
4. Earlier, in XXXXX, the Internal Revenue Service seized all of Petitioner's records, receipts, files, etc. as part of an ongoing Grand Jury investigation.
5. These records ended up with the U.S. Attorney's office in XXXXX.
6. By XXXXX, Petitioner still had no access to the seized records despite repeated requests to the U.S. Attorney for copies. Petitioner filed an extension with both the I.R.S. and the state of Utah.
7. Petitioner did not pay any amount with his extension request because he did not believe that he would owe anything.
8. In the meantime, Petitioner did not recover copies of any of his records from the federal investigation. Petitioner then sued his former bookkeeper in Utah court for production of documents.
9. Petitioner was awarded a judgment against the bookkeeper, but no documents were ever turned over.
10. Petitioner, a XXXXX, then pieced together his files by contacting numerous brokers, agents, institutions, etc.
11. Approximately three months after this endeavor concluded, Petitioner was able to file and pay his XXXXX personal income taxes.
12. The I.R.S. previously waived the penalties involved for the period in question.
13. The Tax Commission previously waived 10% of the initial 20% penalty. Interest was not waived.
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).)
Pertinent to this case is Utah Administrative RuleR865-9I-23(lB-12): Payment of the tax amount expected to be due must be made before the original tax return filing deadline. Payment must equal 90% of the tax due on the return, after credit...,or must equal the tax amount for the previous year. Penalty and interest will apply to returns filed with insufficient interest will apply to returns filed with prepayments.
DECISION AND ORDER
The Tax Commission understands why Petitioner was unable to file his return timely. The extension process exists to allow for the backlash of extenuating circumstances.
Petitioner, however, is penalized for not complying with the extension process that was designed to protect him. According to the above-cited administrative rule, Petitioner could have either paid the same amount he paid the year before or he could have paid some educated estimate of his ultimate XXXXX tax liability when he filed his extension.
In this case, Petitioner ended up owing over $$$$$ in taxes. If he didn't want to prepay the same amount he paid in XXXXX, he could have made a ballpark estimate of what he would owe for XXXXX and paid in advance. It is difficult to believe that Petitioner had absolutely no idea he would owe any amount at all for XXXXX when, in fact, he owed a substantial amount.
Based upon the foregoing, the Tax Commission finds that sufficient cause has not been shown which would justify a further reduction of the penalty assessed on the year XXXXX for personal income tax. Interest is not waived. IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this 8th day of September, 1992.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco S. Blaine Willes