BEFORE THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION
Petitioner, : FINDINGS OF FACT,
: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
v. : AND FINAL DECISION
AUDITING DIVISION OF THE : Appeal No. 92-2000
UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION, :
: Account No. XXXXX
STATEMENT OF CASE
This matter was heard before the Utah State Tax Commission on XXXXX. Lisa L. Olpin, Administrative Law Judge, heard the matter for and on behalf of the Commission. Petitioner was present and represented himself. XXXXX, Assistant Utah Attorney General, was present and represented Respondent.
Based upon the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing, the Tax Commission makes its findings of fact:
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The tax in question is individual income tax.
2. The years in question are XXXXX and XXXXX.
3. The Auditing Division contends that Petitioner was a Utah resident and domiciled in Utah during the years in question.
4. Petitioner contends that he was not domiciled in Utah.
5. Petitioner resided in Utah and had his own business here until late XXXXX. Petitioner also owned four Utah properties at the time.
6. In XXXXX, Petitioner obtained a post office box and enlisted the help of a friend, XXXXX, to check his mail and pay his bills for him as he left the state in early XXXXX and went to Arizona.
7. Three of the four properties Petitioner owned fell into foreclosure in XXXXX. The last property went into foreclosure in XXXXX.
8. Petitioner testified he took all of his belongings and leased an apartment in XXXXX, Arizona upon arrival. He managed to open a XXXXX store by XXXXX which he left to another individual to manage while he began traveling the country selling XXXXX.
9. Petitioner closed the XXXXX store shortly after it opened.
10. By XXXXX, XXXXX, Petitioner had moved to XXXXX where he began a XXXXX distribution business. At this same time, he entered a partnership with a friend in Utah and opened a XXXXX store in XXXXX. Petitioner, however, remained in Colorado in an apartment and spent a great deal of time as a traveling businessman.
11. Like the Arizona store, the XXXXX store soon folded.
12. In XXXXX, Petitioner left Colorado and moved on to Washington and California. Petitioner then lived a full-time life of traveling to various home shows and fairs across the nation, selling XXXXX on behalf of distributors.
13. Petitioner testified that he received his business mail at the shows he was participating in or at campgrounds he was staying at.
14. Since the time Petitioner left Colorado, Petitioner claims that he is not a resident of any one state. When Petitioner is not working shows, he states he vacations in Mexico.
15. XXXXX testified that she did take care of Petitioner's bills and mail on a regular basis. She stated that Petitioner would call her on a weekly basis to check-in and give her a forwarding address.
16. During the years in question, Petitioner registered his one vehicle in Utah. He testified that Utah granted him a waiver of the emissions and safety tests as the vehicle was located outside of Utah during this time.
17. Petitioner maintained a Utah driver's license during the years in question.
18. Petitioner employed accountants and maintained banking accounts in Utah during the years in question. Likewise, Petitioner opened other bank accounts in Arizona and Colorado.
19. Petitioner thinks he filed a XXXXX state personal income tax return in Arizona, however, he did not submit any proof.
20. Petitioner thinks he filed a XXXXX state personal income tax return in Colorado, however, he did not submit any proof.
21. In XXXXX, Petitioner filed an extension request dated XXXXX with the state of Utah on his XXXXX state personal income tax return. Petitioner did not later file a XXXXX return.
22. Petitioner filed a XXXXX federal income tax return listing a Utah post office box as his present address.
23. Petitioner filed a XXXXX federal income tax return listing a Utah street address as his present address. Petitioner explained that this was a friend's address.
24. Petitioner explained that he maintained a Utah driver's license, Utah vehicle registration, and Utah post office box during the years in question as he needed to have a license, registration, and mail delivery somewhere and that Utah was convenient.
25. He further explained that his stays in Arizona and Colorado were a temporary situation.
26. Petitioner argues that when he left Utah in XXXXX he never intended to return and that he claims no state as a home state or domicile.
27. Respondent, on the other hand, contends that Petitioner has not shown that he has abandoned the state of Utah nor has he shown the intent and establishment of a new domicile elsewhere.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
The definition of "domicile" is found in Utah Administrative Rule R865-9I-2(D):
"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. After domicile has been established, two things are necessary to create a new domicile: first, an abandonment of the old domicile; and second, the intention and establishment of a new domicile. The mere intention to abandon a domicile once established is not of itself sufficient to create a new domicile; for before a person can be said to have changed his domicile, a new domicile must be shown.
The determination of where a person is domiciled for income tax purposes is based squarely upon the facts presented. Snelqrove v. Oklahoma Tax Commission, 605 P.2d. 1315, 1317 (1979).
Further, a person cannot be without a legal domicile somewhere. Desmare v. U.S., 93 U.S. 959, 960 (1877).
DECISION AND ORDER
It is clear from the evidence presented that Petitioner continued contacts with the state of Utah even after physically leaving the state. In his own words, Petitioner left for Arizona and Colorado on a temporary basis. That is not to say that he intended at all times to return to Utah permanently, but that he did not take steps to sever ties with Utah and to establish a new domicile elsewhere.
Petitioner continued his vehicle registrations, carried a Utah driver's license, owned Utah property, maintained a post office box and provided Utah addresses to the I.R.S. for the years in question. Even Petitioner cannot point to any other state that he could designate as a state of domicile.
Based upon the foregoing, the Tax Commission finds that Petitioner was domiciled in the state of Utah for the years XXXXX and XXXXX. It is so ordered.
DATED this 21st day of May, 1993.
BY ORDER OF THE UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION.
R. H. Hansen Roger O. Tew
Joe B. Pacheco S. Blaine Willes