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-IR- Database: Indiana Register

DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVENUE
02-20120273P.LOF

Letter of Findings Number: 02-20120273P
Income Tax
For Tax Year 2010


NOTICE: Under IC § 4-22-7-7, this document is required to be published in the Indiana Register and is effective on its date of publication. It shall remain in effect until the date it is superseded or deleted by the publication of a new document in the Indiana Register. The publication of this document will provide the general public with information about the Department's official position concerning a specific issue.
ISSUE
I. Tax Administration–Underpayment Penalty.
Authority: IC § 6-3-4-4.1; IC § 6-8.1-10-2.1; 45 IAC 15-11-2.
Taxpayer protests the imposition of a ten percent underpayment penalty.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Taxpayer is an out-of-state corporation with operations in Indiana. As the result of a federal income tax adjustment, Taxpayer had additional Indiana income tax for the tax year 2010. Following an audit covering the tax years 2008, 2009, and 2010, the Indiana Department of Revenue ("Department") issued proposed assessments for additional Indiana adjusted gross income tax for those years. The Department also sent a notice that Taxpayer owed a ten percent quarterly estimated tax underpayment penalty for 2010. Taxpayer protested the imposition of the penalty. An administrative hearing was held and this Letter of Findings results. Further facts will be supplied as required.
I. Tax Administration–Underpayment Penalty.
DISCUSSION
The Department issued proposed assessments for income tax and the ten percent underpayment penalty for the tax year in question. Taxpayer protests the imposition of penalty. IC § 6-3-4-4.1(c) and (d) provide:
(c) Every corporation subject to the adjusted gross income tax liability imposed by this article shall be required to report and pay an estimated tax equal to the lesser of:
(1) twenty-five percent (25 [percent]) of such corporation's estimated adjusted gross income tax liability for the taxable year; or
(2) the annualized income installment calculated in the manner provided by Section 6655(e) of the Internal Revenue Code as applied to the corporation's liability for adjusted gross income tax.
A taxpayer who uses a taxable year that ends on December 31 shall file the taxpayer's estimated adjusted gross income tax returns and pay the tax to the department on or before April 20, June 20, September 20, and December 20 of the taxable year. If a taxpayer uses a taxable year that does not end on December 31, the due dates for filing estimated adjusted gross income tax returns and paying the tax are on or before the twentieth day of the fourth, sixth, ninth, and twelfth months of the taxpayer's taxable year. The department shall prescribe the manner and forms for such reporting and payment.
(d) The penalty prescribed by IC 6-8.1-10-2.1(b) shall be assessed by the department on corporations failing to make payments as required in subsection (c) or (f). However, no penalty shall be assessed as to any estimated payments of adjusted gross income tax which equal or exceed:
(1) the annualized income installment calculated under subsection (c); or
(2) twenty-five percent (25 [percent]) of the final tax liability for the taxpayer's previous taxable year.
In addition, the penalty as to any underpayment of tax on an estimated return shall only be assessed on the difference between the actual amount paid by the corporation on such estimated return and twenty-five percent (25 [percent]) of the corporation's final adjusted gross income tax liability for such taxable year.
The Department refers to IC § 6-8.1-10-2.1, which states in relevant parts:
...
(b) Except as provided in subsection (g), the penalty described in subsection (a) is ten percent (10 [percent]) of:
(1) the full amount of the tax due if the person failed to file the return;
(2) the amount of the tax not paid, if the person filed the return but failed to pay the full amount of the tax shown on the return;
(3) the amount of the tax held in trust that is not timely remitted;
(4) the amount of deficiency as finally determined by the department; or
(5) the amount of tax due if a person failed to make payment by electronic funds transfer, overnight courier, or personal delivery by the due date.
...
(d) If a person subject to the penalty imposed under this section can show that the failure to file a return, pay the full amount of tax shown on the person's return, timely remit tax held in trust, or pay the deficiency determined by the department was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, the department shall waive the penalty.
(e) A person who wishes to avoid the penalty imposed under this section must make an affirmative showing of all facts alleged as a reasonable cause for the person's failure to file the return, pay the amount of tax shown on the person's return, pay the deficiency, or timely remit tax held in trust, in a written statement containing a declaration that the statement is made under penalty of perjury. The statement must be filed with the return or payment within the time prescribed for protesting departmental assessments. A taxpayer may also avoid the penalty imposed under this section by obtaining a ruling from the department before the end of a particular tax period on the amount of tax due for that tax period.
....
Next, the Department refers to 45 IAC 15-11-2(b), which states:
Negligence, on behalf of a taxpayer is defined as the failure to use such reasonable care, caution, or diligence as would be expected of an ordinary reasonable taxpayer. Negligence would result from a taxpayer's carelessness, thoughtlessness, disregard or inattention to duties placed upon the taxpayer by the Indiana Code or department regulations. Ignorance of the listed tax laws, rules and/or regulations is treated as negligence. Further, failure to read and follow instructions provided by the department is treated as negligence. Negligence shall be determined on a case by case basis according to the facts and circumstances of each taxpayer.
Also, 45 IAC 15-11-2(c) provides in pertinent part:
The department shall waive the negligence penalty imposed under IC 6-8.1-10-1 if the taxpayer affirmatively establishes that the failure to file a return, pay the full amount of tax due, timely remit tax held in trust, or pay a deficiency was due to reasonable cause and not due to negligence. In order to establish reasonable cause, the taxpayer must demonstrate that it exercised ordinary business care and prudence in carrying out or failing to carry out a duty giving rise to the penalty imposed under this section.
In this case, Taxpayer incurred a deficiency which the Department determined was due to negligence under 45 IAC 15-11-2(b), and so was subject to a penalty under IC § 6-8.1-10-2.1(b), as provided by IC § 6-3-4-4.1(d). Taxpayer has affirmatively established that its failure to pay the deficiency was due to reasonable cause and not due to negligence, as required by 45 IAC 15-11-2(c).
FINDING
Taxpayer's protest is sustained.

Posted: 01/30/2013 by Legislative Services Agency

DIN: 20130130-IR-045130011NRA
Composed: Oct 21,2014 1:54:52AM EDT
A PDF version of this document.