DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVENUE
Letter of Findings Number: 01-20140044P
For Tax Period Ending October 31, 2013
NOTICE: IC § 6-8.1-3-3.5 and IC § 4-22-7-7 require the publication of this document in the Indiana Register. This document provides the general public with information about the Department's official position concerning a specific set of facts and issues. This document is effective as of its date of publication and remains in effect until the date it is superseded or deleted by the publication of another document in the Indiana Register.
I. Tax Administration–Penalty.
Taxpayer protests the imposition of penalty.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Taxpayer is an Indiana retail business. The Indiana Department of Revenue ("Department") determined that Taxpayer had not properly filed its October 2013 Indiana sales tax return and so imposed a penalty. 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–Penalty.
The Department issued a proposed a assessment for penalty due to Taxpayer's failure to timely file its October 2013 sales tax return. Taxpayer protests the imposition of penalty and requests a waiver of that penalty.
The Department refers to IC § 6-8.1-10-2.1(d), which states:
(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.
. . . .
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.
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, the Department determined that Taxpayer did not properly file its October 2013 sales tax return. The Department imposed penalty under IC § 6-8.1-10-2.1. As a result of the protest process, Taxpayer has affirmatively established that it acted reasonably, as required by IC § 6-8.1-10-2.1(d) and 45 IAC 15-11-2
(b). The penalty will be waived. However, the Department takes this opportunity to notify Taxpayer that, since it is now aware of the proper filing procedures, such a waiver will not be allowed in the case of any similar future occurrence.
Taxpayers' protest is sustained.
Posted: 05/28/2014 by Legislative Services Agency
Composed: Feb 27,2015 4:27:56PM EST
version of this document.