Guy v. Ind. Dep't of State Revenue, 22T-TA-00005

Citation22T-TA-00005
Case DateMay 02, 2022
CourtTax Court of Indiana

JOSEPH R. GUY, P.C., Petitioner,
v.

INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVENUE, Respondent.

No. 22T-TA-00005

Tax Court of Indiana

May 2, 2022


ATTORNEY FOR PETITIONER:

JOSEPH R. GUY

JOSEPH R. GUY, P.C.

Indianapolis, IN

ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT:

THEODORE E. ROKITA

ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIANA

BENJAMIN B. HUANG

COURTNEY L. ABSHIRE

DEPUTY ATTORNEYS GENERAL

Indianapolis, IN

ORDER ON RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

MARTHA BLOOD WENTWORTH, JUDGE

The Indiana Department of State Revenue has moved to dismiss Joseph R. Guy, P.C.'s appeal, claiming that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. The Court grants the Department's motion.

BACKGROUND

On November 1, 2021, Guy electronically filed a withholding tax return for the period from September 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021, via the Indiana Taxpayer Information Management Engine ("INTIME"). (See Pet'r Pet. Original Tax Appeal Final

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Determination Indiana Dep't of State Revenue ("Pet'r Pet") ¶ 7.) That same day, Guy paid the corresponding tax liability of $688.26 to the Department. (See Pet'r Pet. ¶ 7.) See also Ind. Code § 6-3-4-8(a)-(b) (2022) (indicating that withholding tax is paid on a monthly basis).)

On December 7, 2021, the Department sent Guy a "Notice of Failure to File," stating that Guy had not submitted a withholding tax return for the period at issue and, if the return was not filed by January 6, 2022, the Department would prepare a BIA assessment, i.e., "a tax assessment based on the best information [the Department] ha[d]." (See Pet'r Resp. Dep't Mot. Dismiss ("Pet'r Resp. Br.") ¶ 1, Ex. A.) The Notice also stated that if Guy had a tax liability for the period at issue, "a 20% penalty may be assessed[] and interest [would] accrue from the date the return was due." (Pet'r Resp. Br., Ex. A.)

On December 13, 2021, Guy sent the Department a letter explaining that it had, in fact, filed a withholding tax return for the period at issue, but mistakenly labeled it for the October 2021 tax period. (See Pet'r Resp. Br. ¶ 2, Ex. B.) Guy attached its September and October 2021 payroll ledgers and the related INTIME payment receipts to the letter to show that it had already paid the withholding tax liability of $688.26 for the period at issue and $984.03 for the October 2021 tax period. (See Pet'r Resp. Br. ¶ 2, Ex. B.) Guy did not receive a response from the Department. (See Pet'r Resp. Br., Ex. C.)

On January 20, 2022, when using INTIME to file a withholding tax reconciliation form ("WH-3") for the December 2021 tax period, Guy discovered that the Department's records indicated there was an outstanding withholding tax liability of $1273.22 for the period at issue. (See Pet'r Resp. Br. ¶ 3, Ex. C.) Guy promptly emailed the Department,

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restating the chronological record of events and declaring that it would "NOT BE ABLE TO SUBMIT the WH-3 until INTIME and [the Department] GET THE FACTS correct." (Pet'r Resp. Br., Ex. C at 1.) Less than 24-hours later, the Department instructed Guy to send a message through INTIME to receive assistance with the issue. (See Pet'r Resp. Br. ¶ 3, Ex. C at 4.) It is unclear whether Guy followed the Department's instructions. (See Pet'r Resp. Br. at ¶¶ 1-9.)

On February 11, 2022, the Department sent Guy a "Statement of Account" and a "Notice of Proposed Assessment," stating that Guy owed additional withholding tax, penalties, and interest in the amount of $1, 409.77 for the period at issue. (See Pet'r Resp. Br. ¶¶ 4-5, Exs. D-E.) Additionally, the Proposed Assessment provided:

You must send correspondence supporting your original return pay the full amount assessed, or protest this assessment in writing within 60 days (by April 12, 2022). For more information on protesting the tax assessment, visit www.in.gov/dor/legal-resources/appeals

(Pet'r Resp. Br., Ex. D (emphasis added).)

On February 15, 2021, Guy sent the Department another letter to explain that the BIA assessment had been erroneously issued:

We mislabeled the month that we were paying [withholding] taxes on twice in 2021. The January withholding[ tax return was] mislabeled as February. This mistake did not get worked out until August[] 2021 when the [Department] said I don't owe any money. . . . Unfortunately, we made the same mislabeling mistake in late October/early November when we were filing and paying for September state and county withholding[ taxes].

(Pet'r Resp. Br. ¶ 7, Ex. F.) The Department responded by email the same day, confirming its receipt of Guy's letter and explaining that it may take "up to 15 business days for [the] response to be processed." (See Pet'r Resp. Br. ¶ 7, Ex...

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