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More than 13,000 Utahns impacted by tax error

Payroll tax holiday starts Sept. 1 for companies who choose to participate
Posted at 12:21 PM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 14:26:22-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Tax Commission said it has discovered more than 13,000 tax returns had an inaccurate billing statement, forcing the agency to waive penalties in certain cases.

The commission said it found "a number of erroneous penalty and interest assessments sent for the 2019 tax year."

"There were some system limitations that arose causing an estimated 13,000 out of 1.5 million tax returns to receive an inaccurate billing statement. These include returns filed and taxes paid after April 15 but before July 15 of this year," the agency said in a statement.

The problem was brought on in part by COVID-19 and the state modifying tax return deadlines. It impacts individual and corporate tax returns.

"To accommodate the change, our system was programmed to write off penalties and interest on timely-filed returns and payments. Late payments will still accrue interest until paid in full," the agency said. "While we tested these changes extensively there were some complications. Returns were posted to the Tax Commission system on the same day billing notices were scheduled to be sent. In this situation, because of the timing when billing notices went out, they assessed penalty and interest incorrectly. The Tax Commission’s system however, reflected the correct amount due, with no penalty and interest. Any overpayment by the taxpayer due to the incorrect notice is promptly being refunded."

Accountant and tax preparers are getting a notice sent to them about potential errors. A general public notice will also be sent out to alert taxpayers on how to check their status with corrected billing statements arriving by Dec. 15. The Utah State Tax Commission will also waive failure to file or pay penalties and interests for returns that were made before July 15, 2020.

Anyone who thinks they may fall into this situation and have an incorrect billing notice should call 801-297-7703.