CERTIFICATION OF ENROLLMENT
SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1401
1991 Regular Session
Passed by the House April 28, 1991
Yeas 98 Nays 0
Speaker of the
House of Representatives
Passed by the Senate April 28, 1991
Yeas 46 Nays 2
President of the Senate
Governor of the State of Washington
I, Alan Thompson, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1401 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.
Secretary of State
State of Washington
SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1401
AS RECOMMENDED BY THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
Passed Legislature - 1991 Regular Session
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By House Committee on Revenue (originally sponsored by Representatives Wang, Wynne, Ballard, D. Sommers, Winsley, Cooper, Vance, Mielke, Van Luven, Moyer, Miller, Brumsickle, Bowman, Horn, Paris, May, Betrozoff, Inslee, R. Meyers, Pruitt, Zellinsky, Bray, Franklin, Ogden, Phillips, Valle, H. Myers, Rasmussen, Fraser, Sprenkle, Heavey, Scott, Tate, Dellwo, Silver, Jacobsen, Hine, Brekke and Peery; by request of Department of Revenue).
Read first time January 31, 1991.
AN ACT Relating to taxpayer rights and responsibilities; amending RCW 82.32.050, 82.32.060, and 82.32.090; adding a new chapter to Title 82 RCW; and providing an effective date.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. This chapter shall be known and cited as "Washington taxpayers' rights and responsibilities."
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. (1) The legislature finds that taxes are one of the most sensitive points of contact between citizens and their government, and that there is a delicate balance between revenue collection and taxpayers' rights and responsibilities. The rights, privacy, and property of Washington taxpayers should be protected adequately during the process of the assessment and collection of taxes.
(2) The legislature further finds that the Washington tax system is based largely on voluntary compliance and that taxpayers have a responsibility to inform themselves about applicable tax laws. The legislature also finds that the rights of the taxpayers and their attendant responsibilities are best implemented where the department of revenue provides accurate tax information, instructions, forms, administrative policies, and procedures to assist taxpayers to voluntarily comply with the provisions of the revenue act, Title 82 RCW, and where taxpayers cooperate in the administration of these provisions.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. The department of revenue shall administer this chapter. The department of revenue shall adopt or amend rules as may be necessary to fully implement this chapter and the rights established under this chapter.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. The taxpayers of the state of Washington have:
(1) The right to a written explanation of the basis for any tax deficiency assessment, interest, and penalties at the time the assessments are issued;
(2) The right to rely on specific, official written advice and written tax reporting instructions from the department of revenue to that taxpayer, and to have interest, penalties, and in some instances, tax deficiency assessments waived where the taxpayer has so relied to their proven detriment;
(3) The right to redress and relief where tax laws or rules are found to be unconstitutional by the final decision of a court of record and the right to prompt administrative remedies in such cases;
(4) The right to confidentiality and protection from public inquiry regarding financial and business information in the possession of the department of revenue in accordance with the requirements of RCW 82.32.330;
(5) The right to receive, upon request, clear and current tax instructions, rules, procedures, forms, and other tax information; and
(6) The right to a prompt and independent administrative review by the department of revenue of a decision to revoke a tax registration, and to a written determination that either sustains the revocation or reinstates the registration.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. To ensure consistent application of the revenue laws, taxpayers have certain responsibilities under chapter 82.32 RCW, including, but not limited to, the responsibility to:
(1) Register with the department of revenue;
(2) Know their tax reporting obligations, and when they are uncertain about their obligations, seek instructions from the department of revenue;
(3) Keep accurate and complete business records;
(4) File accurate returns and pay taxes in a timely manner;
(5) Ensure the accuracy of the information entered on their tax returns;
(6) Substantiate claims for refund;
(7) Timely pay all taxes after closing a business and request cancellation of registration number; and
(8) Timely respond to communications from the department of revenue.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. The director of revenue shall appoint a taxpayer rights advocate. The advocate shall be responsible for directly assisting taxpayers and their representatives to assure their understanding and utilization of the policies, processes, and procedures available to them in the resolution of problems.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. The department of revenue shall maintain a taxpayer services program consisting of, but not limited to:
(1) Providing taxpayer assistance in the form of information, education, and instruction in person, by telephone, or by correspondence;
(2) Conducting tax workshops at locations most conveniently accessible to the majority of taxpayers affected; and
(3) Publishing written bulletins, instructions, current revenue laws, rules, court decisions, and interpretive rulings of the department of revenue.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. Sections 1 through 7 of this act shall constitute a new chapter in Title 82 RCW.
Sec. 9. RCW 82.32.050 and 1989 c 378 s 19 are each amended to read as follows:
If upon examination of any returns or from other information obtained by the
department it appears that a tax or penalty has been paid less than that
properly due, the department shall assess against the taxpayer such additional
amount found to be due and shall add thereto interest at the rate of nine percent
per annum from the last day of the year in which the deficiency is incurred
until date of payment for tax liabilities arising before January 1, 1992.
For tax liabilities arising after December 31, 1991, until the date of payment,
the rate of interest shall be variable and computed as provided in subsection
(2) of this section. The rate so computed shall be adjusted on the first day
of January of each year. The department shall notify the taxpayer by mail
of the additional amount and the same shall become due and shall be paid within
thirty days from the date of the notice, or within such further time as the
department may provide. ((
If payment is not received by the department by
the due date specified in the notice, or any extension thereof, the department
shall add a penalty of ten percent of the amount of the additional tax found
due. If the department finds that all or any part of the deficiency resulted
from an intent to evade the tax payable hereunder, a further penalty of fifty
percent of the additional tax found to be due shall be added.))
(2) For the purposes of this section, the rate of interest to be charged to the taxpayer shall be an average of the federal short-term rate as defined in 26 U.S.C. Sec. 1274(d) plus two percentage points. The rate shall be computed by taking an arithmetical average to the nearest percentage point of the federal short-term rate, compounded annually, for the months of January, April, July, and October of the immediately preceding calendar year as published by the United States secretary of the treasury.
No assessment or correction of an assessment for additional taxes due may be
made by the department more than four years after the close of the tax year,
(1))) (a) against a taxpayer who has not registered as
required by this chapter, (( (2))) (b) upon a showing of fraud or
of misrepresentation of a material fact by the taxpayer, or (( (3))) (c)
where a taxpayer has executed a written waiver of such limitation.
Sec. 10. RCW 82.32.060 and 1990 c 69 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
If, upon receipt of an application by a taxpayer for a refund or for an audit of the taxpayer's records, or upon an examination of the returns or records of any taxpayer, it is determined by the department that within the statutory period for assessment of taxes prescribed by RCW 82.32.050 a tax has been paid in excess of that properly due, the excess amount paid within such period shall be credited to the taxpayer's account or shall be refunded to the taxpayer, at the taxpayer's option. No refund or credit shall be made for taxes paid more than four years prior to the beginning of the calendar year in which the refund application is made or examination of records is completed.
Notwithstanding the foregoing limitations there shall be refunded or credited to taxpayers engaged in the performance of United States government contracts or subcontracts the amount of any tax paid, measured by that portion of the amounts received from the United States, which the taxpayer is required by contract or applicable federal statute to refund or credit to the United States, if claim for such refund is filed by the taxpayer with the department within one year of the date that the amount of the refund or credit due to the United States is finally determined and filed within four years of the date on which the tax was paid: PROVIDED, That no interest shall be allowed on such refund.
Any such refunds shall be made by means of vouchers approved by the department and by the issuance of state warrants drawn upon and payable from such funds as the legislature may provide. However, taxpayers who are required to pay taxes by electronic funds transfer under RCW 82.32.080 shall have any refunds paid by electronic funds transfer.
Any judgment for which a recovery is granted by any court of competent jurisdiction, not appealed from, for tax, penalties, and interest which were paid by the taxpayer, and costs, in a suit by any taxpayer shall be paid in like manner, upon the filing with the department of a certified copy of the order or judgment of the court. Except as to the credits in computing tax authorized by RCW 82.04.435, interest at the rate of three percent per annum shall be allowed by the department and by any court on the amount of any refund or recovery allowed to a taxpayer for taxes, penalties, or interest paid by the taxpayer before January 1, 1992. For refunds of amounts paid or other recovery allowed to a taxpayer after December 31, 1991, the rate of interest shall be the rate as computed for assessments under RCW 82.32.050(2), less one percentage point.
Sec. 11. RCW 82.32.090 and 1987 c 502 s 9 are each amended to read as follows:
If payment of any tax due on a return to be filed by a taxpayer is not
received by the department of revenue by the due date, there shall be assessed
a penalty of five percent of the amount of the tax; and if the tax is not
received within thirty days after the due date, there shall be assessed a total
penalty of ten percent of the amount of the tax; and if the tax is not received
within sixty days after the due date, there shall be assessed a total penalty
of twenty percent of the amount of the tax. No penalty so added shall be less
two)) five dollars.
(2) If payment of any tax assessed by the department of revenue is not received by the department by the due date specified in the notice, or any extension thereof, the department shall add a penalty of ten percent of the amount of the additional tax found due. No penalty so added shall be less than five dollars.
If a warrant be issued by the department of revenue for the collection of
taxes, increases, and penalties, there shall be added thereto a penalty of five
percent of the amount of the tax, but not less than ((
the foregoing,)) (4) If the department finds that all or any part of a
deficiency resulted from the disregard of specific written instructions as to
reporting or tax liabilities, the department shall add a penalty of ten percent
of the amount of the additional tax found due because of the failure to follow
the instructions. A taxpayer disregards specific written instructions when the
department of revenue has informed the taxpayer in writing of the taxpayer's
tax obligations and the taxpayer fails to act in accordance with those
instructions unless the department has not issued final instructions because
the matter is under appeal pursuant to this chapter or departmental
regulations. The department shall not assess the penalty under this section
upon any taxpayer who has made a good faith effort to comply with the specific
written instructions provided by the department to that taxpayer. Specific
written instructions may be given as a part of a tax assessment, audit,
determination, or closing agreement, provided that such specific written
instructions shall apply only to the taxpayer addressed or referenced on such
documents. Any specific written instructions by the department of revenue
shall be clearly identified as such and shall inform the taxpayer that failure
to follow the instructions may subject the taxpayer to the penalties imposed by
(5) If the department finds that all or any part of the deficiency resulted from an intent to evade the tax payable hereunder, a further penalty of fifty percent of the additional tax found to be due shall be added.
The aggregate of penalties imposed under this ((
for failure to (( file)) pay a tax due on a return, late payment
of any tax, increase, or penalty, or issuance of a warrant shall not exceed (( twenty-five))
thirty-five percent of the tax due, or (( seven)) twenty
dollars, whichever is greater.
(7) The department of revenue may not impose both the evasion penalty and the penalty for disregarding specific written instructions on the same tax found to be due.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 12. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.