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Core-Mark Midcontinent Inc


On October 18, 2021, the Department assessed the Taxpayer for cigarette tax, penalty, and interest for the August 2021 filing period. On November 17, 2021, the Taxpayer filed a formal protest of the assessment. In the August filing period the Taxpayer made a purchase order for cigarette tax stamps and then paid the tax owed, but later that month needed to make an additional purchase of tax stamps. Though it placed the second order in August, it did not make a payment of the tax owed for the period until after the due date. The Taxpayer argued that it should not have to pay penalty because the late payment was not intentional and was caused because the Department’s electronic filing system, TAP, did not display past due balances for the period or adequately show how to pay them. Under statute, however, penalty may only be abated for non-negligence. Erroneous belief or inattention are both included within the definition of negligence found in statute. The reason that the Taxpayer paid the tax late, based on the evidence, the Hearing Officer concluded, was not the filing system but problems with communication between the Taxpayer’s own internal departments. Since the Taxpayer was unable to prove that its actions were non-negligent, the Hearing Officer order the penalty to be paid and the protest denied.