2013 Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 42 - Taxation
§ 42-2056 Closing agreements in cases of extensive taxpayer misunderstanding or misapplication; attorney general approval; rules; definition
42-2056. Closing agreements in cases of extensive taxpayer misunderstanding or misapplication; attorney general approval; rules; definition
A. If the department determines that noncompliance with tax obligations results from extensive misunderstanding or misapplication of provisions of this title or title 43 it may enter into closing agreements with those taxpayers under the following terms and conditions:
1. Extensive misunderstanding or misapplication of the tax laws occurs if the department determines that more than sixty per cent of the persons in the affected class have failed to properly account for their taxes owing to the same misunderstanding or misapplication of the tax laws.
2. The department shall make an initial determination as to the existence of an affected class of taxpayers. After a review of the taxpayer's request, the department may determine that there has not been an extensive misunderstanding or misapplication of the tax laws by an affected class of taxpayers. At that time, the department will notify the taxpayer that the request is denied.
3. The department shall publicly declare the nature of the possible misunderstanding or misapplication and the proposed definition of the class of affected taxpayers and shall conduct a public hearing to hear testimony regarding the extent of the misunderstanding or misapplication and the definition of the affected class. Within sixty days after close of the public hearing, the department shall notify the attendees at the public hearing and publish a public notice on its website stating whether relief will be granted.
4. If, after the public hearing, the department determines that a class of affected taxpayers has failed to comply with their tax obligations because of extensive misunderstanding or misapplication of the tax laws it shall issue a tax ruling announcing that finding and publish the ruling in a newspaper of general circulation.
5. A closing agreement under this section may abate some or all of the penalties, interest and tax that the taxpayers have failed to remit, or the agreement may provide for the prospective treatment of the matter as to the class of affected taxpayers. Notwithstanding section 42-1113, all taxpayers in the class shall be offered the opportunity to enter into a similar agreement for the same tax periods.
6. Taxpayers in the affected class who have properly accounted for their tax obligations for these tax periods shall be offered the opportunity to enter into a similar closing agreement providing for a pro rata credit or refund of their taxes previously paid, subject to section 42-1104, subsection A and section 42-1106, subsection A.
7. The closing agreement shall require the taxpayers to properly account for and pay such taxes in the future. If a taxpayer fails to comply with that requirement, the agreement is voidable by the department and the department may assess the taxpayer for the delinquent taxes. The department may issue such a proposed assessment within six months after the date that it declares the agreement void or within the period prescribed by section 42-1104, whichever is later.
B. A person who filed a written request for relief under this section but has been denied relief as the result of the department's determination that the elements of subsection A, paragraph 3 of this section have not been established may appeal that determination pursuant to the same procedure as provided in chapter 1, article 6 of this title. A person who files an appeal under this subsection, who also has another appeal pending pursuant to chapter 1, article 6 of this title on a matter solely related to the matter at issue in the department's determination under this section, may petition the relevant appellate forum to hold that appeal in abeyance pending the resolution of the person's appeal pursuant to this section, and the agency, tribunal or court must grant the petition.
C. Before entering into closing agreements pursuant to this section, the department shall secure the approval of the attorney general of the tax ruling and the agreements. The department may not enter into the agreements without such approval from the attorney general.
D. After a closing agreement has been signed pursuant to this section, and subject to the taxpayer's compliance with the requirements of subsection A, paragraph 6 of this section, it is final and conclusive except on a showing of fraud, malfeasance or misrepresentation of a material fact. The case shall not be reopened as to the matters agreed on, and the agreement shall not be modified by any officer, employee or agent of the state. The agreement or any determination, assessment, collection, payment abatement, refund or credit made pursuant to the agreement shall not be annulled, modified, set aside or disregarded in any suit, action or proceeding.
E. The department shall report in writing its activities under this section to the governor, the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives on or before February 1 of each year.
F. The department may adopt rules to implement this section.
G. For the purposes of this section, " affected class" means taxpayers who are similarly situated and directly affected by the department's position in a tax matter. For transaction privilege or use tax purposes, affected class may include taxpayers in the same industry code under the North American industrial classification system code, if applicable to the tax matter or taxpayers that directly compete with each other. For the purposes of this section, affected class shall not be broadly described unless such description increases the number of taxpayers who are eligible for relief.
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