(1) At the discretion of the department, interest and/or penalties for taxes enforced by the department may be waived. These rules are guidelines for the uniform, fair, and equitable exercise of that discretion. It is the intent of the department to treat all similarly situated taxpayers in a similar manner. In evaluating each request for waiver of interest and/or penalty, the taxpayer's request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Waiver of a penalty and/or interest will be considered the exception rather than the rule.
(2) The purpose of a penalty is to secure the proper and timely filing of a tax return or statement and the prompt payment of the tax by penalizing the delinquent taxpayer. The purpose of interest on a tax is, in part, to compensate the state of Montana for the loss of interest incurred by the state while the tax is delinquent.
(3) The rules in this subchapter are to be read, interpreted, and enforced as a whole in order to give full effect to each provision. A specific clause is not to be read or interpreted separately from the entire set of rules as a whole.
(4) Except as specifically provided by statute, the waiver of penalty and interest is a discretionary act by the department. These rules do not make the exercise of the department's discretion to waive penalty and interest mandatory or compulsory.
(5) These rules apply only to penalty and interest on a tax which are due because the taxpayer failed to file a tax return or statement or failed to pay any tax on time, including tax assessed as a result of a deficiency assessment.
(6) These rules do not apply to any penalty or interest on a tax, due to any other failure to comply with the tax laws or rules. Specifically, these rules do not apply to penalty and interest on a tax assessed because of fraud or other violation of the law.
(7) In addition, these rules do not apply to any of the following:
(a) to any criminal sanction associated with the laws enforced by the department;
(b) to any debt owed by the department by way of contract, tort, or other nontax related activity of the department; or
(c) to any claim or proceeding before bankruptcy court.
(8) Except as provided in 15-1-206, MCA, these rules do not apply to a tax that has no provision for waiver of a penalty and/or interest.