The taxpayer erroneously filed his 1999 federal and state personal income tax returns based on the filing status “head of household” rather than “single.” The IRS notified him of the error, but the taxpayer failed to amend his New Mexico return within the 90 days required by statute. The Department subsequently assessed the taxpayer for the additional tax due, plus penalty and interest. The Department later abated the penalty. The taxpayer protested the assessment of interest, arguing that he should be charged interest only for the six days between the date the assessment was issued and the date he paid the tax principal. He also argued that the Department took too long to notify him of the additional tax due. In support of its position, the Department cited Section 7-1-67(A) NMSA 1978, which provides for interest on late payments to accrue from the original due date of the tax, and Section 7-1-18(A) NMSA 1978, which gives the Department three years from the end of the calendar year in which a tax is due to issue an assessment. The hearing officer ruled in favor of the Department, and the taxpayer’s protest was denied.
John B. Rodriguez