Daniel C de Baca



In 2005, the Department assessed the taxpayer for additional 2001 personal income tax, plus interest, which was due as the result of an error the taxpayer made in completing his return.  The taxpayer paid the assessed tax but protested the interest, arguing that the Department waited too long to issue its assessment and that the 15 percent interest rate is too high and does not reflect market rates.  The hearing officer denied the protest, finding that the assessment was issued within the three-year limitations period provided by Section 7-1-18 NMSA 1978 and that the Department has no discretion to change the interest rate set statutorily by the New Mexico Legislature.