The Taxpayer was issued one personal income tax assessment by the Department for tax year 1996. Sometime in 1998, the Department filed a recorded a Notice of Claim of Lien in Bernalillo County on the Taxpayer’s property based on the assessment. In February 2003, the Department filed and recorded a Second Notice of Claim of Lien in Bernalillo County, and in February 2006, the Department filed a third Notice of Claim of Lien based on the same assessment. In January 2009, the Department denied a request to release the second and third liens. In December 2007, the Department was precluded from taking any action or collecting on the assessment because ten years had passed since the assessment was issued. This also precluded the Department from enforcing the liens. The issue to be determined was whether the Department is authorized to record multiple overlapping liens for one assessment. The Taxpayer argued that by recording multiple liens on the same assessment, the Department was extending the statutory period in which to collect on the assessment. Department employees testified that the multiple liens were sometimes issued to update penalty and interest. They also testified that under current policy, the multiple liens filed in this case would likely not have been filed. The hearing officer found that, in this case, there was no statutory authority for the Department to file multiple overlapping tax liens based on one assessment. The Taxpayer’s protest was granted.
Samuel O. Ponce