Taxpayer was selected for an audit before August 2010. On August 30, 2010, Taxpayer’s President submitted a Tax Information Authorization designating their attorney as Taxpayer’s representative. On August 31, 2010, the Department generated three notices of assessment addressed directly to Taxpayer’s address rather than their attorney’s address on file with the Department. There is no evidence that established when the Department in fact mailed these notices of assessment. In October 2010, the Department issued Taxpayer a notice of lien, which the Taxpayer brought to their attorney in early November. Upon learning of the assessments, Taxpayer’s attorney contacted the Department by phone on November 16, 2010 to ask for an extension of time to file a protest to the notices of assessment. The Department employee stated that she needed to speak to her supervisor and would get back to the attorney. On November 18, 2010, the employee sent an email to the attorney stating that he had an extension until the end of November. Taxpayer’s attorney filed a protest on their behalf on November 30, 2010. Nearly a year later, on October 7, 2011, the Department sent a letter informing Taxpayer that their protest was untimely and invalid because it was filed one-day late. On October 31, 2011, Taxpayer filed a second protest to the denial of the first protest. A hearing was held and the only matter to be decided at the hearing was whether the first protest was timely. Based upon the lack of evidence showing the specific mailing date of the assessments (which would have established both an effective assessment and the exact beginning of the 90-day period for timely protest), the assessments not being sent to the correct address, and the email showing an extension, the hearing officer found no factual basis to find the first protest letter untimely. Therefore, Taxpayer’s second protest was granted: the Department is to accept the original protest to the assessments as timely and request a hearing at a later time regarding the underlying assessments.
Club 33, Inc.