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Lawrence and Earnestine Mitchell



The Taxpayers filed and paid their personal income taxes for the 2009 and 2010 tax years.  They did not file a claim for refund or credit for either of these years, but were issued refunds by the department for each of the two years. In December 2011, the Department determined that it had erroneously granted refunds to the Taxpayers.  On January 20, 2012, the Department assessed the Taxpayers for personal income tax and interest for the 2009 and 2010 tax years.  No penalty was assessed.  On February 9, 2012, the Taxpayers filed a protest to the assessment.  The Taxpayers paid the tax principal and a small part of the interest.  The Department later determined that these refunds were as a result of a special needs child adoption credit being applied, that the Taxpayers had claimed previously, but not for the years in question.  The hearing officer determined that the unsolicited refunds were not tax as defined by statute and not subject to interest.  The Taxpayers protest was granted.