On January 13, 2015, the Department denied the Taxpayers’ claim for refund of 2009 New Mexico personal income tax. The letter stated that for the Department to consider such a claim, Section 7-1-26 NMSA 1978 requires that it be filed within three years of the end of the calendar year in which the payment was due. On April 9, 2015, the Taxpayers’ filed a protest of the Department’s denial. During the relevant period, the Taxpayers employed an accountant to prepare their income tax returns. On or about October 13, 2010, the Taxpayers submitted their 2009 New Mexico PIT-1 return on which they claimed a refund. The Department received the return on October 14, 2010, but took no action to approve or deny the claim by February 11, 2011, which was 120 days after they received the return. The Taxpayers did not file a protest or initiate civil action by May 12, 2011, 210 days after the filing of their claim for refund on their 2009 return. Around April 2013, the Taxpayer realized that they had not received the refund of their 2009 personal income taxes. The Taxpayers contacted their accountant to determine what happened. Also in early 2013, the Department determined that they had never received the Taxpayers 2008 personal income tax return, and they communicated this to the Taxpayers accountant. On April 17, 2013, the Taxpayers resubmitted their 2008 personal income tax return. In December 2013, the Taxpayers received a letter from the Department containing three applications for refund to request refunds for three separate years, including the 2009 personal income taxes at issue. The Taxpayers completed all three applications and mailed them to the Department in one envelope sometime on or before December 24, 2013. The Taxpayers received two refund checks, but they did not receive the refund for the 2009 personal income tax. The Department took no action to approve or deny the Taxpayers application for refund within 120 days, on or before April 23, 2014. The Taxpayers did not file a protest or initiate civil action within 210 days of their application, on or before July 22, 2014. The Taxpayers expressed frustration at the Department’s inaction on their claim for refund of their 2009 personal income tax on two occasions, and also raised some argument as to why their claim should be granted. However, the requirements of Section 7-1-26 (B) NMSA 1978 render the Taxpayers’ claim stale and the Department does not have the authority to grant a stale claim for refund. The Taxpayers’ protest was denied.
Jacob & Jeanne Kuriyan