On June 15, 2016, the Department issued a denial letter and partial denial letter to the Taxpayer for applications that were submitted for the high wage jobs tax credit. On September 20, 2016, the Department received a timely protest of those denial letters. The denials were the result of most jobs that were claimed for the credit not meeting the statutory requirements. During the time of this hearing, the issues to be resolved are what enactment date of the law these credit claims are subject to and if the credit was denied correctly. If the Taxpayer is successful in the protest they are requesting recovery of legal fees and costs under Section 7-1-29.1(A), NMSA 1978. The Department denied one of the applications in whole and part of the second application because it was determined that those employees did not occupy newly created jobs. The jobs they were hired in were a result of an acquisition. Other claims were denied as documentation proving that certain employees were residents of New Mexico were not provided. The Taxpayer acquired assets from another business and that exchange was documented in an agreement. Based on the agreement that was in place from the prior owner of a business and the Taxpayer, the Hearing Officer determined that not only did the Taxpayer acquire specific assets but it also benefitted from the knowledge and experience of the prior owners vested workforce. In the agreement, the Taxpayer agreed to utilize the employees in positions having similar functions immediately prior to their employment ending with the other business. The Hearing Officer noted that in the agreement the Taxpayer acknowledged itself as a “successor employer”. The Hearing Officer determined that the governing law will be the 2013 enactment and that the jobs being claimed were not newly created jobs by the Taxpayer. As the Taxpayer did not prevail on the protests main issue, the request for attorney’s fees and costs were denied. In regards to certain employee’s residency, the Hearing Officer allowed for the testimony of two employees to establish that they were New Mexico residents but specified that the Department would have to do research to see if the jobs they held at the time qualified for the credit. If they were qualified jobs then the Hearing Officer determined that the credit shall be granted for the positions specified in an amount to be determined by the Department. For the foregoing reasons, the Taxpayer’s protest is denied.