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Lighthouse Entertainment (Daniel Dawes)



On June 9, 2020, the Department assessed the Taxpayer for gross receipts tax for periods from 2012 through 2016. On September 8, 2020, the Taxpayer filed a timely written protest to the denial of refund. Though the Taxpayer eventually conceded that gross receipts tax was owed in this case, the Taxpayer asked for leniency on the penalty and interest because of his lack of understanding of the managed audit process and the lack of helpful communication with the Department, which he argued was likely due to the pandemic. All managed audit agreements must satisfy the statutory requirements, which include deadlines for submission that the Department sets. The Taxpayer admitted that he did not provide all of the information that the Department requested by the deadlines that were set, but said that he was confused about the process and his attempts to communicate with the Department were largely unsuccessful. The Hearing Officer determined that there was no evidence that the Taxpayer failed to meet the managed audit deadlines due to any pandemic related reasons. Moreover, the Department had the sole discretion to enter into a managed audit agreement. In order for the penalty to be abated, the Taxpayer needed to provide evidence that he was not negligent under the factors found in the regulation. Since the Taxpayer was unable to do so, the Hearing Officer denied the request for abatement.