Roy A Charletta


On March 1, 2021, the Department denied the Taxpayer’s personal income tax refund request for 2013. On March 31, 2021, the Taxpayer filed a timely protest of the denial. In 2018 the Taxpayer, who is a resident of New York, discovered that his employer had been accidentally withholding both New Mexico and New York income tax from his pay check. After discussing this with the Department, the Taxpayer filed applications for refund for years where he had New Mexico income tax incorrectly withheld. The Department refunded the withholding for all tax years but 2013, denying this earliest year because of the statute of limitations. Generally, a claim for refund may be made only with three years after the end of the calendar year in which payment for the tax was due. This meant that, in order to receive a refund for 2013, the taxpayer needed to claim the refund by December 31, 2017. The Taxpayer’s claim for refund was made in June of 2018. The Taxpayer argued that a return adjustment letter sent in 2021 for this tax year reopened the time frame for receiving the refund. An assessment for a tax period that occurred more than three years prior to the assessment extends the time a Taxpayer is allowed to claim a refund to within one year after the assessment date. But an adjustment notice, the Hearing Officer observed, is not the same as an assessment, and a letter that simply advised the Taxpayer that the Department had reached a conclusion did not restart time limitations. The request for refund was made past the statute of limitations, and so the Hearing Officer ordered that the Department had properly denied the refund and denied the protest.