Michael L Hughes


On February 1, 2021, the Department assessed the Taxpayer for personal income tax for the 2015 and 2016 tax years. On February 26, 2021, the Taxpayer filed a timely written protest. The Taxpayer worked as a technician for an automotive company that, after having employed him for several years in New Mexico, transferred him to a location in Texas. The company he worked for allowed him to live at the company’s business location.  Because the he did not spend 185 days or more in New Mexico in the tax years in question, the Taxpayer argued that he was not a resident of New Mexico and did not have to pay personal income tax. However, the law also states that individuals are required to file and pay income if they are domiciled in the state. Individuals remain domiciled in New Mexico even if they leave the state, if their intent is to stay away only for a limited time and not make the new location their permanent home. During 2015 and 2016, there were several indications that the Taxpayer did not intend to make Texas his permanent home. The trailer home the Taxpayer moved into on the company’s property was not intended to be permanent, the Taxpayer kept his New Mexico driver’s license, maintained a bank account in New Mexico and filed his federal return in those years using a New Mexico address. Only in 2017 did the Taxpayer show indications that he was moving to Texas permanently, by purchasing a home in Texas and acquiring a Texas driver’s license. Since the Taxpayer was not able to provide evidence that he was not domiciled in New Mexico, the Hearing Officer denied the protest and order that the Taxpayer was liable for the assessment.