Jimmy Lopez


On September 19, 2022, the Department assessed the Taxpayer gross receipts tax, penalty and interest for periods in 2016 through 2019. On September 29, 2022, the Taxpayer submitted a protest of the assessment. The Taxpayer worked as an independent contractor performing building inspections in the tax years in question but did not file returns reporting gross receipts tax. The Taxpayer explained that he did not know that he was required to pay gross receipts tax and that the Turbo Tax software he relied on for his taxes did not tell him he was to pay the tax. The Hearing Officer determined that the law established clearly the Taxpayer owed gross receipts tax from performing services in the state, and also that the penalty in this case was appropriate because relying on software did not prove non-negligence under Department regulation. However, the Hearing Officer also determined that the interest that accrued was due in part to the Department’s failure to adhere to statutory time deadlines. The Department did not acknowledge the Taxpayer’s protest promptly and did not request a hearing within the statutory requirements. This being the case, the Hearing Officer granted the request to abate interest while denying the tax and penalty.