On January 5, 2018, the Department issued an assessment asserting liability for penalty and interest based on the Taxpayer’s failure to timely report, pay or deliver property which falls under the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act. The Taxpayer submitted a timely protest on January 29, 2018. The Taxpayer is a creditor rights law firm engaging in debt collection activities in New Mexico and is based in Arizona. In some cases, the collection resulted in overpayments and the funds could not be refunded because the remitter of the funds could not be located or because negotiable instruments issued to remitters were never negotiated. The issue of the protest is based on a 49 day late report of Unclaimed Property being filed with the Department. The Taxpayer argues that the return was late due to sudden and unanticipated employee turnover with the accounting staff. The Taxpayer does not dispute that the return was late but argues that the penalty should be abated because it acted in good faith and without negligence. The Hearing Officer determined that the Taxpayer was unable to provide sufficient evidence to establish good cause or non-negligence. It was also determined that based on statute, the Department is without discretion to abate the penalty and the assessment of penalty under the facts of this protest. For the foregoing reasons, the Taxpayer’s protest is denied.
Guglielmo & Associates PLLC