Eduardo Contreras



Due to marital difficulties with his wife, the taxpayer did not have access to the records needed to file his 1997 personal income taxes until 2002.  At that time he filed his New Mexico return showing a refund.  The Department denied the taxpayer’s refund because it was filed beyond the three-year statute of limitations provided in Section 7-1-26 NMSA 1978.  The taxpayer filed a written protest to the denial of his refund claim.  The hearing officer found that the Department correctly interpreted the statute regarding the limitation and that neither the Department nor the hearing officer has the authority to override statute.  The taxpayer’s protest was denied.