Linda Duran



From January through December 1999 the Taxpayer, a Texas resident, performed services as a speech pathologist under a contract with a New Mexico school district.  She did not know that she had an obligation to register her business in New Mexico and pay gross receipts tax on the receipts. She did not consult an accountant or the Department. She assumed that her receipts from performing services sold to a school district would not be subject to tax. The Department assessed the Taxpayer for gross receipts tax, penalty and interest on her receipts.  The Taxpayer protested, arguing that interest and penalty should be abated or reduced because: (1) the Department waited three years to notify her of her liability; (2) the Taxpayer was a Texas resident and was not familiar with New Mexico tax law; and, (3) as a single mother her payment of the assessment would be a financial hardship. Held: (1) NMSA 1978, 7-1-18, gives the state seven years to assess taxes against nonfilers, and the Department’s assessment was well within the statute of limitations; (2) having chosen to do business in New Mexico, is was incumbent upon the Taxpayer to educate herself as to the state’s tax laws; and (3) neither the Department nor its Hearing Officer have authority to relieve a taxpayer of his or her statutory liability for tax based on financial hardship or other personal circumstances. Protest denied.