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Walter Burke Catering



Taxpayer contested the assessment of penalty and interest based upon the undue amount of time (over one year) which elapsed between the time the audit of the taxpayer commenced and when the assessment was issued.  Although the Department did not explain or justify the excessive delay in issuing the assessment in this case, such delay does not provide a basis for the abatement of penalty or interest. The language of Section 7-1-67 governs the imposition of interest and mandates that it is imposed for any period in which a tax remains unpaid, regardless of the reason the tax is unpaid. The assessment of penalty is based upon whether the taxpayer was negligent in underreporting and paying taxes. New Mexico has a self-reporting tax system which places the responsibility upon the taxpayer to understand the requirements for reporting and paying taxes and the fact that the Department could have been faster at assessing an underpayment of tax does not shift the responsibility for accurately reporting taxes from the taxpayer.  Protest denied.