Online Radiology



On October 23, 2017, the Department assessed the Taxpayer $309,185.49 in gross receipts tax, penalty, and interest. On January 20, 2018, the Taxpayer through a representing CPA firm formally protested the assessment. The main issued presented in this protest was whether the Taxpayer’s receipts characterized as “cash collections guarantee” or “stipend” were subject to gross receipts tax. Representation for the Taxpayer used both terms interchangeably and argued that these payments represented compensation only for making itself available for on-call and after-hours services and was “payment for services not performed” and therefore not gross receipts. The Taxpayer, headquartered in California, provides radiology services for rural health care facilities and has agreements to provide these services to health care facilities in rural areas of New Mexico. The Taxpayer divided revenue characterized as stipend or cash collections guarantee separately from the other revenue it received. This money was paid by the health care facilities and not by patients or insurance companies and was intended, the Taxpayer said, as compensation for the afterhours coverage and other contractual obligations. The Taxpayer also argued that the compensation was intended to provide a financial incentive to the Taxpayer to contract with rural New Mexico health care facilities. Some of the contracts with the facilities, though, did identify this money as payment for providing services. The difficultly in deciding the case, the Hearing Officer said, lay in the lack of evidence provided to support the Taxpayer’s position. Much of the evidence presented relied on information obtained from individuals who were not called upon to testify and this severely diminished the credibility of the evidence. The Hearing Officer found that the Taxpayer’s one witness, the representing CPA, lacked the personal, first-hand knowledge of the Taxpayer’s business operations during the periods relevant to the protest. Under statute the Taxpayer has the burden to overcome the presumed correctness of the Department’s assessment. The Taxpayer, then, must present sufficient countervailing evidence in order for the Department to abate the amount owed. The evidence presented was far too little. This having been decided the Hearing Officer ordered the assessment to be paid and the protest denied.