Inner Works



On March 13, 2017, the Department issued two refund denial letters in response to claims for refund for gross receipts tax by the Taxpayer for periods in 2009 and 2012. On May 15, 2018, the Taxpayer submitted two formal protests of the denials. In both cases the Department determined the refund claims were not filed timely. The main issue to be decided in this protest was whether the Taxpayer was timely in its requests for a refund. The Department initiated an audit of the Taxpayer in 2014 and later assessed the Taxpayer on February 9, 2015 for periods in 2009. During the time of the audit, the Taxpayer employed a bookkeeper who then discovered that a deduction of gross receipts had not been taken for services performed outside the state. The Taxpayer submitted amended returns for periods in 2009 on July 1, 2015, which resulted in an overpayment. The Taxpayer also testified that a claim for refund was sent with the returns but that the Department had done nothing. The Department said it believed that based on the date stamp the claim for refund had been received much later. However, the Hearing Officer concluded that the date of July 1, 2015, should be allowed based on the Taxpayer’s testimony. Nevertheless, this date would be beyond the usual statute of limitations which requires that a taxpayer claim a refund within three years of the end of the calendar year in which the payment was originally due. Under this statute, the claim would have been timely if the application for refund was received by December 31, 2013, though if the Taxpayer is assessed by the Department the expiration date is extended for a year from the date of the assessment. In this case the Taxpayer was assessed by the Department, extending the expiration date to February 8, 2016, and making the claim for refund timely. The Department then had 120 days to act on the claim, though after this time elapsed the responsibility to act shifted to the Taxpayer. If the Department does not approve or deny a claim for refund, it is the obligation of the Taxpayer to protest inaction by the Department. Two years went by without any further action by the Taxpayer. Having decided that the inaction of the Taxpayer had allowed the claim for refund to expire, the Hearing Officer ordered that the claim was not filed timely and the protest denied.