Michael Trujillo



On April 30, 2015, the Department assessed the Taxpayer for personal income tax, penalty, and interest for the tax years 2007 through 2013. On July 29, 2015, the Taxpayer filed a timely protest with the Department. On October 9, 2015, the scheduled hearing was conducted. At the time of the hearing, the protest was consolidated with two related protests and the Taxpayer requested that the protest be held back as the parties were working on a settlement. The request was granted and the hearing was rescheduled for July 20, 2017. Two of the protests were withdrawn by the Taxpayer before the final hearing took place. During the time at issue, the Taxpayer was in business as a valet and parking services for events. The Taxpayer admitted to not keeping good records of his business activity for the time at issue. In 2014, the Department began an audit of the Taxpayer and his business. Due to poor record keeping, the Department used an extrapolation and average method to determine the tax owed. The auditor at the time determined that the Taxpayer willfully failed to provide documentation for the time period at issue and assessed a fraud penalty. During, the protest the Taxpayer was able to provide better documentation with the help of a CPA. Based on the documentation submitted, the Department started using the bank deposit method to calculate the tax owed. The Department also changed position and determined that the Taxpayer’s failure to report and pay timely was due to negligence. Based on the information above, the Department was able to recalculate the tax owed and assessed. The Hearing Officer determined that based on the new information provided the Department’s recalculated liability is reasonable. The Hearing Officer called for a partial abatement of the original assessment. The Taxpayer’s protest is denied in part and granted in part.