The Taxpayers failed to timely file their New Mexico personal income tax returns for tax years 2008, 2009 and 2010. They filed these returns on or about November 19, 2015, claiming a refund for each tax year. The Department denied the refund requests on January 21, 2016 because the returns were filed beyond the three year statute of limitations. The Taxpayers protested the refund denials on January 30, 2016. Prior to and during the tax periods at issue, the Taxpayers supported themselves, their daughter and two grandchildren. In August 2007, the Taxpayers both lost their jobs. Shortly after, one of the Taxpayer’s became ill and the Taxpayers became overwhelmed by the loss of their jobs and this illness. During the period at issue, the Taxpayers could not afford to hire someone to prepare their tax returns. In 2009, the Taxpayers spoke to two Department employees who told them that tax years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 were being reviewed and that the Department would owe them money, or they may owe a very small amount. The Taxpayers did not know there was a statute of limitations for filing refund claims. The Taxpayers argued that, because they spoke to two Department employees in 2009 who indicated that the Taxpayers would likely be owed a refund, they were misled and now the Department should be required to grant their requests for refund. The statements made by the Department were not incorrect, and the Taxpayers were precluded from receiving the refunds by waiting six years to file the returns after they spoke to the Department employees. The Taxpayer’s protest was denied.
John & Susan Grazier