On October 26, 2015, the Department denied the Taxpayer’s October 16, 2015 submission of a protest related to three assessments dated February 9, 2015. On November 10, 2015, the Taxpayer submitted a protest of the Department’s denial. On February 9, 2015, the Department issued three assessments to the Taxpayer for tax liabilities for CRS reporting periods ending on December 31, 2009, December 31, 2010, and December 31, 2011. Section 7-1-24 NMSA 1978 provides that a protest shall be filed within 90-days of the mailing date of an assessment. In this case, 90-days after the mailing date of the assessments was May 11, 2015. The Taxpayer did not file a protest on or before that date. At some point in the spring of 2015, the Taxpayer engaged the services of a CPA, who made contact with a Department auditor about the assessments. The CPA submitted additional documentation to the auditor related to the assessments. On September 22, 2015, the auditor sent the CPA a letter indicating that the documents had been reviewed and the Department was able to abate a portion of the assessment for the 2011 reporting year. The Taxpayer contended in his protest letter and at hearing that the September 22, 2015 date of the Department’s letter is the controlling date for purposes of starting the 90-day protest period. The Taxpayer does not dispute that the original February 9, 2015 assessments were timely mailed and that he did not file a protest within 90-days of the mailing of those assessments. The hearing officer found that the statute clearly states that a protest must be filed within 90-days of the mailing of the assessment, and the Department is not able to entertain untimely filed protests. The Department’s partial abatement of tax at a later date does not restart or reopen the 90-day protest period. The Taxpayer’s protest was denied.
Robert G. Hooper