On December 11, 2015, the Department assessed the Taxpayer for withholding tax, penalty and interest for the CRS reporting periods between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012. On February 15, 2016, the Taxpayer protested the assessment. In his protest the Taxpayer acknowledged that he owed the tax principal, but asked for the interest and penalty to be abated. The Taxpayer asked that the interest and penalty be abated due to economic hardship. Section 7-1-67 NMSA 1978 states that interest “shall be paid” on taxes that are not paid on or before the date on which they are due. The Department does not have the authority to abate interest due. When a Taxpayer fails to pay taxes due because of negligence, Section 7-1-69 NMSA 1978 also states that penalty “shall be added”. The Taxpayer does fit the definition of negligence as he failed to report and pay taxes during the period at issue. The Taxpayer presented evidence that his wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, after the period the assessment is for, to show his economic hardship. The Taxpayer was assessed correctly, and inability to pay is not grounds for abatement of an assessed tax liability. The Taxpayer’s protest was denied.