New Mexico Business Owner Held Personally Liable for Unpaid Tax

A 2017 case of a New Mexico taxpayer highlights the importance of keeping up to date with registration requirements when changing business types and with the corresponding tax obligations. A trucking business owner became personally liable for New Mexico gross receipts tax after failing to update his business registration when he decided to change the business from a sole proprietorship to an LLC. In 2016, the taxpayer was issued a tax lien from the New Mexico Department of Revenue for unpaid tax, penalty, and interest. The liability had previously been assessed under an audit which was protested and later negotiated to an agreed upon amount.  The taxpayer ceased doing business which triggered the issuance of the lien. The lien was issued to the individual rather than the company, as the taxpayer was listed as a sole proprietorship with the Department. The taxpayer argued that the lien should not have been in his name because the company was operating as an LLC for the time in question, and that he should not be personally liable for the gross receipts tax owed. The taxpayerwas unable to demonstrate that any assets, rights, obligations, liabilities, or tax reporting responsibilities had been taken on by the LLC. The Department found that the taxpayer never formally updated his business registration in response to converting the business to an LLC. As a result, the lien was deemed properly assessed to the sole owner and the taxpayer was held liable for the gross receipts tax. (In the Matter of the Protest of Casias,New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, (May 30, 2017)

Posted on February 15, 2018