|Department of Taxation
*This is a guide for the most common cases heard by the Nevada Department of Taxation. This is not a substiture for legal counsel.
** The statutes and regulations cited on this website are available at the official site of the Nevada Legislature at http://www.leg.state.nv.us/law1.cfm
The Department administers various types of taxes. When a Taxpayer disputes a tax liability, an Administrative Hearing may be held.
Petition for Redetermination of Deficiency Notice or Deficiency Determination
Order to Show Cause: Revocation of Seller’s Permit
Order to Show Cause: Responsible Person Determination
Order to Show Cause: Successor’s Liability Determination
Appeal of Property Tax Assessment: Abatements
Appeal of Denial of Refund Request or Credit Request
Appeal of Administrative Law Judge’s Decision to Nevada Tax Commission
The following information describes what you can expect before a hearing and how you can prepare.
(1) The Hearing Notice
At least ten (10) days prior to the hearing, you will receive a letter from the Department of Taxation (“Department”) or the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) which sets the date, time and place for the hearing. See NRS 360.370(1) and NAC 360.095. The letter will contain information about the hearing and the deadlines for submitting documents to the ALJ. Be sure to review the information and follow the deadlines. If you are unable to attend the hearing on the date in the letter, you must ask for a continuance (i.e. for the hearing to be rescheduled on a different day). See NAC 360.120. You must make your request in writing and send your request to the ALJ. You must explain why you are unable to appear at the hearing as scheduled. Your request may not be granted if you do not present circumstances which warrant a continuance. If you are not granted a continuance and you do not appear for the hearing, the ALJ will issue a decision without considering your information. See NAC 360.125.
(2) Review Documents Sent to You by the Department.
The Department will send you information in preparation for the hearing. Take time to review the information you receive prior to the hearing. As you review the documents, make notes about any questions you have about the documents. You should also make a note if you believe there is a reason the ALJ should not consider that document. If you believe the information in a document is incorrect, you should also gather any evidence that proves your position to the ALJ.
(3) Get Your Evidence Together
The hearing is your one opportunity to present to the ALJ all of the evidence or information which supports your side of the story. Your case will be decided based on only the evidence you and the Department provide at the hearing. It is up to you to present your case. Evidence may be presented at the hearing in the form of documents and testimony from witness. Make a list of everything you want the ALJ to know about. Then find the documents and/ or witness(es) that can provide that information to the ALJ.
1. It is important to get your documents together before the hearing. If you would like to present
(4) Special Accommodations
If you need special accommodations for the hearing such as an interpreter (See NRS 233B.1235) or other accommodations as allowed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please inform the ALJ as soon as possible.
Witnesses: The witnesses are placed under oath; this is the same oath that is used in a standard court of law and the person under oath is subject to the same penalties of perjury as those in a standard court of law. After the witness testifies, the opposing party will be allowed to ask the witness questions. This process will repeat for each witness. When it is your opportunity to ask questions of the witness, be sure to ask questions that obtain information from the witness rather than arguing with the witness. You will be given an opportunity later to explain why you disagree with the witness.
Documents: If you will be presenting documents such as contracts or business records that help prove your case, bring two copies of those documents to the hearing. Remember, the documents you want to be considered must be left with the ALJ. The documents must be clear and accurate copies of the original documents. You must prove that the documents you submit are authentic.
Admissibility: The ALJ will determine if he or she will consider the evidence in making a decision in your case. The evidence must be relevant to, or have a bearing on, the dispute(s) involved in the case. The ALJ may admit hearsay evidence (evidence offered through the testimony of another). The ALJ will admit the documents and testimony into evidence if the evidence is relevant and there are no valid objections to that evidence (i.e. reasons that the evidence should not be considered). Then the ALJ will determine the credibility of the witnesses and documents which are admitted. The ALJ may ask you questions in order to understand the positions of the parties or to further explore the credibility of the evidence.
During the hearing, recesses or breaks can occur. During those times you may use the restroom or eat. The ALJ will tell you how long the recess will last.
Hearings are held Monday through Friday during normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Do not assume that the ALJ will allow the hearing to continue past 5:00 p.m. even if you or your witnesses have come from out of town. If a hearing does not conclude at the end of the business day, the hearing will likely be rescheduled for a further hearing date.
For more information, see NAC 360.043-360.155 inclusive.
The following guidelines are set to ensure all individuals feel comfortable and secure
when attending a hearing.
1. No weapons are allowed in the hearing facility.
See NAC 360.060.
The Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) will keep the documents and the audio recording of the hearing. All of the evidence and information received by the ALJ, including documents and testimony, is called “The Record.” See NRS 233B.121(6). The ALJ will review the evidence, both testimony and documents, and issue a decision called a “Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Decision.” See NRS 233B.125 and NAC 360.170. The ALJ generally has sixty (60) days to prepare a written decision. The hearing decision will be sent to you by certified mail. It is your responsibility to advise the ALJ if your address changes following the hearing. It is also your responsibility to stay in compliance with Nevada tax law during the hearing process.
If you are dissatisfied with the ALJ’s decision, you may appeal the decision to the Nevada Tax Commission (“Commission”) by filing a Notice of Appeal. An appeal to the Commission must be filed within thirty (30) days of the ALJ’s decision. See NRS 360.245 and NAC 360.175. You should file the Notice of Appeal with:
Lezlie Helget, Supervising Auditor II
Nevada Department of Taxation
1550 College Parkway, Suite 115
Carson City, Nevada 89706-7937
If you do not file a Notice of Appeal within thirty (30) days of the ALJ’s decision, the ALJ’s decision becomes final and binding. See NRS 360.245(1) and NRS 360.390(1).
The Nevada Tax Commission (“Commission”) oversees the administration of the tax system in Nevada. You may appeal the Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) decision to the Commission. Your appeal must be filed within thirty (30) days of the ALJ’s decision. Click here to see the Notice of Appeal.
See NRS 360.245 and NAC 360.175.
Standard of Proof:
Your appeal must show that the ALJ’s decision was:
See NAC 360.175, NRS 233B.135.
The Record on Appeal
If you appeal the ALJ’s decision to the Commission, the ALJ will send a copy of “The Record” to the Commission. See NRS 233B.121(6). However, a transcript of the audio recording will not be provided by the Department. If you want the Commission to consider the transcript from your hearing before the ALJ, you will have to bear the cost of having the audio recording transcribed. See NAC 360.058.
Before the Hearing
The Department will mail you a letter acknowledging receipt of your appeal to the Commission. This letter will tell you what information will be submitted to the Commission for their consideration. The letter will include a list of the documents considered by the ALJ in making his or her decision and a deadline for submitting any additional information to the Commission. You will not be allowed to present additional evidence to the Commission that you did not present to the ALJ unless you show good reasons for your failure to present the evidence in the hearing before the ALJ. See NAC 360.175(5).
You will also receive materials from the Office of the Attorney General (“AG’s Office”). The AG’s Office which will send a Deputy Attorney General (“DAG”) to appear as the attorney for the Department at the hearing before the Commission.
A subsequent letter from the Department will notify you of the date, time and place for the hearing before the Commission.
The hearing before the Commission is open to the public unless you meet certain confidentiality requirements. See NRS 360.247. If you believe that the information in your case is of a proprietary or confidential nature, you may request that a portion of your hearing be closed to the public. Your request must be submitted in writing to the Commission and contain a list or summary of the information that you believe is proprietary or confidential. You must also include an explanation of why you believe the info is proprietary or confidential pursuant to NRS 360.247. Your request must be made at least fourteen (14) days prior to your hearing date.
During the Hearing
The hearing is intended to allow both the Department and the Taxpayer to participate. During the hearing you will have the opportunity to present your case to the Commission and to explain why you believe the ALJ’s decision is correct or incorrect. The Department will also be given an opportunity to explain why they agree or disagree with the ALJ’s decision. The Members of the Commission may ask you and the Department’s representative questions. The Commission will then make a decision to accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. See NAC 360.175 and 360.176.
Following the Hearing
Following a hearing before the Nevada Tax Commission, you will receive a letter which sets out the decision of the Nevada Tax Commission. The Nevada Tax Commission’s decision can be appealed to Nevada District Court. See NRS 233B.130. You should consult your attorney for further information regarding an appeal of the decision of the Nevada Tax Commission.
For more information, see NAC 360.173 through NAC 360.185 inclusive.
Types of Representatives: See NAC 360.085
If Taxpayer is a business, officer or authorized employee of the Taxpayer may represent Taxpayer at the hearing.
If Taxpayer is an individual, he or she may represent him or herself at the hearing.
Taxpayers may also choose to have an attorney, accountant or other authorized representative such as an enrolled agent, appear on the Taxpayer’s behalf. Attorneys must be licensed in the United States and, if not admitted in Nevada, associated with an attorney who is licensed in Nevada.
The representative, if other than an officer or authorized employee of Taxpayer, must file with the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) or Nevada Tax Commission (“Commission”) a statement from the Taxpayer authorizing the representative to appear on Taxpayer’s behalf for the duration of the case. The representative must also immediately notify the ALJ or Commission if the representation ceases.
The Pre-hearing Conference:
The Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) may request the parties to schedule a
Pre Hearing Conference with him or her.
The Pre-hearing Conference is intended to:
You should speak with opposing counsel prior to the date of the Pre-hearing Conference to discuss the points listed about in order to ensure an efficient and orderly Pre-hearing Conference. See NAC 360.100.
You may, but are not required to, file a statement of your position prior to the hearing. The Pre-hearing Statement should be limited to ten (10) pages, double spaced and should include: (1) a summary of the undisputed facts, (2) a summary of the disputed facts, (3) a statement of the issues, (4) a summary of your position, (5) any legal authority supporting your position.
The Pre-hearing Statement should be filed at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing or by the date set out in the Hearing Notice. (In all cases, if a date is specified in the Hearing Notice, that date controls.) Your Pre-hearing Statement should be filed with the ALJ and served on the opposing party. If you rely on case law in your Pre-hearing Statement, you must include a copy of each of the cases to which you cite with your Pre-hearing Statement.
If you wish to compel the attendance of witnesses through subpoena, you must send a written application for a subpoena to the ALJ along with the proposed subpoena to the ALJ. See NAC 360.135.
The formal Rules of Evidence used in the courts do not apply in administrative hearings. As a result, the ALJ has more discretion to admit evidence into the record. See NRS 233B.123 and NAC 360.145. Evidence is anything used to prove or disprove a fact.
There are three types of evidence:
Admissible evidence is evidence that the Administrative Law Judge admits into evidence as part of the official record. Admissible evidence does not mean that the evidence is true. It means that there are no valid objections for its consideration by the Administrative Law Judge.
Credibility determines the weight given to evidence by the Administrative Law Judge.
Relevant evidence is evidence that reasonably tends to make the existence of a fact more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.
Hearsay is a statement (which can be offered by the testimony of another, or through a document) made outside of the hearing that is offered to prove what was stated. The ALJ may admit and consider hearsay evidence. However, the ALJ will determine the weight (credibility), if any, to give to such hearsay evidence. Practice Hint: It is always better to avoid hearsay evidence because the ALJ cannot base his or her decision on this type of evidence.
A party should remember the following tips when questioning a witness during direct and cross-examination:
2. Before evidence is taken, parties may make opening statements. This is the opportunity for the parties to outline their respective positions. Opening statements are not evidentiary. It is not the time to present your entire case. You should prepare a short overview of what your case is about, what you will prove and how. The ALJ may ask you to waive opening statements if you have filed a Pre-hearing Statement.
3. After the conclusion or waiver of opening statements, the party with the burden of proof generally proceeds by presenting evidence. The party may present testimonial and documentary evidence subject to cross-examination by the opposing party or counsel. Note: Sometimes the ALJ will change the normal order of presentation to make the hearing go more smoothly.
4. Upon completion of that presentation, the opposing party may, but is not required to, present evidence in support of that party’s position. Any witness presented by that party is subject to cross-examination by the opposing party.
5. Upon completion of that presentation, the party with the burden of proof may request an opportunity to present rebuttal evidence. However, such evidence should not be redundant, repetitive or cumulative to the party’s prior evidence.
6. After all evidence has been presented, the parties are then given an opportunity to present closing statements. If Post-hearing Briefs are requested, the ALJ may ask you to include your closing statement in your Brief.
7. The ALJ will then take requests for post-hearing briefs. See NAC 360.155. Unless otherwise provided by the ALJ, a hearing is concluded upon the submission of all evidence, the presentation of all closing arguments, or the submission of all post- hearing written memoranda, whichever occurs last.
See NAC 360.130.
If you would like the opportunity to submit Post-hearing Briefs, you may make that request to the ALJ at any time prior to the close of the evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will set the due dates for the briefs (“Briefing Schedule”) if the ALJ grants your request. If you rely on case law in your Brief, you must include a copy of each of the cases to which you cite with your Brief.
The ALJ will make an audio recording of the hearing but will not provide a court reporter. If you wish to have the hearing reported, you must arrange for and bear all costs associated with the court reporter. You may obtain a copy of the audio recording of the hearing by making a written request to the ALJ for a copy and paying for the copying costs.
The ALJ will maintain the official copy of the record in the proceedings including: exhibits, audio recording and/or transcript, motions, orders, briefs, and decision.
What is an Administrative Court and an Administrative Law Judge?
An Administrative Court is a specialized court within a state agency that ensures the rights of individuals to appeal actions taken by the agency under that agency’s area of regulation. Administrative Courts operate under the basic principles which apply to regular courts of law.
“ALJ” stands for Administrative Law Judge. An ALJ is an attorney who acts as a judge in an administrative court. The ALJs for the Department of Taxation (“Department”) act as judges for disputes regarding Nevada taxes in order to ensure due process for taxpayers. The two ALJs for the Department are selected on the basis of experience, ability, and qualifications. Although the ALJs are employees of the Department, the ALJs are required to provide unbiased, impartial, and fair hearings for taxpayers. The ALJs’ decisions are final and binding unless they are appealed.
Will I need an Attorney?
You may, but are not required to, obtain legal counsel for hearings before the ALJ and the Nevada Tax Commission (“Commission”). The ALJ and the employees of the Department cannot give you legal advice.
Who can represent me at a hearing?
You may represent yourself or your business at a hearing before the ALJ or the Commission. You may also obtain representation such as an attorney, an accountant, an enrolled agent, etc. See NAC 360.085.
What should I bring to the hearing?
You should bring paper and a pen/pencil to take notes during the hearing. You should bring any witnesses whom you would like to testify on your behalf, documents which are relevant to your case, and any documents which were sent to you by the Department or the Office of the Attorney General in preparation for the hearing. See “Before the Hearing.”
What will the hearing be like?
The hearing is similar to a court of law but in a more relaxed setting. The parties sit around a conference table with the ALJ. Witnesses will be placed under oath to provide testimony and may be questioned by the opposing party. See “The Hearing.”
How do I get a different hearing date or request a continuance?
Send a written request by mail, email, or facsimile to the ALJ explaining why you cannot attend the hearing as it is currently scheduled. If you do not provide a compelling reason for rescheduling the hearing, the ALJ may deny your request. You may not be granted more than one continuance request without good cause. See NAC 360.120.
What happens if I don’t appear at the hearing?
If you fail to appear at the hearing, the ALJ will issue a decision without considering your information. NAC 360.125.