Nebraska Revised Statute 77-2709
Sales and use tax; return; Tax Commissioner; deficiency determination; penalty; deficiency; notice; hearing; order.
(1) If the Tax Commissioner is not satisfied with the return or returns of the tax or the amount of tax required to be paid to the state by any person, he or she may compute and determine the amount required to be paid upon the basis of the facts contained in the return or returns or upon the basis of any information within his or her possession or which may come into his or her possession. One or more deficiency determinations of the amount due for one or more than one period may be made. To the amount of the deficiency determination for each period shall be added a penalty equal to ten percent thereof or twenty-five dollars, whichever is greater. In making a determination, the Tax Commissioner may offset overpayments for a period or periods, together with interest on the overpayments, against underpayments for other period or periods, against penalties, and against the interest on the underpayments.
The interest on underpayments and overpayments shall be computed in the manner set forth hereinafter.
(2) If any person fails to make a return, the Tax Commissioner shall make an estimate of the amount of the gross receipts of the person or, as the case may be, of the amount of the total sales, rent, or lease price of property sold, rented, or leased or purchased, by the person, the storage, use, or consumption of which in this state is subject to the use tax. The estimate shall be made for the period or periods in respect to which the person failed to make a return and shall be based upon any information which is in the Tax Commissioner's possession or may come into his or her possession. Upon the basis of this estimate, the Tax Commissioner shall compute and determine the amount required to be paid to the state, adding to the sum thus arrived at a penalty equal to ten percent thereof or twenty-five dollars, whichever is greater. One or more determinations may be made for one or more than one period.
(3) The amount of the determination of any deficiency exclusive of penalties shall bear interest at the rate specified in section 45-104.02, as such rate may from time to time be adjusted, from the twentieth of the month following the period for which the amount should have been returned until the date of payment.
(4) If any part of a deficiency for which a deficiency determination is made is the result of fraud or an intent to evade the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967 or authorized rules and regulations, a penalty of twenty-five percent of the amount of the determination or fifty dollars, whichever is greater, shall be added thereto.
(5)(a) Promptly after making his or her determination, the Tax Commissioner shall give to the person written notice of his or her determination.
(b) The notice may be served personally or by mail, and if by mail the notice shall be addressed to the person at his or her address as it appears in the records of the Tax Commissioner. In case of service by mail of any notice required by the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967, the service is complete at the time of deposit in the United States post office.
(c) Every notice of a deficiency determination shall be personally served or mailed within three years after the last day of the calendar month following the period for which the amount is proposed to be determined or within three years after the return is filed, whichever period expires the later. In the case of a person failing to make a return, filing a false or fraudulent return with the intent to evade the sales or use tax, or omitting from a return an amount properly includable therein which is in excess of twenty-five percent of the amount of tax stated in the return, every notice of determination shall be mailed or personally served within six years after the last day of the calendar month following the period for which the amount is proposed to be determined.
(d) When, before the expiration of the time prescribed in this section for the mailing of a notice of deficiency determination, both the Tax Commissioner and the taxpayer have consented in writing to its mailing after such time, the notice of the deficiency determination may be mailed at any time prior to the expiration of the period agreed upon. The agreed-upon period may be extended by subsequent agreement, in writing, made before the expiration of the period previously agreed upon.
(6) When a business is discontinued, a determination may be made at any time thereafter within the periods specified in this section as to liability arising out of that business, irrespective of whether the determination is issued prior to the due date of the liability as otherwise specified in the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967.
(7) Any person against whom a determination is made under subsections (1) and (2) of this section or any person directly interested may petition for a redetermination within sixty days after service upon the person of notice thereof. For the purposes of this subsection, a person is directly interested in a deficiency determination when such deficiency could be collected from such person. If a petition for redetermination is not filed within the sixty-day period, the determination becomes final at the expiration of the period.
(8) If a petition for redetermination is filed within the sixty-day period, the Tax Commissioner shall reconsider the determination and, if the person has so requested in his or her petition, shall grant the person an oral hearing and shall give him or her ten days' notice of the time and place of the hearing. The Tax Commissioner may continue the hearing from time to time as may be necessary.
(9) The Tax Commissioner may decrease or increase the amount of the determination before it becomes final, but the amount may be increased only if a claim for the increase is asserted by the Tax Commissioner at or before the hearing, upon which assertion the petitioner shall be entitled to a thirty-day continuance of the hearing to allow him or her to obtain and produce further evidence applicable to the items upon which the increase is based.
(10) The order or decision of the Tax Commissioner upon a petition for redetermination shall become final thirty days after service upon the petitioner of notice thereof.
(11) All determinations made by the Tax Commissioner under the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section are due and payable at the time they become final. If they are not paid when due and payable, a penalty of ten percent of the amount of the determination, exclusive of interest and penalties, shall be added thereto.
(12) Any notice required by this section shall be served personally or by mail in the manner prescribed in subsection (5) of this section.
The sales and use tax return contains instructions stating that the entries for each tax remain separate and that the failure to enter "a word, statement, number or figure . . . in the appropriate lines on the return" extends the statute of limitations to 5 years. Where no such entries were made, the department was not given adequate information from which to compute the consumer's use tax owed and the 5-year statute of limitations controls. McDonald's Exec. Off. v. Nebraska Dept. of Revenue, 243 Neb. 82, 497 N.W.2d 377 (1993).
Pursuant to the plain language of subsection (7) of this section, a person must file a petition for redetermination within 60 days after service of the notice, which service is complete at the time of the mailing of the notice by the Nebraska Department of Revenue to the taxpayer. Lyman-Richey Corp. v. Nebraska Dept. of Rev., 22 Neb. App. 412, 855 N.W.2d 814 (2014).
Since deficiency notices mailed by the Nebraska Department of Revenue pursuant to subsection (5) of this section are not pleadings, the Nebraska Court Rules of Pleading in Civil Cases, including Neb. Ct. R. Pldg. § 6-1106(e), do not apply to them, including the 3-day mailing rule. Lyman-Richey Corp. v. Nebraska Dept. of Rev., 22 Neb. App. 412, 855 N.W.2d 814 (2014).