(1) The department shall issue a notice to a taxpayer as follows:
(a) an assessment notice, stating an amount owed to the department;
(b) notice of intent to revoke or suspend, stating any violation of fuel tax or International Registration Plan statutes or rules;
(c) notice of license cancellation; or
(d) notice of refund reduction.
(2) The notice shall advise the taxpayer of the right to request review of or hearing on any notice.
(3) Notices are sent via U.S. mail or email to the taxpayer address on file with the department.
(4) An assessment notice in an amount exceeding $500, is sent via certified mail to the taxpayer's address on file with the department.
(5) If the taxpayer agrees with the notice, the matter is resolved upon compliance with, or acceptance of, the terms set forth in the notice.
(6) If the taxpayer disagrees with the notice, the taxpayer must submit a written request to the department for informal review or formal hearing within 30 days of receipt of the notice, as follows:
(a) A taxpayer may request an informal review by completing the informal review request form on the department's website.
(b) A taxpayer may request a formal hearing by written request.
(c) The request for review or hearing must be postmarked or received electronically within 30 days of the date of receipt of the notice. An extension to the deadline may be granted if both parties agree.
(d) Failure to respond within 30 days is an admission the debt in the assessment notice is due and owing, or the department determination in the notice is accepted.
(7) Informal review consists of pertinent department staff reviewing the taxpayer's request, information provided, and applicable laws and rules and making a recommendation to the appropriate department administrator. The administrator shall issue a written agency decision, which shall be mailed to the taxpayer, as follows:
(a) If the department concurs with the taxpayer, the matter is resolved by withdrawing or revising the notice.
(b) If the department disagrees with the taxpayer, the agency decision shall explain the reasons for the agency decision, in writing, and notify the taxpayer of the right to request a formal hearing. The agency decision may include an assessment for any balance owing. All agency decisions will be sent to the taxpayer through certified mail.
(c) A written request for formal hearing after informal review must be submitted to the department within 30 days of receipt of the agency decision. The taxpayer forfeits the right to a formal hearing if the taxpayer fails to submit a written request for formal hearing within the 30-day period.
(8) A formal hearing consists of a contested case proceeding under the Montana Administrative Procedure Act. After hearing or settlement, a final agency decision is issued, which may include an assessment if a balance is owing. All final agency decisions will be sent to the taxpayer through certified mail.