General Provisions

Section 21-J:3

    21-J:3 Duties of Commissioner. –
In addition to the powers, duties, and functions otherwise vested by law, including RSA 21-G, in the commissioner of the department of revenue administration, the commissioner shall:
I. Represent the public interest in the administration of the department and be responsible to the governor, the general court, and the public for such administration.
II. Prepare and furnish to selectmen and assessors, at the expense of the state, a sufficient number of inventory blanks upon which individuals and corporations shall list taxable property for return to said selectmen and assessors.
III. Procure and furnish to the selectmen of towns and assessors of cities, on or before April 1 of each year, blanks upon which to make certificates of the number of individuals and the valuation of the ratable estates of their respective towns and cities. The certificates when completed shall be returned to the commissioner.
IV. Determine from such certificates the average rate of taxation throughout the state.
V. Exercise general supervision over the administration of the assessment and taxation laws of the state and over all assessing officers in the performance of their duties, except the board of tax and land appeals, to the end that all assessments of property be made in compliance with the laws of the state.
VI. Confer with, advise, and give the necessary instructions and directions to local assessing officers throughout the state as to their duties, and to that end to call meetings of such assessing officers, to be held at convenient places, for the purpose of receiving instructions from the commissioner as to the laws governing the assessment and taxation of all classes of property.
VII. Direct proceedings, actions, and prosecutions to be instituted to enforce the laws relating to the liability and punishment of individuals, public officers, and officers and agents of corporations for failure or neglect to comply with the provisions of the law of this state governing returns for the assessment and taxation of property.
VIII. Require county, city, town, and other public officers to report information as to the assessment of property, collection of taxes, and such other information required by the commissioner, in such form and upon such blanks as the commissioner may prescribe. All county, city, town, and other public officers shall furnish the commissioner with the information required.
IX. Summon witnesses to appear and give testimony, and to produce books, records, papers, and documents relating to any tax matter which the commissioner has authority to investigate or determine.
X. Cause depositions of witnesses residing within or without this state, or absent from the state, to be taken in like manner as depositions of witnesses are taken in civil actions in the superior court, in any matter which the commissioner has authority to investigate or determine.
XI. Formulate and recommend any legislation as he may deem expedient to prevent the evasion of assessment and tax laws, and to secure just and equal taxation and improvement in the system of taxation in the state.
XII. File with the secretary of state his report showing all the taxable property in the state and its assessed value, in tabulated form, and such other statistics and information as may be deemed of interest. This report shall be filed not later than 30 days after all necessary figures became available.
XIII. Equalize annually by May 1 the valuation of the property as assessed in the several towns, cities, and unincorporated places in the state including the value of property exempt pursuant to RSA 72:37, RSA 72:37-b, RSA 72:39-a, RSA 72:62, RSA 72:66, RSA 72:70, RSA 72:85, and RSA 72:87, property which is subject to tax relief under RSA 79-E:4, and property which is subject to tax relief under RSA 79-E:4-a or RSA 79-E:4-b, by adding to or deducting from the aggregate valuation of the property in towns, cities, and unincorporated places such sums as will bring such valuations to the true and market value of the property, and by making such adjustments in the value of other property from which the towns, cities, and unincorporated places receive taxes or payments in lieu of taxes, including renewable generation facility property subject to a payment in lieu of taxes agreement under RSA 72:74 and combined heat and power agricultural facility property subject to a payment in lieu of taxes agreement under RSA 72:74-a, as may be equitable and just, so that any public taxes that may be apportioned among them shall be equal and just. In carrying out the duty to equalize the valuation of property, the commissioner shall follow the procedures set forth in RSA 21-J:9-a.
XIV. Conduct required audits of local units of government.
XV. Establish and approve tax rates as required by law.
XVI. Have the authority to abate, in whole or in part, any taxes, additions to tax, penalties, or interest wrongfully assessed under this title or which, in his judgment, are uncollectible or for which the administrative and collection costs involved would not warrant collection of the amount due or for such other good cause as the commissioner shall determine.
XVII. Appoint a chief of field audits, field audit team leaders, and multi-entity tax auditors, who shall be unclassified employees and who shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner.
XVIII. Hear appeals on disputed taxes, penalties, and interest and on decertification or rejection under RSA 21-J:14-g.
XIX. Have the authority to administer oaths and to examine under oath any person with respect to any matter within the department's jurisdiction.
XX. Enter in contractual agreements with financial institutions to receive and process tax returns or documents and deposit tax revenues received with such documents.
XXI. Except as provided in RSA 78-A:8 and RSA 84-C:5, have authority to require a taxpayer to remit taxes by electronic funds transfer when the taxpayer, including combined return filers, had a tax liability in the prior tax year of $100,000 or more.
XXII. Have authority subject to appropriation to establish the electronic transfer of departmental information intended for the public, and to recover reasonable costs for the service, all of which shall be returned to the general fund as unrestricted revenue.
XXIII. [Repealed.]
XXIV. Have the authority subject to appropriation to publish and distribute a "Package X" containing department-administered tax forms and instructions, and to recover reasonable costs for such publication, all of which shall be returned to the general fund as unrestricted revenue.
XXV. Petition the board of tax and land appeals to issue an order for reassessment of property pursuant to the board's powers under RSA 71-B:16-19 whenever the valuation of property in a particular city, town, or unincorporated place is disproportional to the valuation of other property within that city, town, or unincorporated place, or whenever the municipality has not complied with RSA 75:8-a.
XXVI. Review and report each municipality's assessments once within every 5 years pursuant to RSA 21-J:11-a.
XXVII. Have the authority to contract with vendors to collect unpaid tax liabilities and share such taxpayer information with authorized vendors as is reasonably necessary to collect such debts.
XXVIII. Conduct audits of retailers subject to the enhanced 911 services surcharge imposed under RSA 106-H:9 and report the results of such audits to the bureau of emergency communications, division of emergency services and communications, of the department of safety.
XXIX. The commissioner shall compile and make available annually by July 1 to municipalities and to the assessing standards board a report on residential rental property subject to a housing covenant under the low-income housing tax credit program pursuant to RSA 75:1-a, including the following:
(a) A determination of which municipalities have properties that are participating in the program;
(b) The number of properties within each municipality participating in the program;
(c) The assessed value of the properties prior to the effective date of RSA 75:1-a; and
(d) The assessed value of the properties under RSA 75:1-a.
XXX. Have the authority to allow returns, declarations, or other documents containing monetary values filed with the department to be prepared by rounding to the nearest whole dollar.
XXXI. Have the authority, subject to appropriation, to contract with the Multistate Tax Commission for participation in audits performed by the Multistate Tax Commission on behalf of member states. While under contract with the state, the Multistate Tax Commission shall be an authorized agent of the commissioner for the purposes of paragraph IX.
XXXII. Establish a voluntary disclosure program for taxes administered by the department where a person or entity voluntarily self-discloses a tax liability to the department and the department waives applicable penalties and settles and compromises the taxes and interest due through a voluntary disclosure agreement. A person or entity shall not be eligible to participate in the voluntary disclosure program if the department has contacted or informed the person or entity, an affiliate of the entity, or a member of a unitary business, of which the entity is a member, that the department is inquiring into the person, entity, or unitary business' liability for tax or whether the person, entity, or unitary business is subject to tax or tax collection responsibilities in this state. A person or entity shall not be eligible to participate in the voluntary disclosure program regarding a specific tax administered by the department if the person, entity, or unitary business, of which the person or entity is a member, has filed a return in a previous taxable period for the specific tax, except for good cause shown. A provider, operator, or retailer who collected, but failed to remit, the tax to the state shall not be eligible for the voluntary disclosure program.
XXXIII. File a report not later than March 31 of each year with the ways and means committees of the senate and the house of representatives informing the committees of any changes to the United States Internal Revenue Code, related Treasury Regulations, and administrative rulings, which would impact New Hampshire.

Source. 1985, 204:1. 1987, 408:4. 1988, 232:1, 2. 1989, 50:1. 1991, 163:2; 362:6. 1993, 61:1. 1995, 45:1; 308:121. 1997, 351:12. 1998, 383:1. 1999, 17:3-5, 58, III. 2000, 239:1. 2001, 158:55; 297:3, 14, 15. 2003, 307:6. 2004, 203:1, 7. 2005, 166:1; 251:1. 2006, 294:8. 2008, 361:14; 390:7. 2010, 152:1, eff. Aug. 13, 2010. 2012, 14:3, eff. July 1, 2012. 2014, 78:1, eff. May 27, 2014; 277:1, eff. July 28, 2014. 2015, 254:1, eff. Sept. 11, 2015; 276:183, eff. Sept. 16, 2015; 276:245, eff. July 1, 2015. 2016, 85:11, eff. July 18, 2016; 295:5, eff. June 21, 2016. 2017, 203:1, eff. Sept. 3, 2017. 2019, 266:3, eff. Apr. 1, 2019; 327:7, eff. Oct. 15, 2019. 2021, 200:2, Pt. I, Sec. 1, eff. Oct. 9, 2021; 200:2, Pt. II, Sec. 4, eff. Oct. 9, 2021.