Hollywood star Val Kilmer and his ex wife Joanne Whalley have lost their battle over a $300,000 (GBP167,000) tax refund.

The pair appealed for the sum, which represents income taxes paid in 1995, because Whalley had filed for divorce from Kilmer and moved from their New Mexico home to California.

But the Court of Appeals in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has ruled the Taxation and Revenue Department could not authorise the refund because the time period for claims had passed.

The claim was first filed in 1999, after California tax officials ruled that Whalley had been a California resident as of August 1995.

The couple's accountant completed an amended 1995 return for New Mexico - but the department of taxation lost it.

The claim was then delayed further in 2000 because of a processing backlog.

Under state law, if the department does not approve or deny a claim within 120 days, taxpayers then have 90 days to either file a protest or go to court.

Kilmer and Whalley failed to do either and the 210-day window for the department to act on a claim expired, the court said.

02/09/2004 17:13