If you are reading this, then you either received a Florida nexus questionnaire from what I like to call our "comrades in Tallahassee" (or Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York, etc) or perhaps you are concerned that your company might have nexus. Chances are that your company has neither been registered in Florida for tax purposes nor have you filed any sales and use tax, corporate income tax, or other type of tax (communication services tax) return. If you haven't filed a return, then Florida's normal 3 year statute of limitations does not apply because the statute of limitations' clock only begins to "tick" once you file a return. You are probably thinking back to when your company first starting making sales to Florida, five, ten, maybe 15 years ago? The horror story of your company being liable for taxes since you began doing business in Florida years and years ago (plus 50% penalties and interest) begins to make your head hurt. Then the realty that not many companies can survive having to come up with the money to pay that many years' worth of taxes is cause to make just about any business owner or corporate tax executive panic.
The purpose of this article is to tell you that you likely have a small window of opportunity to minimize the damage by limiting the state's look period. Even if the state nexus investigation department found that you have nexus, there is still an opportunity to get into Florida's Voluntary Disclosure Program that will eliminate penalties, create a statutory presumption of no criminal intent, and - most importantly - limit the look back period to 3 years! In other words, if you act fast, then there is still an opportunity to minimize the damage and our firm can help. We can help you initially apply for the Voluntary Disclosure program, determine the amounts that are tentatively due, and help your company negotiate a final payment or even a payment plan with the state of Florida.
The Law Offices of Moffa, Gainor, & Sutton, PA is a firm with a dedicated focus on tax controversy work against the Florida Department of Revenue. Since 1991, our firm has been assisting company in virtually all industries, all over the country to get a just a fair result when dealing with the Florida Department of Revenue - including mitigating the damage from a finding of nexus. Whether your company has unjustly been accused of having nexus or you do have nexus and you need to get into the Voluntary Disclosure program to minimize the tax impact on your company, please contact our attorneys today by phone or email (see top of this page) for a free initial consultation.
And just in case this needs to be said, not responding will likely bring the auditors to your doorstep. When it comes to taxes, putting your head in the sand is rarely, if ever, a viable option.
If you would like to learn more about what causes Florida nexus or about Florida's Voluntary Disclosure program, then please follow the links at the end of this article.
About the author: Mr. Sutton is a Florida licensed CPA and Attorney and a shareholder in the law firm Moffa, Gainor, & Sutton, PA. Mr. Sutton's primary practice is Florida tax controversy, with a almost exclusive focus on Florida sales and use tax. Mr. Sutton worked for in the State and Local Tax department of one of the Big Five accounting firms for a number of years and has been an adjunct professor of law at Stetson University College of Law since 2002 teaching State and Local Tax, Accounting for Lawyers, and Federal Income Tax I. Mr. Sutton is a frequent speaker on Florida sales and use taxes for the FICPA, Lorman Education, and Florida Society of Accountants. Mr. Sutton is also co-author of CCH's Sales and Use Tax Treatise. You can read more about Mr. Sutton in his firm bio.
FLORIDA NEXUS QUESTIONNAIRE - WHAT IS NEXUS FOR FLORIDA TAX?, By James Sutton, CPA, Esq. and Jerry Donnini, Esq, July 7, 2012.
FL TAX - VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE CAN BE THE PERFECT SOLUTION, By Jerry Donnini, Esq., Oct. 5, 2012.
FL controversy ALERT - RHINEHART EQUIPMENT - SOL, NEXUS, & A TIPSTER, By James Sutton, CPA, Esq., Oct. 15, 2012 (example of a case in which a taxpayer did not use the Voluntary Disclosure program after receiving a nexus questionnaire and the state successfully went back to 2002).
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