FLORIDA SALES TAX AUDIT DEFENSE
Under a Florida sales tax audit? 50+ years of Florida sales tax experience.
Have you received a Florida Form DR-840 – Notice of Intent to Audit Books and Records for Florida sales and use tax purposes or have you simply received a phone call from a Florida auditor asking seemingly harmless questions about your business and how you handle Florida sales taxes? However you have been contacted, a Florida Sales Tax Audit can target the last 3 years of your business activity and even farther back if sales and use tax returns have not been filed. Even the smallest error on a type of transaction, when multiplied over three years, can add up to a considerable amount of sales tax liabilities. At the Law Offices of Moffa, Gainor, & Sutton, P.A., 90% of our firm's work is focused on Florida Sales and Use Tax. With over 50 years of cumulative experience in Florida Sales Tax representation, we are the right choice to represent your company during a Florida sales tax audit.
Since 1991, our firm has defended companies in virtually every industry in Florida; giving us the experience and know how to not only analyze any areas of exposure you might have, but to also put the best foot forward during the audit. Even for companies that strive to do everything above board, the uncertainty of what an auditor might find can be extremely unnerving. Don't take chances with trying to represent yourself or working with a professional that does not have decades of experience dealing with Florida Sales and Use Tax Auditors. We offer a
FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to discuss your pending audit. Why not take advantage of our free initial consultation right now? Even if your Florida sales tax audit already started, we can still help.
Aggressive Defense Against Sales Tax Audits
Our attorneys generally know what the auditors are looking for in each particular industry and we will work with you or your accountant to review your areas of potential exposure and organize the documentation in a way to minimize the auditor's suspicions. Once engaged, we become a shield between you and the Florida sales tax auditor. Except for a potential quick, supervised tour of your company's location, we will keep the auditors away from you, your employees, and your business. The audit will be performed at one of our offices, eliminating disruptions to your business.
When a taxpayer represents himself during a Florida Sales Tax Audit, the auditors usually try to ask the taxpayer to provide all electronic books and records and harmlessly ask for agreements to sampling periods and other items that a taxpayer generally does not have to provide or agree to. The Florida Sales Tax Auditor will make these requests with a smile on their face and be as friendly as possible. All too often, taxpayers come to us after complying with these friendly requests, which came back to haunt them later in the audit. You want someone on your side of the table representing your interest that knows what the auditors can and cannot ask. Some auditors will even demand items that the auditor knows he or she has no right to demand. At the Law Offices of Moffa, Gainor, & Sutton, P.A., we are well versed in the games the auditors play and know when and how to say no to these requests.
We may have even worked with your auditor in the past or, if not, we will likely have defended audits against the auditor's supervisor in the past. While this does not directly affect the results of the audit, knowing the auditor/supervisor can give us an advantage of knowing whether he or she is aggressive by nature, what the auditor has focused on in the past or whether the auditor/supervisor has shown a willingness compromise on specific issues.
Another advantage of working with our attorneys is that we often know what issues simply can't be resolved during the sales tax audit, but that stand a much better chance for a successful challenge post-audit, such as during an administrative protest. So we can advise you when it is likely more cost effective to simply allow the auditor to finalize the audit and challenge the matter in Tallahassee. As a law firm, we handle regularly handle administrative protests, file taxpayer claims before the Department of Administrative Hearing ("DOAH" cases), as well as file suit in the Circuit Courts of Florida against the Florida Department of Revenue. In other words, when you engage our law firm, you bring to your side of the table a firm that handles Florida sales tax legal matters from the beginning of the audit to very end of the matter – every day. Florida sales and use tax is simply what we do.
Most people wonder why they were targeted for a Florida Sales Tax Audit. Perhaps your company was simply randomly chosen for an Audit. Alternatively, if you have been audited before and sales tax liabilities where found, then that could be one possible reason why you are under audit.
Audits in Florida
Another reason we have seen a lot of audits initiated lately is because a company occupies land that is not legally owned by the same specific legal entity being audited. Florida is one of only two states in the country that imposes sales tax commercial rent, even between related entities, and even when the entities are disregarded for Federal tax purposes. CLICK HERE to read a firm article how
commercial property owners get blindsided by sales taxes imposed on commercial rent.
Perhaps your industry has been targeted by the Florida Department of Revenue as consistently having problems with a particular area of Florida Sales and Use Tax obligations. During late 2011 and into 2012, the low voltage industry has the focus of a Florida Department of Revenue task force – effectively painting a target on the industry as a whole. These audits have usually started as simple phone calls from a friendly auditor. If the questions are answered a certain way, then a team of auditors is sent in and the result is often a large assessment. CLICK HERE to read a firm article on the specifics of why the
LOW VOLTAGE INDUSTRY is being targeted for Florida Sales Tax Audits.
Another industry that has been a target during 2012 is the RETAIL ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO INDUSTRY. If you are reading this article because you are in the retail alcohol or tobacco industry, then you really should read the firm article written on how the Florida Department of Revenue has been collecting detailed information from your wholesaler or distributor on your monthly purchases.
CLICK HERE to read the article for the Retail Alcohol and Tobacco Industry in Florida.
If you are still reading this article, then you likely want to learn as much as possible about your Florida Sales Tax Audit. Please contact me, James Sutton, CPA, Esq., by phone or email (available at the top of this web page) for a free initial consultation.
Contact a Florida sales tax audit lawyer
from our firm to aggressively defend you in an audit!
Sales Tax Audit Best Practicies, The Tax Adviser, published July 1, 2012, by Jennifer Jensen, CPA, and Alesia Parfiryeva, CPA (a great article on how to prepare for a Sales and Use Tax Audit)(external link to the AICPA web site).