FLORIDA SALES TAX AUDIT DEFENSE
Under a Florida sales tax audit? 100+ 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. Even a business that has
been charging and remitting the right amount of tax may find themselves
facing a large assement simply by not having the right paperwork to prove
everything was done right.
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.
At the Law Offices of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A., 90% of our firm's
work is focused on Florida Sales and Use Tax. With
over 100 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 not only have experience working with auditors,
we have former Florida Department of Revenue auditors on staff to help make sure the state's auditor is not stepping out of line.
Aggressive Defense Against Sales Tax Audits
Our in house attorney, CPAs, and former auditors know what the state's
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. If you manage the audit yourself, then you can expect
the auditor to be in your business for a week or two reviwing records,
talking to your employees, and generally looking for anything they can
to subject to tax. However, if you have us, except for a quick, supervised
tour of your company's location, we will keep the auditors away from
you, your employees, and your business. Wouldn't you rather the audit
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 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 for. Some auditors will
even demand items that the auditor knows he or she has no right to demand.
At the Law Offices of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, 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.
Sales and Use Tax 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 the only state 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. Form 2012 into
2017, the FL DOR has focused on the convenience store industry matching
whole purchases of alcohol and tobacco with the sales tax returns of retailers
in the industry. In 2015, the FL Department of Revenue started sales tax
audits on used car dealers, comparing sales data collected from the DMV
to sales tax returns. 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
CLICK HERE to read a firm article on the specifics of why the
LOW VOLTAGE INDUSTRY is being targeted for Florida Sales Tax Audits.
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. Even if you never intend to
hire representation, why not at least learn as much as you can about what
your company is facing.
Contact a Florida sales tax audit lawyer
from our firm to aggressively defend you in an audit!