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Are you looking for a Florida Sales Tax Attorney? Are you having problems with the Florida Department of Revenue over sales and use tax matters? If so, then you want a law firm who is not only focused primarily on Florida sales and use tax issues, but also has decades of experience representing businesses before the Florida Department of Revenue. You most definitely don’t want to hire a “tax resolution” consulting firm from outside of Florida. You don’t want a firm that primary does IRS work, but occasionally handles sales tax work. You want a firm that knows the issues, the people, and the best path for a resolution at a reasonable cost. You want a Florida Sales Tax Attorney.

At the law offices of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, we handle more Florida sales and use tax controversy than any five other firms combined. With our experienced attorneys and staff, we handle audits, protests, petitions for reconsideration, circuit court litigation, Chapter 120 Division of Administrative Hearing litigation, appellate litigation, collections, revocation hearings, criminal investigations, and criminal court defense – all surrounding Florida sales and use tax. Read up on our partners, staff attorneys, and audit staff and you will be convinced that we are the best firm in Florida to help with your Florida sales and use tax problem. No matter what your industry, chances are that we have worked with other people in your industry in the same situation. From manufacturers to convenience stores, car dealers to florists, food delivery services to chain restaurants, and just about any other industry in Florida.

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Whether you just received an audit notice or you are in the middle of an audit, then I’d like to introduce you to our audit staff Valarie Romeo and Steve Middel. Both worked for the Florida Department of Revenue as sales tax auditors for a combined total of over 15 years and have been with our firm for years representing clients during sales tax audits. They will help you organize your information, understand your areas of exposure, handle all communications with the auditor, and help you sleep at night during the whole process. Auditors are well known to ask trick questions. These former auditors can’t be tricked.


If you are past the audit phase and received a Notice of Proposed Assessment (NOPA), then you have 60 days from the date of the NOPA to file an administrative protest. Technically, you could go straight to court within 120 days, but judges usually frown on tax cases that have not exhausted their administrative remedies before appearing before court. The good thing about the protest process is that this is the first time you get to make your case before someone other than the auditor. If you are at this point, you probably felt like you were talking to a brick wall. There is no way your business could have been doing that high of sales or maybe the auditor simply refused to accept your exempt sales. Either way, this is the stage to re-argue everything before someone who will be looking at your case with fresh eyes.

For protests, we have experienced attorneys with accounting backgrounds and some that ever worked for the Florida Department of Revenue before leaving the “dark side.” Read up on our associate attorneys, Matthew Parker and David Brennan, who both used to work for the Department of Revenue. We also have Amanda Levin, Jeannette Moffa, and Paula Savhenko who all handle sales administrative protests and Petitions for Reconsideration almost every day of the week. When you look at other firms, do they have true Florida Sales Tax Attorney with years of experience doing almost nothing but fighting the Florida Department of Revenue on behalf of businesses just like yours? Don’t you really want a Florida Sales Tax Attorney on your side?


If you have exhausted all your administrative remedies or simply missed your 60-day deadline to file an administrative protest, then you have no choice but to go the litigation route. At this point, Florida law gives you two choices. You can file in Circuit Court or you can request a Chapter 120 Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH). Almost no one goes the Circuit Court route for one simple reason, going to Circuit Court requires you to pay the outrageous sales tax assessment in full before the court will have jurisdiction over your case. That leaves a going to DOAH, which only requires you to pay in what you reasonably believe you owe for the court to have jurisdiction. Most people believe going to court to fight a sales tax case will extremely expensive, which it can be with most firms. Because we handle so much sales tax litigation, our firm doesn’t have to learn the law and administrative processes to file a case. Furthermore, a vast majority of sales tax litigation cases settle before they every go to before a judge. That gives taxpayers, business owners like you, an opportunity to get a reasonable settlement to their sales tax issues for a reasonable attorney fee – if you go with a law firm filled with experienced Florida Sales Tax Attorneys.

For litigation, our firm has decades of experience handling sales tax litigation at your disposal. Let’s start with Joe Moffa, CPA, Esq, our managing partner, who has been litigating Florida sales tax cases since 1991. We also have James Sutton, CPA, Esq and Jerry Donnini, Esq, our two other partners both with extensive knowledge and experience in Florida sales tax controversy. You can also read up on our senior attorneys Rex Ware, Esq. and Jim McAuley, Esq, both of whom used to work

in the General Counsel’s office of the Florida Department of Revenue and have decades of Florida sales and use tax litigation experience.


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If you are worried about taxes that your business collected but have not remitted yet or you have received a surprise visit from a Florida sales tax investigator, then you are hopefully taking the matter very seriously. It only takes $301 of collected but not remitted sales tax to become a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail. The Florida Department of Revenue has an entire investigation division with seasoned investigators located in every Department of Revenue service center throughout Florida. The investigator’s job is not to help you figure out what you owe so you can pay it back. Their job is to collect evidence of whether a crime has been committed and turn the evidence over to the state attorney’s office. These investigators do not care if you merely used the sales tax to pay rent or employees. The fact sales tax was collected and not remitted timely with knowledge that it was supposed to be remitted are the only facts they care about. Investigators don’t offer payment plans and you can’t charm an investigator into letting this go. If anything, the investigator may try to play nice and charm you into giving them all the information they need to charge you. In other words, you need to take a criminal sales tax investigation for fraud or failure to file returns very, very seriously.

Think of a sales tax criminal investigation like finding yourself in the middle of a mine field. No matter how experienced a business owner is, the business owner simply will not know where all the mines are. The same came be said for most criminal attorneys that have not worked extensively with sales tax criminal matters. I can’t tell you the number of cases we that have fallen on our plate after another very experience “criminal attorney” didn’t understand what it takes to resolve a sales tax case – and the taxpayer found themselves much farther down the rabbit whole they every wanted to be. The attorney needs to not only understand the criminal court system, but also how the Department of Revenue works. If you find yourself in the middle of a Florida sales tax criminal investigation or, heaven forbid, you have already been charged with and/or arrested for sales tax fraud, then you really need an experience Florida Sales Tax Attorney.

Let me introduce you to our attorneys that handle Florida sales tax criminal work. On the East Coast of Florida, we have the team of Joe Moffa, Esq. and Amanda Levine, Esq. These two work with investigators from the Keys, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, all the way up to Jacksonville to help resolve cases before charges are filed. Everywhere else in Florida, from Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, Tallahassee, and even to Pensacola, we have the team of James Sutton, Esq. and Matthew Parker, Esq. If you find yourself in the middle of a sales tax investigation mine field, then this is the team you want on your side. They know just about every investigator in Florida and understand how the system works to tilt the scales in your favor. But whatever you do, don’t talk to a Florida Department of Revenue criminal investigator without an attorney present.


If you have found yourself behind in filing sales tax returns or paying sales tax, then you probably already know just how aggressive the Florida Department of Revenue collectors can be. Threatening phone calls, emails, and letters are just the start. They will put liens on your business and freeze your bank accounts. They can revoke your sales tax registration and we’ve even seen them threaten to send the sheriff out to arrest a business owner if they don’t pay (which they can’t do). Knowing how to negotiate with the collectors or just how far over the local collector’s head you need to go for them to see reason is the type of experience you will find in a Florida sales tax attorney. In charge of most of the collection work for the firm is James Sutton, Esq., who has the patients and background to help negotiate with the collectors for more favorable payment plans and quick resolutions. If you want to make sure you are getting the most favorable deal, need to negotiate for more time without crossing a line into harsher collection efforts, or need your bank account unfrozen to make payroll, then you want a Florida Sales Tax Attorney.


At the law office of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, PA, over 90% of our firm is dedicated to Florida sales and use tax controversy. Our firm is the epitome of the definition of a Florida Sales Tax Attorney. If you are facing a problem with Florida sales tax, then we offer free initial consultations to discuss your problems and potential solutions. Give our offices a call today so you can start sleeping better knowing you have a Florida sales tax attorney on your side.



RECEIVED FLORIDA SALES AND USE TAX AUDIT NOTICE – WHAT DO I DO?, published July 19, 2013, by Jerry Donnini, Esq.

FLORIDA SALES TAX – VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE PROGRAM, published April 9, 2018, by Jeanette Moffa, Esq.

FL SALES TAX CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION, published December 16, 2016, by Amanda Levine, Esq.


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