You won’t believe this story. For fifteen years, we have always resolved sales tax audits without having to go to Court. About five years ago, during a sales tax audit of a veterinarian, a Florida sales tax auditor kept coming back for more requested documents after he told us the audit was concluded. He said that his supervisor wouldn’t accept a “no change” audit and that there had to be unpaid sales tax at the veterinarian’s office because “no one was perfect”!
We called for a meeting with the head of the sales tax office the following week. At our office we asked him “why the change in aggressiveness of the sales tax office?” and he politely replied….”I have my marching orders”. To summarize, it appeared that the State of Florida had a revenue shortfall and were expecting the Department of Revenue to make up the shortfall. This means that auditors wno longer review records to make sure you are in compliance, but rather, the auditors are told not to come back until they find something because a “no change” audit goes against their record as an employee.
If you ever receive Form DR-840 from the Florida Department of Revenue called the Notice of Intent to Audit Books and Records, please give us a call. The Department will deal with us much differently than they will deal with you.
We receive a lot of panicked phone calls stating that a Florida Sales Tax Officer just visited and stated that the Officer said “if my back sales tax was not paid within ten days he was going to issue a Warrant against me”. At this point, the client thinks they are going to jail unless they pay. We assure them that what the Revenue Officer was referring to was a “Tax Warrant”, which is the same as a Tax Lien with the IRS. It simply means that you can’t sell your business without paying the State first. The Officer knows what he is doing by using the word “warrant” instead of the words “tax warrant”. You are a business owner, you create jobs and the taxes that pay for this State’s services. You deserve to be treated better.
As Certified Public Accountants, we understand the tax laws of when sales tax applies to certain transactions and when sales tax does not apply to certain transactions. If we do not agree with the Department’s assessment, our Attorney will be able to File a Petition with the State to let a Judge decide the matter on the basis or fairness and equity.