Florida – Sales and Use Tax Audit Defense – With Former Agents Since 1982 + Affordable 1-866-1040
Use former Agents to defend your Sales Tax Audits, since 1982. We know the system.
Being former Florida sales and use tax auditors there are many misconceptions that the public has about sales and use tax audits.
You should know that the auditor does not know the extent of your liability if any until the Florida state auditor examines your records.
The auditor simply will only know information about your company from State of Florida internal records.
State of Florida – Sales and Use Tax Audit <><
The books and records that you provide the auditor will be the basis for any audit findings.
We can help with your defense in an audit by controlling the records that are released to the auditor.
If the Florida Department of revenue contacted your company about a pending Florida sales use tax audit or you have already received the Florida form DR 840 – Notice of Intent to Audit Books and Records.
We can be your defense to a large assessment for sales tax, interest and penalty.
ou can call us today to review your tax audit papers so we can let you know the scope of the audit and a way to conduct the audit that is most beneficial to your business.
Sales Tax Processes + The Audit Process used by Florida Sales and Use Tax
The auditor will conduct a preliminary preparation for the audit prior to the actual start of the audit.
The auditor will obtain information from:
• examination of sales tax records on file with the Department of revenue
• business structure and activities from websites
• profile the Florida Secretary of State corporate website
• review of prior audits and results
• review of possible issues from the Florida tax law library
• standard industrial guides
• research information available on the Internet
• review any information in the audit found which includes the reasons the audit was selected.
The Florida Sales tax auditor will also conduct an analysis your company which will include:
• taxable sales compared to exempt sales
• taxable sales percentage
• amount of assets owned by a business
• results of prior audits
• Florida sales per federal tax returns versus Florida sales tax returns
• method of business operation
• business industry
• credits and exemptions taken
• change in volume of Florida activity
• tax rates
• use tax accrued on past sales tax returns
As a former sales tax auditor this research and analysis provided the basis to prepare an industry-specific audit plan and pre-audit interview questions.
The “audit plan” or should I say the auditor’s plan of attack will be the auditor’s guide for picking low hanging fruit.
Depending on the industry the Florida Department of revenue has a specific audit plan for auditors to follow in order to capture any sales tax not paid or remitted.
In order to limit the tax exposure, our former auditor will conduct the entrance interview with the Florida state tax auditor.
The auditor will conduct the audit entrance interview with the sole purpose of learning about the business’s operation and establish a rapport with the contact person of the business.
In order to learn more about the business operations during this interview, the auditor may want to ask some typical questions such as:
• what is the main business activity.
• where are your customers located – any out-of-state customers, if so how do you account for the sales
• are there any other sources of income
• who completes the sales and use tax returns
• what control documents are available, such as chart of accounts, general ledger, sales journals, payable Journal, etc.
• are there federal returns and depreciation schedules available
• do you own or lease the business property
• if leased who’s the landlord
Analyzing financial data for audits
The auditor will want to begin the audit with an analysis of your financial data. The analysis may begin with a review of your chart accounts and your general ledger.
This enables the auditor to gain knowledge of your accounting system in your methodology for collecting and reporting tax.
Before any financial records are released to the auditor we will examine these records prior to releasing to the auditor to ensure a minimal tax exposure.
Auditing Techniques used by Florida Sales Tax, Department of Revenue
The auditor will select an audit technique which will enable the audit to be conducted amount of time.
The technique selected will be most representative of the business for the entire audit period. More than one technique may be required during the audit depending on the business activities and it may be appropriate to use different techniques on each activity.
The Detail Sales Tax Audit
A detail audit is the basic audit technique used for sales and use tax. This type of audit requires an examination of all the records for the area sales and use tax being examined.
Sampling Sales Audit Technique
Before sampling issues, the auditor must determine if the taxpayers records are adequate, but voluminous. Rule 12-3.0012(3), F.A.C., defines adequate the voluminous records. Adequate records are defined as, “books, accounts, and other records sufficient to permit a reliable determination of the tax deficiency or over payment.
Incomplete records can be determined to be adequate”.
Percent% of Error Audit Technique
As a former auditor the percentage of error method of projecting the sampling results has been proven to give the most reliable results and the most used by The Florida Department of Revenue.
The percentage of error method calculates tax based on the tax due in the sample period (not taxable amount).
It is well suited to projecting additional tax due on transactions in multiple counties that are entered into a single exhibit.
This is due to the fact that Florida is counties have many tax rates (when accounting surtax is added to the state sales tax rate) and most dealers transactions are affected by these sales tax rates.
It is not practical to stratify a dealer’s transaction by the many different rates and sample and project tax due by every rate.
Error Ratio Tax Audit Technique
The Error Ratio method is only used when the transactions entered into it are from a single County and that single County experienced a rate change during the audit period.
The Error ratio technique produces an approximation of the amount of tax not paid by the business.
This technique is based upon the assumption that the business makes errors at about the same frequency throughout the audit period.
Rate and Ratio Sales Tax Audit Technique
The rate and ratio technique is applicable in determining the amount of tax that has not been reported on sales.
This procedure is appropriate for use when auditing businesses with a high-volume and relatively low to moderately priced taxable or exempt sales (grocery/convenience stores, bars and restaurants) that do not have dependable sales records.
Rate (effective tax rate)
The bracket system, prescribed by Sections 212.12(9) and (10), F.S., used for computing the tax due on amounts less than one dollar, results in some cases in an effective tax rate in the process of or less than the basic rate.
One extreme is a taxable sale of $.10 with the tax of one cent the results in an effective tax rate of 10%. On the other hand, a sale of $1.09 results in an effective tax rate that is less than the basic rate. During the 6% tax.
A sale of $1.09 produces an effective rate of 5.5%. When the total taxable sales and told tax collections (the amounts that should have been collected) are considered, these extremes modify the basic tax collection rate.
The resulting tax rates are unique to that business because they are based on the businesses price structure and sales.
Ratio (taxable sales to total sales)
The ratio of taxable sales to total sales is usually easier to obtain than a tax collection rate. In the ideal situation for complete records are available, the taxable sales ratio can be obtained at the same time the tax collection rate is obtained.
After transactions are analyzed and recorded, the total taxable sales are divided by the total sales to obtain the taxable sales ratio.
In the absence of detailed records, the most popular technique in use is the extrapolation (create a new information from known information) of sales from the purchase records. This technique does not produce irrefutable figures and if used by the auditor can be subject to scrutiny.
Florida Sales Tax Audit Method – “Averaging”Sales Tax audit Method – “Averaging”
This method is an audit technique that works well in an audit period where there is the absence of sufficient records. When the averaging technique is used, a period is selected in which all the necessary records are available.
The records for the period are then examined in detail.
This detailed information is reviewed for errors. The total errors or tax collected on the heirs is that averaged.
The averaged amount is then scheduled over the period in which there were insufficient records.
Sales Tax Audit Methods – Stratified Statistical Sampling
Stratified statistical sampling has been used by the Florida Department of revenue since July 2001, for businesses with adequate electronic records.
Items in the population are classified into separate subgroups or strata based on one or more important characteristics, such as a dollar value.
A sample is randomly selected and audited. Common practice.
The sample results are then projected over the applicable period with precision calculated.
Non-Statistical Sampling Audit Technique
Historically, The Florida Department of Revenue has used judge mental block sampling was stratified statistical sampling could not be performed.
Non-statistical sampling utilizes random sampling to remove the auditor and the business bias from the sampling selection process.
The sample selection process is determined by the form of the taxpayer records and how those records are physically stored.
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