To deal with budget shortfalls, state governments revenue agencies continue stepping up their efforts in raising revenue through sales tax audits.
You never ask for it, but you have been selected for and will be notified of a sales tax audit. At that point in time you may get confused – What should you do and what you should not? Most companies are not regularly audited by the state for sales and use tax purposes, so it is unlikely you have previously handled an audit. While the requested lists of records and documents that will be reviewed appear straightforward, there is much more to handling a sales tax audit. There are a lot of potential pitfalls during the interaction with auditors that may occur as you address the questions they typically ask.
Here are a few tips to Manage Your Sales and Use Tax Audit from IRS Audit Group Newport Beach. The best practices as listed below need to be considered in such situation.
Hire an external representative tax expert. IRS Audit Group Newport Beach has a pool of experts specializing in State Sales Tax matter. Once you are identified for audit, it is better to initiate communication with experts. They can discuss the audit process with you, provide some background on various sampling methods, and provide insights on specific industry issues targeted by the state. Also, make them aware of the initial schedules vs. revised schedules.
Ask your tax expert from if it is appropriate to perform a refund study or reverse audit at the same time to identify potential opportunities for refunds. IRS Audit Group Newport Beach can provide immediate solutions to such questions.
Do not engage in contingent fee arrangements on questioned items by the auditor unless you have already made the first pass. Otherwise, you may be paying them on reductions for errors made by the auditor or obvious exempt transactions.
If sales state tax auditors are doing a refund study/reverse audit, their fee should not be based on savings in periods outside the audit period. Their fee should always be based on offsets actually granted by the state. Payment should be made at the end of the audit, or a provision should be included to reverse any offsets not allowed.
A sales tax audit is not an ordinary occurrence. Therefore, you need to invest the proper efforts internally or with external assistance from experts like IRS Audit Group Newport Beach.
Lastly, be ready to play defence. Do not assume all questioned sales and purchases are taxable. Familiarize yourself with the regulations of your state with the help of expert advice from IRS Audit Group Newport Beach. Once you are convinced that questioned item should not be assessed, go ahead and challenge it. Also, understand any sampling techniques employed by the auditor, and be sure samples used are representative of your operations. If you have not experienced a sales tax audit before, and unfamiliar with your state’s regulations, or you have identified significant problem areas in your self-review, you may want to consider engaging a tax advisor to assist in your defence.
IRS Audit Group Newport Beach professionals are knowledgeable and experienced in assisting companies undergoing state sales and use tax audits as well as conducting overpayment reviews. Let IRS Audit Group Newport Beach help you navigate the audit landscape.