Sales Tax: A topic that affects many, but few understand
It’s 4 a.m. and Carlos is still rolling around in bed unable to sleep. This is because hours ago he received a surprise visit at his restaurant by two agents of the Florida Department of Revenue, notifying him of the commencement of a thorough investigation of his business, and of him as the owner.
Without warning, many letters of debt notifications accumulated at a desk. Those two agents took away the tranquility of this man with intimidating words that scared him seeing that apparently he will end up paying incredible amounts of money.
For five years Carlos Perez has been providing the Latin American community in Miami one of the most exquisite Colombian menus in the city. He affirms that “this restaurant has never failed to pay a single tax dollar.” But it is very common to find these cases in which apparently all financial and tax reports of the company are in order, but they end up been audited regardless.
A primary responsibility for you as a business owner in the State of Florida, is to know what your obligations as a taxpayer are. First of all, find out if the products and or services of your business are subject to Florida Sales Tax. If this area is not quite attractive to you like many other people, I recommend you look for an accountant who can advise and explain your tax duties in a more pleasant way.
Remember that in our state of Florida the law provides that each sale, admission charge, storage or rental is taxable unless specifically exempted from tax. In other words, this tax is specifically attributed to whom the law determines, a matter that few handle well.
Carlos was scheduled an appointment within the next two days, in which he had to expose all its accounting records and sales invoices over the last 3 years so he can defend himself and clarify the financial allegations the agents declared against him. Mr. Perez was accused of paying an incorrect amount of sales tax to the State; unfortunately he paid this amount based on what a fellow colleague reported.
Legally, the general rate of sales tax is 6% (depending on the county), which is added to the price of goods or services at the time of sale, therefore is collected from the end user. However, there are many people taking advantage of this certificate to avoid taxes when purchasing goods or services as end user. There is a wrong hypothesis about this being legal; avoiding sales tax is a crime that subsequently brings harmful consequences of penalties and heavy fines by the State.
Usually most people do not know the cause of this process; do not know how to react, or what their rights are. Carlos found that there is no need to face this situation alone, hence the assistance of an authorized representative was of great help guiding him in the process with the requirements and rights of the taxpayer and allowed him to cope with the required documents.
Do not let frustration fill you with hopelessness on a Sales Tax audit with the Florida Department of Revenue, our accounting team has experience in transparent representations of all types of audits for the sole purpose aimed to your benefit.