Nationwide Sales Tax Consulting
Guidance for Your Sales Tax Case
The right sales tax consultant professionals in your state can point out opportunities for tax savings, reduce future audit exposure, and get back sales tax you shouldn’t have paid.
As a business owner, planning can be critical in the management of state and local taxes. Failure to diligently manage, comply, and plan for state taxes can result in harsh back taxes out of your pocket, along with penalties and interest.
Business transactions, whether routine (e.g. a standard sale to a customer) or infrequent (e.g. purchasing new business facilities) can be structured to save a significant amount of taxes. All it takes is taking the time to plan ahead with the right professionals on your team.
Specific business transactions can also be riddled with tax minefields or present tax savings opportunities. Most states have specific rules for purchases of aircraft, art, and motor vehicles. Proper structuring can result in huge state and local tax savings. Many states also have broad manufacturing-related exemptions.
If your business has made large purchases of machines, or repairs of those machines, it is important to avoid state and local taxes or seek refunds for taxes paid. As sales tax is often an afterthought — it is often wise to have a sales tax professional on your team before the transaction happens.
A sales and use tax professional from Sales Tax Helper LLC can consult with you on correct tax procedures to make sure you pay as little sales tax as possible and recoup sales tax you should not have paid. Further, our firm can also help you in the calculation and record keeping of your taxes, but can also assist you in legally reducing your tax liability. Your company goals are important, and, with our services, we strive to help you meet them in the most tax-effective method possible.
Q:What triggers a sales tax audit?
A:You inadvertently waived a red flag or your company landed in the small percentage selected for a random sales tax audit. These red flags include: Cash-based businesses, prior audits that resulted in owed sales tax, your sales reported to the state didn’t match what you reported to the IRS, a high volume of exempt sales, filing a refund claim, or a high number of credits. There’s also a possibility that your business happens to be in an industry that your state suspects rampant under-reporting. Often times, they will target industries effected by complex sales tax laws.
Q:How do I prepare for a sales tax audit?
A:1. RESPOND to the notice; 2. Get organized; 3. Identify/hire your audit manager; 4. Notify your auditor of who they will be corresponding with; 5. Compare your sales tax returns against the federal tax return; 6. Test at least 1 month of exempt sales; 7. Reconcile your sales tax payable account versus your sales tax payments; 8. Review your fixed assets purchased — did you pay sales tax on them?; 9. Review your purchases on your key expense accounts to ensure tax was paid on your purchases.
Q:How long do sales tax audits last?
A:Audit duration can vary dramatically from state to state and from business to business. Waiver issues aside, an audit generally takes 3-7 months to complete. Surprisingly, some audits can drag on for a few years. Time factors usually swing on the size of the company, the ability to produce reliable and organized documentation, and the level of sophistication of the business.
Q:Can I do this myself or should I hire a sales tax lawyer or a sales tax consultant?
A:We all enjoy the occasional DIY project, especially when it saves us money. Before opting to go that route, consider the risk vs. rewards involved. Avalara recently conducted a study and found that the average sales tax audit costs around $115,000. When facing a sales tax audit, it is beneficial to have someone with knowledge of the financial implications on your side. That is where sales tax professionals, such as those at Sales Tax Helper LLC, can save you a lot of heartache and money by avoiding a few missteps.
Q:What accounting software and services do you work with?
A:TaxJar, Vertex O Series, Avalara, Vertex Cloud, Quickbooks, Proconnect Tax Online, Canopy, ONESOURCE, Sovo Intelligent Compliance Cloud, Intuit Lacerte, CCH SureTax, SS&C Advent Axys, Vertex Payroll Tax Q Series, Bloomberg Tax Advantage, VATBox, CSC Corptax Compliant, Oracle Tax Reporting Cloud, TaxCloud, Fast Enterprises, GenTax, Fast Enterprises FastUI, SAP Tax Compliance, Taxify, and ESKORT Compliance Solution.