Interstate Tax Strategies

Protection Against Rising Sales Tax Audit Defined

More and more States are running after businesses to conduct state tax audit. If left ignored, it can potentially harm businesses, big or small.

 

Atlanta, GA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/27/2014 -- Each State is in budget deficit. This causes increase in routine audits to fill the discrepancy with tax revenue. Tremendous hiring of Auditors was also observed across States. Idaho hired 48 auditors in 2012 while California plans to hire 100 auditors in the next three years.

Passing of laws to redefine nexus is likewise endless. A nexus in general means a connection. The term nexus is used in tax law to describe a situation in which a business has a "nexus" or presence in a state and is thus subject to state income taxes and to sales taxes for sales within that state. Nexus describes the amount and degree of business activity that must be present before a state can tax an entity's income. If a taxpayer has nexus in a particular state, the taxpayer must pay and collect or remit taxes in that state. However, jurisdiction regarding Nexus Tax varies per state and often changes over time.

State audits begin with red flags including physical presence, distributor in a State, remote employees, servicing tangible property trusts or partnerships that hold different kinds of assets. Without proper knowledge on these taxable resources, routine tax audit can cause a shattering $34,000 average penalty.

Hire a Tax preparer. This saves the company time and excess work. Tax preparer can be CPA's, attorney or enrolled agents with Preparer Tax Identification Number. To ensure eligibility of the tax preparer to do the job, check the background and professional affiliations.

Report all income. This is a fail-safe method as IRS uses information returns to double check income reporting. If all information matches, no audit will be done.

Provide complete information. Correct information should be supplied on all questions on the forms. This prevents errors that trigger automatic audit.

Pay attention to details. Use electronic filing and data entry instead of manual records. This ensures less or no errors that may lead to audit.

Keep an eye on State tax return. The IRS has information-sharing agreements with the states that gives information of companies that have additional tax payment or needs an audit. Keeping ahead of the audit can buy some time to prepare and seek assistance.

Common Sales Tax Non-compliance:

- Untaxed purchases from out-of-State vendors
- Withdrawal from resale inventory for own use
- Unsupported sales for resale
- Difference between recorded and reported taxable sales
- Reported Sales lower than expected sales based upon a markup on purchases
- Errors in compiling return
- Difference between tax accrued and tax paid
- Inadequate records resulted in unreported sales
- Unsupported sales in Interstate commerce delivered to Instate customer

All business owners are encouraged to educate themselves of sales tax law within their State. Having basic knowledge can safeguard businesses from non-compliance and lessen the risk of a state tax audit.

About Interstate Tax Strategies
Interstate Tax Strategies is a consulting company that assists clients by developing technically sound, business specific, and cost effective interstate sales tax audit defense consulting solutions.