Multi State Sales Tax Assistance

Who are you going to call when you have a multi-sales tax problem?
Call (805) 482-1715 Mission Oaks Tax and Accounting

 

Welcome to Mission Oaks Tax and Accounting Sales Tax Resolution Division. Your complete sales tax and use tax resource, when ethics and integrity and results count

The team at Mission Oaks Tax and Accounting has represented clients, ranging from sole proprietors to  multinational corporations, that is subject to sales or use tax. Whether you’re looking for sales tax expert, experienced advisor to help with a Board of Equalization (BOE) sales tax audit (or any other state), sales tax audit defense and appeals, claims for refund or reverse audits, or sales tax compliance and exposure analysis, our sales tax specialists will provide the expertise you need.

Should we conclude that we will be unable to save you money on your multi-state-sales tax, we won’t take your case.

Our sales tax consultants are well qualified and have hands on experience with state sales and use tax audits. With Mission Oaks Tax and Accounting as your go-to sales tax expert by your side, you possess an asymmetric advantage when dealing with sales and use tax agencies such as the BOE. Regardless, whether your business only has few sales tax questions regarding BOE or other tax agency sales tax audit selection, or whether a sales tax assessment already been assessed or whether you are seeking sales tax audit appeal representation, is seeking a sales tax refund or a use tax refund, Mission Oaks Tax and accounting can help you. Our sales tax experts can offer timely sales tax advice to businesses operating in every applicable state in the United States

Our Mission at Mission Oaks Tax & Accounting is to be the Best at What we do!

Sales and use tax laws are often confusing. Lack of awareness to sales tax law changes is not a valid excuse. Should you fail to comply with the sales and use tax rules it can lead to tax assessments, interest and penalties. The corporate officers and owners can be held liable for violations and the resultant penalties

Whether done intentionally, willfully or not, sales tax under-reporting, can result in penalties and could lead to a referral for a criminal investigation by your local sales tax enforcement agency. As a consequence, when a sales audit commences, the sales tax auditor is looking to assess your business with the largest sales tax assessment that is legally sustainable.

Our sole mission at Mission Oaks Tax & accounting is to help businesses, accountants, attorneys, and their clients understand and comply with the pertinent sales tax and use tax laws. When there is a sales tax problem, we work with you to swiftly resolve any sales and use tax issue that might cause you grief. Our primary focus is to minimize the amount of sales tax assessment that you may owe and to vigorously defend your tax position.

Multi-State Sales Tax Enforcement

Because each state in the United States is permitted to formulate its own unique set of sales and use tax laws. These laws continuously evolve and are modified to enforced to catch any business entity attempt to skirt the enforcement of sales tax laws. With the advent of the internet, there has been a paradigm shift. Companies can reach out to citizens of another state and take advantage of the benefits of the other state while legally skirting payment of local sales taxes. People are buying products online so that they can skirt their own states sales tax laws. However there is chaos in the current market because, some states have imposed tax on one kind of item that is for sale, while other states have ruled that the same sale is tax exempt, while yet another state has rules that other states may partially exempt the sale based upon how the customer is going to use the item being sold. Therefore, just how is a business in today’s internet age supposed to determine how much and to who should he charge sales tax to and who he shouldn’t?

 

Hence Mission Oaks Tax & Accounting works closely with you to gain a thorough understanding of your streams of sales and the spectrum of your product lines that you are presently buying and selling.

We possess the subject matter expertise to research and develop the correct sales and use tax treatment of each transaction at issue. We research which specific states possess beneficial sales tax rules that are in the best interests of your company and which states are most likely to burden you with sales taxes and use taxes upon your products. Furthermore, in addition, we will conduct a thorough research and analysis by utilizing our experience to assist you structure a transaction, so that you can best take advantage of the opportunity presented to minimize or possibly completely eliminate any unnecessary sales tax and use taxes that you incur as a result of sales derived from other states.

Voluntary Disclosure Agreement

Usually it has been observed that most sales tax errors do not occur intentionally. Some sales tax errors usually occur as  result of a fundamental misinterpretation of the law while other errors might result from ignorance about the application of sales tax laws to transactions at issue. Furthermore, there may be instances where sales tax errors might have been committed with premeditation and deliberation. Most states have implemented a system where a business entity can correct an error and avoid monetary damages and criminal penalties. States may also waive the amount of interest accrued. However, the law requires a business to file corrected sales tax returns and pay any sales tax legally owed by the business.

However, a business entity cannot just mail corrected returns to the state and in the misguided hope to get the sales tax penalties and interest waived. In order for sale tax penalties to be waived you must navigate a thorough yet complicated process which requires that you first and foremost obtain prior approval from the state; in the form of a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) from the State. However, the specific terms and conditions of a voluntary disclosure agreement could invariably differ from state to state. When there is proof of such confusion or ambiguity, Mission Oaks Tax and Accounting negotiates the best Voluntary Disclosure Agreement(VDA) on your behalf should you like us to do so.

Additionally, we research possible ways to minimize the “look-back” period àreferring to the period which needs to be corrected. And will also invest the effort to attempt to get you the longest payment period possible for any monies due that is in your best interest  and in the best interest of your company. Furthermore, in most states we can negotiate your Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA), while you remain shielded from the usual scrutiny. When deployed anonymously in such a manner, you are able to be in control of your decisions. For example, you have the prerogative to choose to decline the state’s offer in the event should you choose not to accept the states offer.

Sales Tax Installment Payment Plans (IPA)

Should you owe the government for unpaid sales taxes, there is the possibility to implement a payment plan with the State entity. Such payment plans are commonly referred to as Installment Payment Agreements (IPAs.) However, the State government entity is likely to require a wide range financial disclosure about personal finances as well as business finances prior to any agreement being formulated. Furthermore, in addition, to a wide range of financial disclosures, the State government entity is most likely to file a tax lien against your personal property as well as a lien against your business

At your direction, Mission Oaks Tax and Accounting can assist you in streamlining the necessary paperwork required, assist you with mandatory disclosures that are required to setup and implement an Installment Payment Agreement. Furthermore, based on our subject matter expertise, we will document and develop a case justifying as to why the State government entity should give you the longest payment plan permitted by the law.

Mission Oaks Tax and Accounting has been successful in process of negotiating installment payment agreements with the states that do not require the filing of a tax lien against the responsible persons. Such a step can be pivotal to the preservation of your credit score and maintain your business standing. In addition, we can assist you focus on corporate payments, to ensure that your payment are applied solely toward the portion of a sales tax assessment that as it is deemed  a personal liability.

Nexus: Amazon ruling New York

Nexus is defined as the minimum connection or presence in a taxing jurisdiction that gives rise to a tax liability or a duty for the collection proper reporting of taxes owed by the business. There has been no general requirement or rule of law that legally mandates a particular business to collect sales on behalf of a state unless the business possesses nexus in that particular state. Conducting business in a state is considered driving benefits from the tax laws of the Sate. Such an action creates a nexus with the state at issue.

However historically, nexus requires an actual physical presence in a state such as highlighted in International Shoe Co. v. Washington. Where a business possesses physical property (such as inventory or samples) in a particular state, employs sales staff in the state, or possesses representatives operating on the company’s behalf within the State.

However, based on case law New York was the first to rule that nexus can be created when an online retailer has a commission-based referral agreement with a resident within the state who is an “affiliate.” Signed up by the online retailer. One such example could be when an out of state business with no physical connection with the State agrees and does place a banner ad on an in-state business’s website. And the out of state business agrees to pay a commission to the in-state business each and every time anyone clicks on the banner ad and which entailed a sales of products. As a result of the sale over the internet in occurred in the State, Nexus has now been created. In New York, this has become known as the “Amazon Rule” or affiliate nexus.
Several states have followed New York’s decision. We know the nexus rules and the various cases that apply to this theory. Furthermore, we can review your entire operations to determine whether or not you have nexus in various jurisdictions. Additionally, we can also help resolve any potential sales and use tax liability in other jurisdictions at issue.

Bureau of Conciliation Issues – The question is whether a sales tax auditor is the final authority as to whether your business owes a sales tax debt to the government?

A sales tax auditor is not the final authority as to whether your business owes a sales tax debt to the government. Numerous safeguards have been implemented to ensure prevention of abuse of the law that governs sales taxes.

The safe guards have been built into the system to help ensure that an erroneous sales tax assessment is cancelled. However, in order for the state to uphold your rights, you are required to file a timely appeal in writing with the appropriate state agency.

Like many states, the State of New York has implemented an arbitration process designed to assist businesses avoid the time and costs associated with litigating of sales tax compliance in tax court. A separate unit has been setup by the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance. It is called the Bureau of Conciliation and Mediation Services (BCMS). BCMS’s responsibility is to serve as a mediator between a businesses and the tax department’s audit division to resolve any tax disputes, without the need for any of the parties involved in to have to go to tax court. The hearing officer’s decision at a BCMS hearing is legally binding on the tax department; however, you have the right to appeal the decision in tax court. Mission Oaks Tax and Accounting can execute a thoroughly formulated and a well crafted audit defense and defend your case. This helps insure that you and your business prevail at a BCMS hearing and that your sales and use tax assessment is reduced or eliminated.

We can represent you in your sales tax resolution case in California and for that matter other jurisdictions as needed.

Filings of Bulk Sales Tax

In some states, by bypassing a timely Bulk Sale Filing, the purchaser of a business becomes liable for the seller’s sales tax liabilities. Even though a seller indemnifies you, the state possesses the right to assess sales tax penalties on the Buyer

Sale tax liabilities often transfer between companies during acquisitions and mergers. Most states deploy a “Bulk Sale Filing” requirement in place. A Bulk Sale Filing enables the acquiring business to receive a tax clearance certificate directly from the state. Such as clearance protects the purchaser by holding him harmless for any of the seller’s prior sales tax issues and provides a shield from potential problems that could burden a potential buyer.

Mission Oaks Tax and Accounting works closely with your business to ensure that you are properly protected from the seller’s sales tax liabilities. In addition, we can make recommendations on how to properly structure a transaction to minimize the sales and use taxes due on the assets being acquired.


Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP)

SSTP is an initiative spearheaded by approximately twenty (20) states to simplify and unify their sales tax laws. The SSTP’s goal is that by having one uniform sales tax system in place, many more businesses will comply with the sales tax law and register to collect tax in the state, regardless of whether or not that business has in that state. Furthermore, the laws governing this program are in a constant state of flux – they change. Mission Oaks Tax and Accounting regularly tracks these changes and informs our SSTP clients of relevant information.

Reverse Audit

No one ever wants to pay more than their fair share of sales taxes. However, sellers can be held liable for sales tax, interest and penalties. With a solid understanding of your business and how you are plan to utilize the items you are purchasing, we can provide timely advise to you about what transactions you should pay tax on, and perhaps more importantly what transactions you should NOT pay tax on. We can perform a “reverse audit” on your books regardless whether they are in QuickBooks or Xero and trace transactions and purchases that you may have erroneously been charged tax for.
Furthermore, we can prepare the proper claims to obtain refund of wrongly paid sales taxes. We can file your sales tax claim directly with the State or supplier . We can further work with your supplier, providing them with the proper documentation in order to ensure that your supplier doesn’t charge you sales tax on any future transactions. Last but not the least, we provide a letter documenting the results of our sales and use tax reverse audit, because it can potentially help avoid any future overpayments of tax to your any of your suppliers.

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Just how in the world was my business selected for a sales tax audit?

The Department of Taxation that you are facing the Audit from generally uses a methodical approach in their degermation of which businesses possesses a high likelihood  for the underpayment of sales tax. While other times, a sales audit is random, it is just “the luck of the draw” to be chosen. In either case, a sales tax audit is just another challenge that businesses face. If you are prepared, organized and have a proven system to organize and retrieve your sales tax documents such as receipts, sales transactions, there should be nothing to fear than fear itself. However not everyone has a penchant for being organized.

 

What do I do when a State’s Sales Tax Auditor calls? How do they notify company?

Sales tax auditors usually notify you by phone or mail. When they do contact you, it is important to keep your nervousness in check. Furthermore, there is no room for rudeness towards the auditor. Be polite yet firm. Use your common sense: Do not volunteer any more information than needed however, one must be fully prepared to provide answers to their queries. Have all of your important documentation pertaining to sales tax available on hand for the sales tax auditor’s review.

 

Would I require professional representation for a sales tax audit?

That is your judgement call. While it may not be necessary to have professional representation, it behooves to have an experienced sales tax expert on hand during such sales tax audits, just in case. Although you are always able as a last resort to represent yourself in a sales tax audit, however, when the probability of experiencing a sales tax is probably one or two sales tax audits in one’s lifetime, hence, it is wise move to get proper sales tax advice from a seasoned sales tax professional. Should you desire the sales tax auditor to discuss your audit with your expert, you are required to provide a signed power of attorney that authorizes your hired sales tax professional to represent you. However, please beware of individuals claiming to be sales tax experts when they are not. The field of Sales tax auditing possesses  complexity from the many technicalities that need to be observed in properly managing a sales tax audit, and it is questionable whether someone is an expert at sale tax representation unless they have hands on experience with sales tax audits.

How long should a typical sales tax audit last? Will the sales tax auditor's conduct the audit at my place of business?

No two audits are made exactly the same. Therefore, the duration of the sales tax audit could even last approximately six to eight months or take just  a week. It all depends. Usually the sales tax auditor may stop by your place of business, however it is wiser to have the audit conducted at the sales tax professional’s office. This helps to avoid the sales tax auditor poking around or snooping around your business.

After the completion of the sales tax audit, what do I do to apply for a sales tax refund?

Depending on your State, you would probably have up to two years after the date of overpayment to claim your refund or three years after the filing of a sales tax return to apply for a sales tax refund  

What is a sales tax exemption certificate? When should it to be updated?

Sales tax exemption form are generally provided by your clients for several different reasons including but not limited to the resale of goods, manufacturing of goods, tax exempt status and so on.

How would the interest rate on delinquent sales tax be determined on the sales taxes that I owe?

The rate of tax is set by state statute. If you are selling products via Amazon to multiple states, you should be aware that some states such as New  York , generally assess about 15% of the outstanding sales tax owed. However, penalties may be imposed in addition to interest being charged on delinquent payment of prior sales tax owed to the state. Usually, the interest is computed from the date when the sales tax is due until the postmark date of the sales tax payment (however, in some cases, the date printed on the sales tax receipt by the government will hold precedence.

What is random sampling, and when do sales tax auditors utilize such an approach?

Audit sampling reduces the time to complete a sales tax audit by taking an interval of time and applying it to the entire sales tax audit period. Random sampling could benefit both the Department of Taxation  and the business as it reduces both the time and effort needed in retrieving documents for sales tax audit purposes.

How long should I keep my records for sales tax auditing purposes?

With scanning technology your sales tax records can be stored for as long as you need to . However, generally sales tax records are usually kept for a minimum of four years and when possible, it may be advisable to keeping records for seven years.

What are the payment options for sales, use, or corporate tax audit liabilities?

Should you and the auditor reach a tacit agreement on the amount of sales tax owed and we based it on the inference that you have the ability to immediately pay the amount owed, it is advisable to make a check payable to the Department of Taxation. Should you agree to the amount of sales tax owed, however, you are experiencing financial hardship, it may be possible to request an installment payment agreement (“IPA”). Furthermore, during an audit, the sales tax auditor might also issue a personal assessment against the corporate officers for the business entity’s sales tax liability. Should you dispute the auditor's assessment in regards to the amount of sales tax owed, or any interest and/or penalties that you are being assessed, you might decide to pay the sales tax audit under protest or not to pay at all. However, time is of the essence: you have a very limited amount of time to appeal the sales tax assessment or file a sales tax refund claim.

Call (805) 482-1715 or email us at: client.care@missionoakstax.com

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