No announcement yet.

Sales Tax Penalties in Florida

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Sales Tax Penalties in Florida

    Maybe someone might be able to give me some advice. I have a client, a C corp (small restaurant) who has not paid sales tax for almost 2 years. Filed out the report each month but didn't send it in or pay any tax.
    The owner is an elderly lady whose husband ran the restaurant when he was alive. Then the children ran it. They did okay for several years but have been having problems for the last 8 years. She thinks they are paying things and then finds out they are not.
    She brought me a bag of papers last week. She has letters about 2 meetings with the state, first on unemployment compensation and the other on sales tax.
    Unemployment is not bad - first 2 quarters of 2005 have not been filed. But the sales tax is really bad.
    What is the procedure to ask for penalties to be waived or reduced? Does the state do this?
    There is a meetings for enrolled agents on Monday night. Maybe I should go and ask about this there. There might be someone to give me some help there.

    Sales Tax

    I had a new client come to me a couple of years ago that wasn’t aware of the sales tax requirement to collect sales tax in Minnesota for desktop publishing. Minnesota has all kinds of goofy sales tax requirements on services. She contacted the state and had someone work out a payment plan with her. It took a couple of years, but all back sales taxes were eventually paid.

    I think sometimes people just have to admit their mistakes and bite the bullet and come clean with back taxes like this. I don’t think she was overwhelmed with penalties and interest. There were some but it didn’t bankrupt her. I think you just need to contact the state and fill them in on the situation and work out a payment plan for the client. You kind of are at their mercy as far as if they want to abate penalties and interest.


      Sales tax penalties and interest

      Bees is pretty much right about the pen/int being at the state's discretion, but here's a long shot you might give a whirl if you're desperate.

      Several years ago I had a similar situation as yours. My client owed about $1,100 in pen/int and I had tried talking to various state (that's who waives the charges in Arkansas and I assume also in Florida) employees for a couple of months with no success. I knew a state representative (not the U.S. congressman) who lived in the area. Went to see him, pleaded my innocent client's case. He pulled out a book of unlisted phone numbers (politicians apparently have such things) and called some bigwig in Little Rock who, after being assured by the rep that client was not a crook, hand-wrote a memo to the state chief of sales tax across the collection letter which stated, to-wit, "Ed; abate this penalty (he faxed a copy of it to us)." That was the end of it. The bill disappeared and was never heard from again. Amazing what power those guys have--I was just astounded that it was so easy whereas my lengthy discussions and efforts had produced exactly nothing.

      I know it was a fluke since I ordinarily wouldn't have known such a VIP and you probably don't either, but I think I'd call the state rep in your district on the off-chance that he might could help you out.