1 min read

Surviving a Sales Tax Audit

By Brian Greer on Mon, Jul 10, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

For small to medium-sized businesses with fewer resources and smaller teams a sales tax audit can be a major distraction to their normal operations.  Audits can be extremely time-consuming.  The list of tasks is seemingly endless – pulling records, answering questions from the auditor, and potentially negotiating the outcome of the audit.  All of the above is time-consuming and potentially risky.  So what is the best way for you to manage a sales tax audit?  Here are a few things you can do. 

Topics: sales tax audits
1 min read

Frustrated with Your Sales Tax Audit?

By Brian Greer on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 @ 11:23 AM

Sales Tax Audit Assessments - How to Avoid An Uphill Battle

Recently, I’ve had several discussions with companies about a sales tax audit assessment they’ve received.  They come to me in an attempt to negotiate a settlement with the state.  The problem is that they were clearly at fault and are now struggling with the reality of paying the back taxes, penalties, and interest. 

There’s typically not much I can do in this situation unless they are willing to pursue an offer in compromise which requires the tax payer to share their financial details with the state…essentially proving that the full payment of the assessment will put them out of business.  The angle is that the state is better off accepting some percentage of payment on the initial assessment while keeping the company in business long-term…ideally yielding a bigger financial gain long-term.

Voluntary Disclosure Agreements White Paper

Topics: sales tax sales tax audits
2 min read

Top Tips to Avoid Sales Tax Audit Assessments

By Brian Greer on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

Sometimes a sales tax audit is unavoidable.  Perhaps an auditor has audited one of your customers and discovered one of your invoices without sales tax applied.  Maybe you’re unlucky and you were selected in the audit lottery.  Perhaps a disgruntled employee blew the whistle on you.

Topics: sales tax audits
2 min read

What Triggers a Sales Tax Audit?

By Brian Greer on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 @ 11:38 AM

A sales tax audit can be your worst nightmare as a business owner or operator. Even in the best case scenario, you’ll lose incredible amounts of productivity cooperating with state authorities who have an unbelievably frustrating eye for detail.  In the worst case scenario, you’ll end up with a huge bill you weren’t expecting.
Topics: sales tax sales tax audits
3 min read

I Owe More Sales Tax? The Reality of Double Taxation

By Jeff Meigs on Tue, Mar 08, 2016 @ 03:03 PM

An oldie but goodie, worth a re-run (originally posted Sept. 13, 2013)...

In recent weeks I’ve talked with at least three companies who sell to end-user/consumers who have told me that they don’t have an  sales and use tax risk because they pay sales tax to their vendors – while they failed to charge sales tax to their customers.  They are comforted by the fact that “the state got their tax revenue and therefore shouldn’t come knocking for more”. 

When I tell them that they still have a sales or use tax liability, they are surprised.  When I tell them they may not get ANY credit for the tax they paid to their vendors, they get irate –

“What do you mean I still owe the tax – that’s double taxation!”

Sales tax is imposed on the sale at retail of tangible personal property.  Therefore, sales tax generally doesn’t apply to wholesale transactions – as long as the appropriate exemption/resale documentation is executed.  When a reseller fails to provide the appropriate exemption documents to its vendor, the vendor is required to charge sales tax to the reseller.  Subsequently, when that reseller sells to the end-user/consumer, there is a sales tax due on that retail sales price. 

Topics: sales tax nexus sales tax sales tax audits
2 min read

No Sales Tax Notices…No Worries... RIGHT?

By Noelle Ard on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

Notices…A word that has such an ugly connotation to those of us in the compliance industry. While notices at TaxConnex have never been an issue of concern, the fact that jurisdictions are changing the way they communicate could indicate your recent lull in notice activity is giving you a false sense of security.

Topics: sales tax audits sales tax filing
2 min read

Identifying Sales Tax Risk with a Few Simple Questions

By Robert Dumas on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 @ 01:56 PM

My daughter and future son-in-law are both CPAs working for a local CPA firm. They work in audit, not tax, but we often talk ‘shop’ at family dinners. (Needless to say, my wife and other daughter do not enjoy our ‘CPA talk’ at dinner.)  

Topics: sales tax audits
2 min read

Triggering a Sales Tax Audit

By Brian Greer on Tue, Oct 20, 2015 @ 10:22 AM


We’re often asked what triggers a sales tax audit.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for avoiding a sales tax audit. Here are a few things we’ve seen over the years that sometimes precede a sales tax audit:

Topics: sales tax sales tax audits
2 min read

The Reality of Double Taxation

By Jeff Meigs on Thu, Oct 01, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

I frequently talk with companies who sell to end-user/consumers who have told me that they don’t have any sales and use tax risk because they pay sales tax to their vendors – while they failed to charge sales tax to their customers.  They are comforted by the fact that “the state got their tax revenue and therefore shouldn’t come knocking for more”.  When I tell them that they still have a sales or use tax liability, they are surprised.  When I tell them they may not get ANY credit for the tax they paid to their vendors, they get irate – “What do you mean I still owe the tax – that’s double taxation!”

Topics: sales tax nexus sales tax sales tax audits
1 min read

Sales Tax Bites

By Brian Greer on Tue, Aug 11, 2015 @ 10:39 AM

Looking back on last week, I talked with several companies that were overwhelmed with how to address their sales tax compliance obligations. In each situation, the company was out of compliance in multiple states. The myriad of nexus issues, taxability issues, customer exemptions, registration requirements, how to get tax on their invoices, etc. had brought them to a spot where they knew they needed to do something … but they didn’t know where to begin.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax sales tax audits
2 min read

Helping CPA Firms Identify Sales and Use Tax Risks

By Robert Dumas on Tue, Aug 04, 2015 @ 11:30 AM

In my last blog, I discussed the opportunity CPA firms have to use sales and use tax issues as a way to add value to their clients and further cement the relationships and related revenue stream. As promised, this blog provides the following action items for identifying sales and use tax risk with your client:

Topics: sales tax sales tax audits CPA
1 min read

Helping CPA Firms Secure Their Relationship Through Sales Tax Services

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Jul 16, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

Throughout my career, I have worked in and with CPA firms of all sizes. For the most part, they all have similar business models that are heavily dependent on their client relationships. The CPA firms and the individual CPA’s within the firms need to continually prove their value in the relationship by exceeding client expectations, which guarantees the relationship and related revenue remain secure. One of the ways a CPA can exceed expectations is by offering solutions to unidentified client risks and problems.

Topics: sales tax sales tax audits CPA
3 min read

Ever Wonder How a Business is Selected for a Sales Tax Audit?

By Brian Greer on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 @ 12:28 PM

I am frequently asked how a business is selected for a sales tax audit. I generally say it could be the result of an audit of one of the business’s clients where the auditor sees no sales tax on an invoice. Or it could be related to a particular industry that is being targeted. Or perhaps an unlucky winner of the “audit lottery”. Here’s a unique situation that I stumbled across when reviewing the taxability of telecommunications services in Illinois for a client.

Topics: sales tax audits
3 min read

Three Additional Sales Tax Compliance Factors That Can Cost You Big

By Carol McIlvaine on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 @ 10:05 AM

money_bagMy last blog discussed why the most costly sales and use tax compliance errors are timely filing of returns and payments, and knowing your requirements to file or pay electronically. There are three additional sales tax compliance factors that can cost you big as well --- changes in your filing frequency, new prepayment requirements, and timely response to notices. As your business changes, so can your sales and use tax compliance requirements.  Whether it is from growth, acquisition, adding a new product line or no longer selling a certain product line, these business changes can all lead to a change in your filing frequency and prepayment requirements.

Topics: sales tax sales tax audits sales tax filing
1 min read

How to Avoid Putting Yourself at Risk of Sales Tax Compliance Disruptions

By Anne Birkmann on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 @ 01:25 PM

Document, document, document!  The best way to manage risk associated with potential disruptions (turnover, personnel changing roles, or acquisitions) within your sales tax department is to maintain thorough documentation of your department’s compliance processes.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax sales tax audits
3 min read

Sales Tax Outsourcing - How Much Does Poor Customer Service Cost?

By Brian Greer on Mon, May 04, 2015 @ 11:56 AM

Customer service is often cited to differentiate one company from another. I’ve always struggled with how to relay the true value of customer service. I would consider it a “soft” differentiator in that it’s fairly objective and difficult to quantify. Delivery times would be a “hard” differentiator when expressed as a number of minutes/hours. “Our delivery time is 24 hours from the time you place an order”, is easily measured. How do you measure “customer service”? It’s best to break this down into some “hard” components that can actually be quantified.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax audits