There’s Still Time for Florida Taxpayers to ‘Right’ Their Tax ‘Wrongs’
Any taxpayer who fails to report the necessary state taxes at the time of filing can land themselves in a heap of financial trouble and, in some cases, criminal prosecution. For a business owner, one overlooked sales tax can be the difference between a routine tax filing and a financial nightmare for their business. However, these serious repercussions can be easily avoided through voluntary disclosure, a process that gives noncompliant taxpayers the opportunity to report previously unpaid or under-reported state tax liabilities. If you are a business owner or individual taxpayer who finds themselves in this potentially crippling circumstance, this article will provide information on a way to recover from your tax woes.
The Florida Department of Revenue has a Voluntary Disclosure Program which covers any state tax administered by the agency, such as:
- Sales and use tax(including discretionary sales surtaxes)
- Corporate income tax
- Insurance premium taxes, surcharges and fees
- Reemployment assistance (formerly Unemployment Compensation)
- Gross receipts tax
This program is available to any taxpayer with a state tax liability. Those with obvious delinquencies or deficiencies which would generate a billing despite self-disclosure are not eligible for this program. Any taxpayer who has previously contacted the Florida Department of Revenue in relation to the liability is also ineligible to register.
This program is of great benefit to any business owner and individual taxpayer wishing to avoid the costly penalties and criminal consequences associated with tax evasion. The Department of Revenue will look for tax discrepancies as far back as three years preceding the date of the voluntary request. Once tax and interest liabilities have been paid, the Department of Revenue will waive all penalties–the exception being for a tax that has been collected and not remitted, in which a five percent penalty will be imposed.
While tax information should always be closely reviewed for errors and missing information prior to filing, it is possible for certain taxes to be unintentionally overlooked. This program is a chance for taxpayers to ‘right’ their tax ‘wrongs’ and avoid tax audits and other legal consequences. From a business owner standpoint, there are various taxes such as real estate and reemployment assistance that should be taken into account when filing a state tax return. If these and other sales taxes are left out of your return, a tax attorney can assist with determining all eligible state taxes covered under the program, as well your business’ tax liabilities and sales tax issues. Applications for the Voluntary Disclosure Program must be submitted via written request, so it is advised that a tax attorney also be used to review the information requested by the Department of Revenue to prevent registration delay and ensure that all under/unreported taxes are being accounted for.
If you are facing a sales tax audit, contact Acosta Tax & Advisory, PA at 954-239-8365 to set up a free consultation with our in-house tax attorney (different locations available).
* This is not official legal or tax advice, please speak with a CPA or tax attorney to discuss your specific situation