The tax audit process in Florida can be a harrowing one. Often times, after the audit is done, you just pay what you owe and move on. But there are times when you might not be satisfied with the results of the tax audit. The tax auditor may be pressurizing you to pay right away and you may be struggling because you either believe you don’t owe money or you may not be able to afford to pay off the tax debt.
Paying this money might mean using your home, business or other assets you worked very hard to acquire. It is important to note that a majority of tax audit results can be challenged. It might be something as simple as providing missing documents. If you are looking to challenge the results of your tax audit, it is important to consult with an experienced Florida tax attorney right away.
Understanding the Process
Soon after the audit is completed, the auditor will let you know whether any of your tax liabilities will change based on what the audit uncovered. Typically, the amount you receive is higher than the taxes that are due in the end. However, the document that the auditor gives you (DR-1215/1216) gives you a detailed account of which income the auditor thinks is subject to tax.
Once you understand this document, you will be able to challenge it. One important thing to remember here is to not sign any paperwork agreeing with the changes right away. Once you sign the document, it means that you agree with the result of the audit and agree to pay the taxes owed. Do not sign anything without first consulting a Florida tax lawyer.
Once the audit and the Notice of Intent to Make Audit Changes have been completed, the next step is to complete a final assessment. This gives you about 60 days to challenge the assessment through an administrative protest. If you choose to make an offer to settle your tax liability, you can do so by talking to the Florida Department of Revenue.
However, you should never try to handle such a negotiation on your own. This is because the strategies and approaches you think may work, might not actually be successful and it might put you at a further disadvantage. You need a seasoned tax lawyer who has successfully negotiated similar settlements with the Florida Department of Revenue.
How We Can Help
Our experienced tax attorneys can also help negotiate to lessen any fines or penalties you may be facing. If you are not successful with an informal protest after an audit and assessment and still believe the assessment is not fair based on tax law, you may be able to challenge it in a Florida civil court. The disadvantage of going with this option is that you may have to pay the tax liability into the registry of the court. However, the advantage is that you may have more leverage to negotiate a settlement in your favor because the Office of the General Counsel will handle your case. Call us today to find out how we can help.