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Robin D.
Robin D., Senior Tax Advisor 4
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 14829
Experience:  15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
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Sales & Use Tax in Florida

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I have been registered as a business for 6 years with the State of Florida, although it has always been more of a hobby than a business as I've never drawn a salary from the business and never had sales above a few thousand per yer ( of which about half was out of state sales ). I have a full time job, and this has always been an on the side business.


 


I have decided to take more of an active roll in the business and attempt to work at it and turn it into a full time job. However, I realized through research that I never registered with the State to collect Sales and Use tax. They have no options for an existing business to register with them, what can I do and what possible issues may arrive from this oversight? This was never done intentionally, but seems to be a big mistake on my part. My business is setup as an LLC. and I have always paid the State annual fees and federal income taxes as necessary and due. It is only this sales & use tax that I have not.


Robin D :

Hello and thank you for using Just Answer,
Florida has pretty stiff penalties for not filing and or collecting and remitting sales tax.
http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/taxes/pdf/penalty.pdf
The above link will give a good idea on what you may be facing for this over site. Of course depending on the outcome, if you owe no tax then the state would not place a penalty on your business.
One of the hardest penalties would be 100% of the amount of tax not remitted.



Robin D :

Florida provides voluntary disclosure programs that can minimize, if not eliminate these penalties and can cut off the look back period to 3 years.

Customer:

I have looked over the penalty pdf you have provided, and understand that part of it. My question is basically what is the best way to go about taking care of this issue in a way that doesn't land me in a big mess! I am more than willing to pay whatever is owed, but I need to know the best way to go about this to prevent more of a problem than necessary.

Robin D :

I have to say that you need to contact and register even though late. Let me get any specific procedure for you, one sec.

Robin D :

Not really, you would need to complete the registration at your local service center.

Robin D :

They will basically go over the outstanding tax (if any) then apply penalty. The registration nay other way would not be open to your business.

Robin D :

They will take into account that your intention was not to evade remitting taxation to the state.

Customer:

So if I understand correctly, I would need to have just the last 3 years paperwork and be ready to write a check for the amount due plus any possible penalty.

Robin D :

That is correct.

Customer:

Ok, well that has been very helpful. One last thing, is it required (or just best) that I go to one of the service centers

Customer:

or is it possible to complete the process over the phone / online

Robin D :

There is no way for you to correctly register now (just like you asked about in the beginning) online. If you were to send the registration by mail the service may not see your intent is to make a voluntary declaration and an audit may be planned prior to your voluntary disclosure is understood.

Customer:

Ok, so I need to go ahead and call the service center nearest me and schedule some time to come up

Robin D :

I did not see where they "required" face to face but I am advising that procedure based on the fact that you want to be seen as coming forward on your own after realizing this over sight.

Robin D :

http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/taxes/servicecenters.html
These are the centers again

Customer:

I have made note of it. I will get all of my paperwork for the last three years together and then contact them. I agree that a face to face will be best, XXXXX XXXXX intended to no pay anything due and I know that the amount owed will be very minimal of which I am more than happy to pay.

Robin D :

Of course not. Sales tax is one of the more complicated areas of taxation.

Robin D :

Best wishes

Customer:

Robin, you have been very helpful I really appreciate it.

Robin D :

Your positive rating is always thanks enough.

Customer:

Will do.

Robin D :

I really enjoyed working with you – please feel free to request me again when you come back to ask another question.

Customer:

Hopefully no more tax questions like this, but I will request you if we have any others :D

Robin D :

You are most welcome and thanks again.

Robin D. and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

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