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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 16576
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
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I see you have answered questions about getting sales tax

Customer Question

Hi. I see you have answered questions about getting sales tax penalties waived before. Here is my situation. I am an accountant at a small company. I have only been her a couple of months. One of my responsibilities is sales tax. Just today, I discovered
that I didn't file our New York Sales Tax. I discovered this when i was doing the bank rec and saw that the NY Sales Tax payment never hit our account. It was an inadvertent oversight. I file monthly sales tax for over 30 states and for New York, I started
it and filed the return, but neglected to actually pay the tax. The return is saved. The sales tax is $9,000, so a 10% penalty would be $900. If I remit the payment tomorrow, it may be a couple of months before we even get a notice. My company has always promptly
paid sales tax in the past, and has never had a problem with New York State before. If I request a waiver, and just say I was new in this position and it was my first time filing New York Sales Tax and it was an inadvertent error, and we've always paid on
time in the past, do you think this is reasonable cause to get it waived? I even may call the NY Tax department tomorrow so it looks like I am on top of this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Finance
Expert:  Megan C replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your question, and I can understand how stressed you are.

My advice to you would be to pay immediately and ask for a waiver and tell your boss what happened. Don't lie or hide things when you are in a position of trust in accounting. A lie or coverup is always worse than the underlying issue.

Your boss and employer should respect and trust you more for this. Now, if you get a tongue lashing all you can do is apologize and agree with them and take all steps necessary to make it right.

And, get some rest tonight --- It's 1:30 in the morning and I can tell you are worrying yourself sick. While you need to stay on top of this there aren't going to be bad ramifications of this.

If you must do anything, troubleshoot a way to make sure this won't happen again so you can show your boss what happened and then turn right around and explain how you are going to be sure this doesn't happen again.

Please let me know if you need anything additional. If not, please rate positive.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didn't try to hide anything. I let my boss know right away. He said, "Just file the return and when you get the notice, see if you can get a one time waiver." We've always paid on time in the past and have never had a problem before. I am sure that if in the worst case scenario, we have to pay, it's not the worst thing that's ever happened to the company. A $900 penalty to a company with around $12 million dollars in revenue a year is like $5 to me. The issue is I've only been here a couple of months and I worry about my boss not trusting my work after something like this.
Expert:  Megan C replied 1 year ago.

I understand your fear, but the revenue department cannot do anything about that. The best thing you can do is what you did --- and just work harder to make sure it doesn't happen again. I'm sure it's not anything that wouldn't have happened with someone else.

Like you said, worst case is you have a small penalty. I'm sure they will work with you