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Florida Audit and Following Statute

  • Jul 12, 2012 | Susan McLain

The Florida Department of Revenue lost a recent administrative hearing due to failure to comply with the policies and procedures set forth in their statutes.

The formal administrative hearing was the result of a recent Florida State audit on an entertainment company.

At issue was not the findings of the audit, which included the following:

  • Returns not filed for January 2011 – March 2011. Estimated tax of $3,000 / $32.79 interest / $300.00 in penalties / $20 in fees. Total due: $3,352.79
  • Returns for April – June 2011 provided at bond hearing with no remittance. Estimated tax due of $2,418.50 / $41.81 interest / $335.20 in penalties / $20 in fees. Total due: $2,815.51.

Instead of the findings of the audit, which the taxpayer disagreed with as well, the Department’s effort to revoke the taxpayer’s business license became the issue.

According to the evidence presented to the judge, the Department followed procedure right down to a final step in the process: filing an administrative complaint. The administrative complaint should have been filed as a result of the taxpayer not attending an informal hearing nor producing adequate evidence to refute the Department’s intent to revoke the taxpayer’s business license.

Both “…the Department and Petitioner acted in accordance with the "Notice of Rights" that the Department included in the Notice of Intent to Revoke Registration, set forth in relevant part at Finding of Fact 9, supra. Petitioner submitted to the Department a Request for Formal Administrative Hearing, which the Department forwarded to DOAH. There is no record evidence that the Department ever filed an Administrative Complaint against Petitioner.”

As a result of this oversight on the Department of Revenue’s part, the judgment stated:

Because of this procedural deficiency, it is concluded that the Department has not proven its entitlement to revoke Petitioner’s certificate of registration by clear and convincing evidence.

The process is defined in S. 120.60 and was presented in the formal recommendation as:

The department shall issue an administrative complaint under s. 120.60 if the dealer fails to attend the department’s informal conference, fails to enter into a compliance agreement with the department resolving the dealer’s noncompliance with this chapter, or fails to comply with the executive compliance agreement.

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Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”