Experienced San Francisco CDTFA Audit Attorney Ready To Serve You
If you have received an audit notice from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), it is time to hire a CDTFA audit attorney. The CDTFA oversees several tax obligations of retailers and other businesses, including sales and use tax and special taxes and fees. If the CDTFA chooses to audit your business activities and compliance with tax obligations, the process is complex, thorough, and best handled with the help of an experienced legal professional by your side.
San Francisco CDTFA audit attorney Allison Soares has a Master of Laws in Taxation and has helped hundreds of individuals resolve unsettling tax matters. If you are facing a daunting tax issue of your own, don’t get overwhelmed, call Allison Soares, Attorney at Law to help you handle it.
What Happens in an Audit by the CDTFA?
Most CDTFA audits begin with prior notice. Once you receive notification that the CDTFA will be auditing your business, you need to act quickly to speak to counsel, gather appropriate information, and prepare to meet with your auditor. The CDTFA will often give you multiple weeks to prepare for your audit. And with a good advocate and proper documents and preparation, you can save time and money in the audit process.
With your notice, the auditor should tell you what period of time they will audit and what records you should have available for the audit. The auditor might ask you for details about your business and business records and get your input on when and where the audit will take place. Many audits take place at the business in question, and you can request that your lawyer or representative be present.
The documents you provide to reflect your business activities can make or break your CDTFA audit experience. You should be thorough and organized with the information you present to your auditor.
The documents you will need to provide to your auditor can include the following:
- Inventory records,
- Accounting books,
- Credit card statements,
- Tax returns (federal and state),
- Balance sheets,
- Purchase and sale records,
- Business licenses,
- Income statements,
- Point of sale records,
- Business agreements,
- Summaries of business operations,
- Canceled checks,
- Business logs,
- Production reports,
- Copies of claims filed with the CDTFA,
- Import and export records, and
- Prior audit records.
The list above is just a snapshot of what you might need to provide to your auditor. The documents necessary for the fair resolution of your audit depend on the nature of your business and its history. An experienced San Francisco CDTFA audit lawyer can determine which documents are essential for your audit.
Examination and Testing
After gaining access to your relevant documents, your auditor will inspect your business and review your records to determine whether you have submitted accurate tax reports. Sometimes, an auditor can assess your liability (or lack thereof) from an initial inspection. And sometimes, an auditor needs to conduct an in-depth review.
Results of an Audit
When examination and testing are complete, you have an exit conference with your lawyer, your auditor, and your auditor’s supervisor. During this conference, the auditor tells you what your liability is (if any). You should receive your auditor’s working papers, narrative comments, and a notice of your audit results.
If you owe money or are entitled to a refund, your results include a Report of Field Audit or Report of Investigation. If the CDTFA decides that you owe money, and you agree with the results, you receive a Notice of Determination, and you can remit payment to end the audit. If you don’t agree with the results, your auditor can give you additional time to submit your arguments and additional information. Even if you disagree with your audit results, it is helpful to prepay what the CDTFA claims you owe while awaiting the outcome of your dispute—you can avoid accruing interest this way.
Appealing an Audit Decision
You have 30 days from when the CDTFA mails your Notice of Determination to file an appeal. Your initial appeal is called a petition for redetermination, and it must be in writing. In your appeal, you need to identify the amounts you dispute and the reasons for your dispute.
After you send your appeal, the Business Tax and Fee Division (BTFD) reviews your disputes, arguments, and evidence and makes a decision. If you disagree with the BTFD’s decision, you have 30 days to request an appeals conference with the Appeals Bureau. Then, you have 30 days to request reconsideration of an Appeals Bureau decision or 30 days to file an appeal with the Office of Tax Appeals.
The deadlines for these tax appeals can come quickly and result in hefty financial liabilities. Hiring a skilled San Francisco CDTFA audit attorney to handle your audit and appeals is the best way to avoid unnecessary costs and preserve your rights.
Other Audit Resolutions
If you wish to resolve your tax liabilities by making a payment, but your business does not have the funds to cover the full amount, you have options that can make resolution easier. In your initial appeal, you can request consideration under the CDTFA Administrative Settlement Program. Or you can enter an Offer in Compromise with the CDTFA, meaning the CDFTA accepts an amount less than what you owe to discharge your debt. Your lawyer can determine what option works best for your circumstances and help you complete all necessary transactions.
Speak to Attorney Allison Soares Today
San Francisco CDTFA audit lawyer Allison Soares is an award-winning lawyer who enjoys fixing complex tax problems for Californians. She has reduced clients’ tax liabilities by millions, and she puts individuals facing intimidating tax issues at ease with her professional approach. Allison is a teacher, an advocate, and a leader in the tax law community. She also handles clients with other types of cases, including:
Attorney Allison handles tax matters for clients facing the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Franchise Tax Board, and Employment Development Department. If you need a tenacious advocate, call us or contact us online.