Hostage Crisis

The Florida sales tax auditor has been in my office for 2 days and shows no sign of leaving.  Most of the audit is as expected and I ceased long ago getting ticked off about it;  but the new focus on use tax - ie, not just did you collect and pay sales tax on your retail sales but did you pay proper sales tax on every purchase, is really annoying.  We are going to have to be pulling invoices and xeroxing for weeks.  Somehow, if as a retailer I don't collect enough sales taxes, I am liable for the shortage.  But if someone else sells me something and there is not enough sales tax collected, I am again apparently liable for the difference.  The latter makes no sense to me.    Apparently I owe taxes in this non-symmetric way based on the deep philosophic principle that he is sitting in my office, not theirs.

Update: Now he suddenly thinks that I am getting over because there is no sales tax shown on my liability insurance premiums.    AAArrrrggghhh.  Two entire days lost.


  1. TJIC:

    > Two entire days lost.

    Not from the government's point of view - they've created FOUR man-days of employment!

  2. me:

    Condolences :(

  3. anon:

    You're being stimulusized! Lay back and enjoy it.

  4. Guido the Tax Specialist:

    10,000 bucks and I'll fix your problem for you ... permanently.

  5. O Bloody Hell:

    From the previous thread...

    > have been targeted by Sheriff Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas with retaliatory criminal investigations without cause, and disruption of their working lives without justification.

    Gee. Sounds familiar.

  6. gn:

    At least in more-advanced countries you can just slip the bureaucrats a few rupees/yuan/etc and they will go away and let you get back to work. "A little something for candy for the kids," as my Indian friend used to express it.

  7. Methinks:

    Why has he been there harassing you so long? Did you not follow the tried and true advice of sticking him in a windowless stuffy room?

  8. Matt:

    In honester times that auditor would be lying in a ditch, after a proper tarring and feathering.

  9. gadfly:

    Wait for it. The next thing that you will hear is this wonderful deal. Having found three invoices where no sales tax is paid over a 60 day period, the inefficient auditor will extrapolate a liability for every unaudited year that you have been in Florida. The amount of the proposed payment will be designed to pay for the auditors time plus a sum designed to get the auditor a bonus and the state a generous windfall. If you agree, none of your other Florida locations will be audited for the same time period.

  10. gadfly:

    Yepper! Florida charges tax on insurance premiums . . . but your insurance company should know that. Perhaps they are from out of state and have no nexus with Florida.

  11. Cilla Mitchell, Galveston, Texas:

    And they wonder why people are pushed over the edge.

  12. morganovich:

    well, at least they aren't calling your cat for jury duty...

    apparently they told the commissioner it's a cat, and he/she still won't excuse the duty.

    you honor, the jury finds the defendant "meow".

  13. Jim Collins:

    Now, if you hadn't been so critical of Sheriff Joe, you might have been able to talk him into arresting the guy and locking him away. He'll leave soon. It's supposed to start getting warmer in Florida soon.

  14. feeblemind:

    Just wondering, will he be able to squeeze enough out of you to cover the cost of his trip? This sounds like a colossal waste of effort on Florida's part, but what do I know?

    And it would be really nice if you could bill the state of Florida for the time you have spent dealing with the bureaucratic microbe.

  15. T J Sawyer:

    I've always suspected that the sales tax auditors take special delight in finding which in-state vendors didn't charge you sales tax. (You weren't really looking for vendor undercharges like that when you paid the invoice!) They collect that difference from you. They immediately send audit notices to the vendors in question and collect a second time from them. Easy money. They already know which invoices to check.

    Good luck!

  16. TC:

    TJ ya daaum tattle tale!

    We learned to watch for this crap years ago, when of course it was some kid auditor tells us that some vendors are not charging tax.

    But then when you have items for resale they are not supposed to charge tax. It could get a tad complicated when you purchased items for both resale and consumption from a single vendor. Think "big time flag waving ceremony for the auditor kids"!

    Then of course more recreations comes along when you sell to govt agencies and all of them swear they are tax exempt. BS. Make them all pay the tax and file for a refund with their own tax commission. This of course gets even more recreational when dealing with fed, state, county employees school groups are always special, all ignorant as to what is actually what.

    UT would change it's stance on this item as often as most of us change clothes, so it was a constant challenge.

    As to placing them, make it where there are lots of distractions and temps are either just a tad warm or a tad cold, just to the point of discomfort. Poolside is a great place with plate glass windows!

  17. steve-o:

    Sorry, have to disagree with you here on the fairness issue. I don't think use tax is unfair, and if anything, it makes everything symetrical. You pay tax on what you buy, regardless of the method of procurement.

    However, it is difficult for businesses to comply with, especially small businesses. Just another argument for a VAT with no exemptions. Retail sales taxes are poorly conceived and unnecessarily difficult to administer.