5 Ways You Can Take Control of a Pennsylvania Sales Tax Audit

5 Ways You Can Take Control of a Pennsylvania Sales Tax Audit


Undergoing any type of an audit can be scary, but just because your company is being audited, doesn’t mean that you can’t take control of the audit to help ensure a positive outcome.   One of the first steps in a sales tax audit is the opening conference with the auditor.  This is one of your first and best opportunities to take control of the audit and set the tone for how it will progress.  Here are five ways that you can set the tone for a sales tax audit during this opening conference.

  • 1. Have the audit at your attorney’s office. The reason is you do not want the sales tax auditor disrupting your company’s operations. You will have to give a tour of the business to the auditor at some point but the records can be reviewed at your attorney’s office.   If the auditor is working in a windowless conference room they will stay focused on the job at hand and be on their way.  This also has the added benefit of not having the auditor work near your accounting department so they don’t accidentally overhear any sensitive information.
  • 2. Have your Tax Attorney as the only contact person.  You should have your tax attorney deal directly with the auditor.   This ensures that potentially sensitive information won’t be leaked accidentally to the auditor by other employees. It also ensures you do not provide any information that could expand the scope of the audit./li>
  • 3. Request the specific information needed to track a transaction. The auditor will ask for your gross receipts journal and your sales journal to determine you filed the monthly sales tax returns correctly. Then the auditor will select a specific transaction to examine, It is important that you only provide the auditor with the specific information they need and not any additional records that may expose a vulnerability or expand the scope of the audit.
  • 4. Request the statute or rule that supports the auditor’s taxation.  Notify the auditor up front that you would like them to provide the statute or rule to back up their determination of taxation for any items that may be in question.
  • 5. Request a supervisor’s involvement if there is a disagreement.  If you are encountering any issues during the audit, it’s best to deal with those issues while the auditor is on premises.  If you are unable to resolve an issue request a supervisor’s involvement. In addition you can always appeal a final assessment to the Pennsylvania Board of Appeals within 90 days if all else fails.

If you receive an audit letter please call Gregory J. Spadea at 610-521-0604 in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania.

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