Fast Facts about Florida’s Certified Sales Tax Audit Program

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Established in cooperation with the Florida Institute of CPAs and the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR), the Certified Audit Program allows taxpayers to hire specifically trained and DOR-approved CPA firms to conduct sales, use and local-option tax audits in accordance with DOR standards and the technical standards of the CPA profession.

Participation Benefits

The benefits of participating in this program include:

  • Taxpayers receive a waiver of all penalties, abatement of the first $25,000 of interest, and an additional 25% of any interest liability in excess of the first $25,000.
  • Once the Certified Audit Report is approved by the Department, the taxpayer will not be audited for sales and use tax for the year(s) covered by the audit, unless it is later determined there was misrepresentation or fraud.
  • The cost of hiring the CPA firm is deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense.

Target Companies

  • Examples of companies that will benefit include:
    • Companies in the M&A process looking to resolve liabilities prior to close
    • Companies in the M&A process with funds stuck in escrow
    • Companies seeking additional funding
    • Companies considering an IPO
    • Companies that are frequent audit targets

Who Qualifies?

All taxpayers who have not received an audit notice (Form DR-840) and are otherwise not under investigation qualify for this program.  However, the DOR is not permitted to compromise penalties or interest for taxes collected but not remitted. To apply for the program, the taxpayer must hire a qualified Florida Licensed CPA to conduct the audit. The CPA will submit a Request to Conduct a Certified Audit (Form DR-342000) on their behalf. If approved, the CPA will receive a letter from the DOR with the date that a pre-audit analysis form must be completed.

Audit Process

The CPAs conducting the audit will review the following information to create an audit report that will be submitted to the DOR:

  • Sales by the taxpayer
  • Purchases of expense items
  • Purchases of fixed assets
  • Commercial rent (if applicable)

In addition, the CPA is a good resource to learn about available exemptions that may minimize liabilities moving forward. They also may recommend processes that improve sales and use tax reporting.

Download this fact sheet about the Florida Certified Audit Program. Contact Brandon McCafferty or complete this contact form to get your questions answered by Hancock Askew’s sales tax professionals.

About Hancock Askew & Co.

Hancock Askew is a professional services firm tracing its origins back to 1910. The firm provides services that include tax, audit, accounting, risk assurance and advisory, SOC examinations, ISO Certifications, transaction advisory, business valuations and other critical business consulting services. With offices in Savannah, Atlanta, and Augusta, Georgia, as well as Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Orlando, Florida, our staff of over 275 professionals provides support to an array of clients ranging from emerging businesses to large corporations, nonprofit organizations to publicly traded companies and individuals. Hancock Askew is a 2024 Southeast Regional Leader, as named by Accounting Today and ranked as a Top 200 Firm in the Nation by Inside Public Accounting. Hancock Askew is an independent member of the BDO Alliance USA. For more information about Hancock Askew, visit www.hancockaskew.com.

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