Anytime a state agency, such as the Florida Department of Revenue (“FL DOR”) gets their hands on third party reporting, you can rest assured they will be coming after that industry in full force. In 2011, the FL DOR passed a law that required wholesalers of alcohol and tobacco to report all of their sales to retailers directly to the FL DOR. Being that the FL DOR knew what each convenience store, liquor store, restaurant, and bar bought by way of beer and cigarettes, they could easily compare them to the same retailer’s sales tax returns. For those that the FL DOR suspected of underreporting or just pocketing the sales tax, the investigation letters started in late 2011 followed by some 200 audit notices per quarter in early 2012. Now about three years later, one can only suspect that the next FL DOR “campaign” will be focused on the next industry in which the FL DOR could most easily get it hands on. So who’s next?
For years the Department of Revenue had access to DMV reports that could show the cars being sold by a retailer with a Florida dealer license. In late 2013 through early 2014, our friends in Tallahassee formulated a methodology that more quickly, efficiently, and accurately compared the DMV reports and warned us the notices were coming. With that in mind, we knew the auto industry was next on the FL DOR’s hit list.