Voluntary Disclosure of Florida Department of Revenue Liabilities

florida dor voluntary disclosureFlorida business taxes can be complex. Many businesses come into situations where they realize they have not been collecting taxes correctly, and they fear correcting the mistake will only raise flags with the DOR. If an audit is triggered, the business may be responsible for a significant amount of taxes and penalties. For this reason, the Florida Department of Revenue offers a voluntary disclosure program to lessen the financial impact for those businesses who come forward and admit the mistake before the DOR finds the error.

To explain, imagine your business was supposed to be paying a tax for the last six years, but you didn't realize until recently that there was an error. Now that the business has noticed the issue, you want to do things correctly going forward. However, changing up your tax return to reflect this can raise a flag with the DOR. If they initiate an audit, they can go back three years (even longer if you aren't registered to collect a certain type of tax, like sales taxes). The FL DOR created the voluntary disclosure program to make it easier financially to come forward with issues discovered.

 

What is Florida Voluntary Disclosure of Tax Liabilities?

Florida's voluntary disclosure program allows taxpayers to report voluntarily and pay previously underpaid or unpaid taxes to the Florida Department of Revenue. This program allows taxpayers to admit wrongdoing and limit the taxpayer's total exposure to tax, interest, and penalties. Voluntary disclosure is not a tax amnesty program, but it is similar to how some amnesty programs work.

The Florida DOR generally will limit the lookback period to three years when the taxpayer agrees to pay the tax and interest for those three years. The penalties for this period will be waived unless the tax has been collected and not remitted. Depending upon the situation, this can be a significant saving if the problem exceeds the three years. Those not using this program can run the risk of the DOR looking back longer than the three years for the taxes.

What Taxes are Eligible for Voluntary Disclosure?

Any taxes that the Florida Department of Revenue administers are eligible for voluntary disclosure. Below are some of the most common taxes.

  • Sales and Use Tax
  • Discretionary Sales Surtax
  • Reemployment Tax
  • Communications Services Tax
  • Corporate Income Tax
  • Documentary Stamp Tax
  • Local Option Tourist Development Taxes
  • Fuel Taxes
  • Pollutants Tax
  • Solid Waste and Surcharge Fees

Who qualifies for the program

The liability must be for taxes administered by the FL Department of Revenue to qualify for the program. The DOR must not have previously contacted the taxpayer about the tax liability.

How to apply?

You must apply via written request to the Voluntary Disclosure Program in Florida. The postmark date on your written request is the date that the three-year lookback period starts. In your written request, include the following:

  • You must state that you have not been previously contacted by the FL DOR about the liability you are disclosing.
  • Tax type being disclosed.
  • The time period being disclosed.
  • Contact information for the taxpayer or representative of the taxpayer.

Once the Voluntary Disclosure program accepts your request, they will then ask you to provide additional information.

Where to Submit Requests

By Mail:

Voluntary Disclosure Program
Florida Department of Revenue
PO Box 5139
Tallahassee ,FL, 32399-5139

Overnight Delivery Address:

Florida Department of Revenue
Voluntary Disclosure Program
Mail Stop 1-4653
5050 W Tennessee Street
Tallahassee, FL, 32399-0151

Fax: 850-245-5998
Attention: Voluntary Disclosure

Email: [email protected]

Upon initiating the process, the taxpayer does not need to know the amount of the tax liability. The FL DOR will request documents required to determine this amount. If the taxpayer is not registered for the tax with the department, they will be required to register.

Getting Help With the Florida Voluntary Disclosure Program

When faced with this type of situation, it is good to consider hiring a tax professional to assist. Florida taxes have many complexities, and getting a good understanding of the laws can help get the best resolution. At TaxCure, we have a network of professionals from around the country, and while tax pros have a diverse array of specialties, you can quickly find pros with experience dealing with the FL DOR. Start your search here for top Florida tax professionals.

 

Disclaimer:  The content on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not serve as legal or tax advice. For specific help regarding your tax situation, contact a licensed tax professional or tax attorney.

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