Monday, June 13, 2005

FAQ: How do I find a sales tax professional?

This is Fyodor, your guest services representative for today.

I get a fair amount of questions from people who are in need of a sales and use tax professional, particularly one who can handle multiple states. I don't do that type of work, so I give these suggestions:

Talk to your current tax firm.  They're probably more oriented towards Federal income tax than sales and use taxes, but they can refer you.  By letting them make the referral, they can then stay in the loop.  But don't let them take on the work themselves unless you're comfortable that they ARE sales and use tax specialists.  Most SUT folks don't do much Federal income tax and vice versa.

By the way, while there are sales and use tax specialists, you'll also see consultants who are SALT experts.  SALT stands for "State and Local Taxes."  They're cool too.

Go to a BIG CPA or law firm.  They'll probably have folks on staff who are multi-state experts and can deal with your issues in most, if not all states.

Check your industry association. 

To find specialists in any given state, another source is the American Bar Association Sales and Use Tax Deskbook. Each state chapter is written by an attorney specializing in SUT in that state, so obviously we're talking about serious expertise. The authors, and their contact information, are listed in the front of the book.

Contact the state bar association or the state CPA society for a referral.

You can take potluck and do a Google search on "sales tax" and the state you're interested in and see what pops up.  Take a look at the sales tax articles they've posted on their web site.  If there are many such articles, and they seem to be in depth, the firm is probably be worth an email.

Finally, drop me a line.  I know people.   

The Sales Tax Guy

See the disclaimer - this is for education only.  Research these issues thoroughly before making decisions.  Remember: there are details that haven't been discussed, and every state is different.  Here's more information

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