I’ve been involved with taxes for a long time, but I ran into a new twist on dealing with sales tax exemption certificates last week. I was speaking with a company about how they deal with sales tax exemption certificates and they stated they had set up a phone number for customers to call in and leave their tax information. There is no operator on the line. A recording asks the incoming caller to leave their information at the tone: Name, company name, industry type, reason for exemption and phone number. The incoming calls are converted to .WAV files and forwarded to the tax department.
This is a variant of the SST regulations I had not considered. The company claims they are receiving the Standard Data Elements electronically, so according to SST guidelines everything is fine. Although this approach may speed up the collection process for tax documents, and may actually conform to the SST guidelines, I really don’t think auditors are going to enjoy this much. Imagine an auditor walking in and asking for copies of sales tax forms and instead receiving a CD with phone messages! I really don’t think they would appreciate that. When you don’t make it easy for an auditor, many times they feel obligated to return the favor and not make life easy for you.
Have you encountered this practice? I'd also be interested in getting some feedback/comments from our auditors in the audience...
Other recent “Exemption Certificate Mgmt.” posts by Silvia Aguirre:
- Exemption Certificates for Federal Government Purchases
- Marketplace Fairness: What Does It Mean For Exemption Certificates?
- Will Oregon Start Charging Sales Tax? If So - Are You Ready?
- Canada is Bringing Back Exemption Certificates!
- Louisiana Changes State Forms to Include Parish Exemptions
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