How Florida Collects Back Taxes & How To Get the Tax Help You Need
Florida’s Department of Revenue starts the collection process once a taxpayer is found not to have filed a tax return, has not paid their taxes, misses a payment, doesn’t pay the full balance, files their tax return late or owes more money after being audited. Once the taxpayer is sent a delinquency notice, interest and penalties start accruing until the amount owed is paid in full. If the tax debt is still unpaid after 90 days a processing fee of 10% will be added.
If a taxpayer is unable to pay their taxes in full, the Florida Department of Revenue will work with the taxpayer to resolve the problem. However, if the taxpayer does not contact them and just ignores the issue the Department will take steps to get the taxes owed them as spelled out as follows:
- Penalty Charges
- The State of Florida will charge taxpayers penalties in a number of different situations. The most common situations are the following:
- Failing to file tax returns
- Failing to pay taxes
- Failing to pay the full amount owed in taxes
Levies on Accounts Receivables
A business that is behind in its taxes may have its accounts receivables levied by the State of Florida. When a levy notice is received the business is legally required to pay its state taxes before paying any of the businesses they owe money to. This can destroy the reputation of the business and its relationships, not to mention its cash flow. If the Department of Revenue has asked for the names of those you do business with, or for you to provide them with records on your accounts receivable, or if the Department of Revenue has already gotten ahold of your banking records, it is time to seek the advice of a reputable professional for the tax help you need.
Personal Liability for Business Taxes
When a business does not pay its taxes, the State is legally allowed to pierce the corporate veil to collect the money. If you are an officer of the corporation or in charge of the business when the tax liability was incurred, you could be held personally responsible for the business’ unpaid taxes plus any interest and penalties.
If a tax warrant is issued against you the State has the right to seize any personal property of value that you may own.
Garnishment of Wages
If the State sends you a Notice of Intent to Garnish or Levy it is time to request tax help from a professional because your employer will be required to deduct money from your paycheck to pay your delinquent taxes. If you receive benefits, those checks could be garnished as well.
If you are delinquent on your State taxes, the Department of Revenue can simply take the money owed right out of any bank accounts you have. If they send you a Notice of Intent to Levy, or if your bank account(s) have already been levied, you need immediate tax help from a professional. A reputable tax professional can help you stop or prevent aggressive enforced collection measures.
If you are delinquent on your Florida State taxes, the Collection Division has the right to put tax liens on any business and/or personal property you own. This action will allow the Collection Division to proceed with enforced collections by securing the State’s interest. Tax liens are public record and as such your credit score could be affected and your ability to transfer or sell the property will be limited.
There Are Programs Available to Florida Taxpayers Who Need Tax Relief
Much like the Internal Revenue Service, Florida has a variety of solutions that taxpayers who owe back taxes may take advantage of to get the tax relief they need. Below are some of the programs that can be very helpful in resolving delinquent taxes and perhaps other tax problems that residents may have with the State.
Upon Receipt of a Delinquency Notice
If you have the money to pay your taxes in full, the fastest way is to do it online. The first step is to set up an e-file account with the State of Florida. Once you’ve enrolled you will be sent a user ID and password within 48 hours. At that point you will have the ability to file your returns and pay electronically. Any outstanding tax returns should be filed as soon as possible.
Taxpayers who do not have the money to pay what they owe in taxes to Florida’s Department of Revenue are asked to phone their local service center or go there in person. If you are unable to reach anyone by phone at your service center, you can call the Taxpayer Rights Advocate at (850) 617-8168 to get the tax help you need.
In this situation you will need to come to an agreement for making payments. But first, you will be asked to prove that you cannot pay the full amount owed by showing them verifiable financial documents. You will be required to pay at least 25% of what you owe immediately and agree to a payment schedule that will have the balance paid off within 12 months. This gives most taxpayers the kind of tax relief they need at the time.
Taxpayer Rights Advocate
Florida has a Taxpayer Rights Advocate to give taxpayers with complaints and problems they haven’t been able to resolve otherwise, the tax help they need.
You can phone the Taxpayer Rights Advocate at: (850) 617-8168
You can write a letter and send documents to the Taxpayer Rights Advocate at:
Florida Department of Revenue
Taxpayer Rights Advocate
P.O. Box 5906
Tallahassee, FL 32314-5906
Power of Attorney
You are entitled to get tax help from a qualified professional who can represent you with the Department of Revenue. You would need to complete a Power of Attorney form and sign it so that your representative can discuss your taxes with the Department of Revenue, who will accept this form for the intended purpose.
If you have a particular problem regarding your taxes, you can place a call to Florida Taxpayer Services at: (800) 352-3671.
If you would like to write Florida Taxpayer Services and receive a written reply through the mail, use the following address:
Florida Department of Revenue
5050 W. Tennessee St. Bldg. L
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0112Contact Us