Florida’s laws dealing with the various taxes imposed by the State and its many localities are unique compared to most other states and are often complicated and difficult to navigate for all types of taxpayers (and potential taxpayers). Our State & Local Taxation team can assist you with understanding the various taxes and how and when they are imposed, planning how to best comply with the law, and representing you from initial audit through informal protest and into litigation, if necessary. We also can assist taxpayers in structuring their operations and transactions to ensure compliance with state and local tax requirements, to minimize tax exposures, and to take advantage of tax credits and incentives offered by state and local authorities.
Florida’s budget depends heavily on its Sales and Use Tax collections, but many transactions and services in the State are not subject to the tax and there are well over 200 separate exemptions to the application of the tax. And although Florida has no personal income tax, its Corporate Income Tax laws and regulations are often subject to conflicting interpretations. Similarly, the Communications Services Tax in Florida was intended to “simplify” the way entities calculate and remit this tax to the State and local governments, however, such simplification has been elusive. Further, the application of Florida’s Documentary Stamp Tax to land deals and financing scenarios can often be confusing, at best. For regulated industries, a proper understanding of the Insurance Premium Tax is critical to doing business in Florida. The calculation of the Insurance Premium Tax seems straightforward on its surface, but its interplay with the Corporate Income Tax and available tax credits quickly becomes complex. In addition, property taxes in Florida are imposed and administered by local governments and the assessment and challenge to these taxes can differ depending on where your property is located in the State.
Our lawyers have a wealth of experience in handling matters for individuals and Florida and multistate corporations relative to all of the taxes discussed above and in some of the “lesser known” taxes across the State. In the State arena, we have represented clients before the Florida Department of Revenue and the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco at all stages in the process, including from the initial notification that the client is about to be audited, during the audit itself to ensure that the proper records are reviewed and the client’s business is not unduly disrupted, filing informal protests with the subject agency if the audit are unsatisfactory to the client, working with agency staff to amicably resolve any disputes and when informal resolution is not possible, representing the clients through administrative or circuit court litigation and appeal. In the Property Tax area, we can assist clients from the initial assessment, negotiations with the local property appraiser, filing challenges before value adjustment boards and in circuit court challenges if all other avenues have been exhausted.
For our insurance clients, Radey lawyers have assisted in all aspects of the Insurance Premium Tax and related tax issues. We have assisted clients in determining amounts subject to the premium tax as well as credits available for reducing the tax. We also have guided insurers in understanding the relationship between Florida’s reemployment tax and the salary credit against the Insurance Premium Tax. Our services on behalf of insurers have included consulting and transactional work, representation in audits, challenges to assessments and tax rules, and mediations of tax disputes. In these representations, we have achieved changes to the interpretations of tax laws that continue to benefit insurers doing business in Florida. In addition, Radey lawyers have experience with complex insurance-related tax issues such as the application of the retaliatory tax and the allocation of state fire marshal taxes.
We maintain excellent relationships with agency personnel despite our aggressive advocacy on behalf of our clients. We have often found that these relationships assist in the timely and efficient disposition of client issues and concerns without having to engage in more costly methods of resolution.