Sales and Use Tax Audit Strategies

Anticipating Auditor Requirements for Documentation, Samples, Nexus and More

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, October 20, 2011

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This teleconference will provide tax executives at multi-state companies with new perspectives, approaches and tactics to fortify audit preparation when managing several sales and use tax audits at a time.


Some state and local revenue agencies lack the manpower to audit your company for sales and use tax more often right now. However, state budgetary emergencies are driving auditors to be more aggressive and to demand farther-reaching documentation.

Continued passage of so-called "Amazon taxes" will take states in new directions by asserting sales tax nexus over online marketing relationships. Companies should expect tougher fights over acceptable forms and numbers of invoices, exemption certificates, other documentation and sample sizes.

The need for advance sales and use tax audit preparation and strategizing by corporate taxpayers and for managing the process and the auditor to the maximum extent (rather than being managed) have never been greater. The stakes have become too high for a company's tax staff to simply be reactive with audits.

Listen as our panel of experienced sales tax professionals offers you tactics, insights and experiences that you can put to use in planning for and juggling multiple audits at one time— along with mistakes to avoid.



  1. Preparation for the audit
    1. States’ procedures for assigning auditors
    2. Scope of auditors’ pre-audit research
    3. The pre-audit meeting
    4. Initial contact with the auditor
    5. Preparation for the opening conference
  2. Procedural aspects of the audit/midstream management
    1. Reviewing invoices and other transactional documentation
    2. Reviewing exemption certificate records
    3. Preparing an audit sample proposal
    4. Rules for engaging with the auditor, and vice versa
  3. What auditors are looking for now
    1. Impacts of short-staffing and reduced experience at revenue agencies
    2. Trends with impact, such as Amazon taxes
  4. Alternatives to the conventional audit process
    1. Managed audits
  5. After the audit
    1. Preparation for and conduct of the post-audit conference
    2. Resolving auditor error and areas of disagreement


The panel will give best practices for dealing with these and other key aspects of a state or local sales and use tax audit:

  • Pre-audit review and planning: Exploring prior audit files to anticipate where the auditor will focus and adjusting to the jurisdiction's audit plan.
  • Documentation and sampling: Ensuring you have the right transactional records available and a good argument for a favorable sample size.
  • Nexus-related inquiries: Minimizing the chances that you'll be caught off guard by an auditor assertion of taxability in that jurisdiction, especially given latest trends in online affiliate nexus.
  • Decisions during and after the audit: Choosing the right next move if you believe the auditor is being unreasonable.

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


James Tauber
James Tauber

Managing Director

Mr. Tauber has more than 17 years of public accounting experience at several advisory firms and another 15 years of...  |  Read More

William Ault
William Ault


Mr. Ault has worked as a multi-state tax consultant for 27 years. Much of his career before coming to Crowe...  |  Read More

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson

He has more than 20 years of state tax experience and works for the firm on sales and use tax, and enterprise zone tax...  |  Read More

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