Sampling Strategies in Sales Tax Audits: Selecting an Appropriate Methodology and Negotiating With Auditors

A live 110-minute CPE webinar with interactive Q&A

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 (in 11 days)
1:00pm-2:50pm EDT, 10:00am-11:50am PDT

This webinar will prepare state tax professionals to establish audit samples for a state sales or use tax audit by reviewing proven sampling strategies used by corporate tax departments in audits across diverse industries.


The sampling of data, including invoices, purchase orders and other data, is the primary factor determining whether a state sales or use tax audit turns out favorably for your company. It is also an increasingly high priority for corporate taxpayers as more states mandate sampling and submission of electronic data.

The size and makeup of the sample comes down to hard-nosed negotiations between your tax staff and the revenue department. To make your best case, you must thoroughly understand the state’s guidelines to detect vulnerabilities in the state’s sampling methodology or block.

Listen as our panel prepares you to seize the initiative on establishing audit samples.


  1. Planning and negotiating a sample
    1. Population selection
    2. Choosing the proper sample frame
    3. Stratum and overall sample sizes
  2. Sampling fundamentals
    1. Block vs. statistical sampling
    2. Stratified random sampling
  3. Legal Issues and Background
  4. Do’s and don’ts of sampling – Avoiding the Wheels Off Sample Audit
    1. Also, examples of sample audits that went badly
  5. Trends with sampling in big states, including computer assisted Audit Process


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Making smart decisions about sample size: Will a small sample work and reduce staff time chasing invoices or will a big sample boost your case?
  • Fighting back if the revenue department either tries to keep out data that could land your company a credit or insists on an overly large sample
  • Reacting when the auditor clearly doesn’t understand your company’s compliance system or overlooks accounts that favor your position
  • Crafting a proposal to sample data for a refund claim
  • Limitations on state’s power to sample and what you do when asked to agree to sampling

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Recognize peer-tested strategies and tactics to use in establishing a sample of documentation for sales and use tax purposes
  • Discern how to assert the relevance of documentation plans to revenue department officials
  • Determine how to defend documentation samples against challenge from state auditors


Martin Eisenstein, Managing Partner
Brann & Isaacson, Lewiston, Maine

Mr. Eisenstein is one of the nation’s leading experts in state and local taxation of information technology. He has wide experience in state and local tax issues and has represented prominent providers in major litigations, including filing amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court. He is a regular contributor to State Tax Notes, among other publications, writing on state tax developments. Mr. Eisenstein has been selected consistently by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America.

Jason McGlamery, Director – Audit Sampling
Ryan, Dallas

Mr. McGlamery is responsible for the design and evaluation of audit sampling methodologies in statistical and non-statistical tax audits. He is focused on services and education surrounding data manipulation, data mining, and data extraction. He lectures on sampling methodologies, audit sampling issues and data manipulation topics.

Brad W. Tomlinson, Senior Manager (non-attorney professional)
Zaino Hall & Farrin, Columbus, Ohio

Mr. Tomlinson has more than 29 years of experience in state and local taxation, specializing in statistical sampling techniques for multiple taxes. From 2007 until joining the firm, he was an assistant administrator for the Ohio Department of Taxation, Audit Division, while also serving as the manager of the Computer Assisted Audit Group for more than 11 years. In that position he was responsible for the formulation, implementation, and oversight of the Department's statistical auditing practices; including the approval of all data populations, sample designs, and the review of all statistical sampling procedural agreements.  

Registration per Person for Live Event

Live Webinar $247.00

Live Webinar & CPE Processing $282.00

CPE per Person on Live Event

Continuing Professional Education credit processing is available for an additional fee. CPE processing must be ordered prior to the event. To qualify for CPE you may not listen via the telephone.

This program is eligible for 2.0 CPE credits.

  • Field of Study: Taxes.
  • Level of Knowledge: Intermediate.
  • Advance Preparation: None.
  • Teaching Method: Seminar/Lecture.
  • Delivery Method: Group-Internet (via computer).
  • Attendance Monitoring Method: Attendance is monitored electronically via a participant's PIN and through a series of verification codes announced throughout the presentation.
  • Prerequisite: Three years+ business or public firm experience at mid-level within the organization, preparing complex sales and use tax forms and audits; supervisory authority over other tax staff. Knowledge and understanding of sales and use tax data sampling and audits. Familiarity with must states' sampling methodology guidelines.

NOTE: CPE credit processing for all attendees must be ordered by 2pm Eastern the day of the program to receive a Certificate of Attendance within 24 hours.


Recorded Event

Includes full event recording plus handouts (available after live webinar).

Note: Self-study CPE and EA credits are not offered on recorded events.

Recorded Webinar Download $247.00
Available 48 hours after the live event

How does this work?

Recorded Audio Download (MP3) $247.00
Available 24 hours after the live event

How does this work?

DVD (Slide Presentation with Audio) $247.00 plus $9.45 S&H
Available ten business days after the live event

How does this work?

Registration Plus Recorded Event

Best value!

Live Webinar & Webinar Download $344.00

Recorded Webinar Download Only $97.00 with Registration/Webinar Combo

Live Webinar & Audio Download $344.00

Recorded Audio Download (MP3) Only $97.00 with Registration/MP3 Combo

Live Webinar & DVD $344.00 plus $9.45 S&H

DVD (Slide Presentation with Audio) Only $97.00 with Registration/DVD Combo


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Strafford is an IRS-approved continuing education provider offering certified courses for Enrolled Agents (EA) and Tax Return Preparers (RTRP).

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Customer Reviews

I found the presenters to be very experienced and the Q&A's to be particularly useful.

Mike O'Brien

American Eagle Outfitters

Coverage was practical and straightforward. Well done.

Stuart J. Frentz

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

Offered different view points and real life, practical examples.

Angela Chretin

Northrop Grumman

It was an excellent program!!

Marni Odermann


I especially liked the examples illustrating the topics concepts.

Melinda Tompkins


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Sales and Use Tax Advisory Board

Silvia Aguirre

Chief Certificate Officer


Rick Bregitzer

Manager of Domestic Taxes


Stephanie Anne Lipinski-Galland


Williams Mullen

Joseph Geiger, Esq., CPA

Tax Consultant


Diane Matulich

Senior Manager, Local Taxes

Advanced Micro Devices

Rich Prem

VP of Indirect Taxes and Tax Reporting

or call 1-800-926-7926

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