FAQ's


What are your fees?

Our fee is on a contingency basis, payable only after you receive your refund. If we find nothing, you pay nothing. And our fees apply only to the recoveries we obtain on the taxes related to the periods we review.


How much sales and use tax money do you usually recover?

Recoveries vary, but typically they are between a few thousand dollars to well over half a million - lost money, now rescued from the statute of limitations. 


We're a manufacturer, we pay very little sales tax - why do we need your service?

Yes, manufacturers are entitled to numerous exemptions - some, more than others. However, our 20 plus years of experience and millions of dollars in refunds for our clients have shown that most manufacturers do not take full advantage of all their exemptions. 


Some examples of overpayments that we frequently find, even in companies who don't pay very much tax, are:

  • Merchandise posted to taxable accounts but used in a manner rendering it exempt.
  • Overpayments due to changes in the tax law.
  • Purchases considered to be taxable but actually contain some production or other tax exempt manufacturing items.
  • Self assessment of once taxable goods/services that are now exempt due to changes in the state tax laws.


What about confidentiality?

Our contract states that information and records that we have access to will be kept in strictest confidence. We will also sign any additional confidentiality agreements you wish to provide. 


We know what we're doing - why do we need your services?

With less time and resources to stay current in ever-changing tax environments, even the best people can miss things, particularly in the times of corporate downsizing. Additionally, others working for them, may be even less certain about the complexities of the business or the importance of sales tax compliance. Many businesses we've worked with have missed things simply because they were working with an outdated set of guidelines from tax legislation which may have changed numerous times since the guidelines were written.


How much of my staff time is involved?

Very little. We spend about fifteen minutes with a senior financial person (VP-Finance, Controller, etc.) asking some basic questions. After that, we ask for a place to work, the location of your files, and a chart of accounts. As we near the completion of our review, we may request a meeting to obtain certain items and clarification. We do not ask your employees to make photocopies or schedules for us - we do that ourselves. Once submitted, we take care of any necessary claim schedule follow up.


What about finding underpayments in addition to overpayments?

If you are audited by the state, it rarely (if ever) informs you of overpayments - only your liabilities. By identifying underpayments of tax, now, corrective steps can be taken which will eliminate interest and penalties on a future audit when those liabilities would have been uncovered. Please see our compliance review section for more information.


Can filing refund claim be associated with an audit?

Out of the hundreds of claims we have filed, less than 2% may have been associated with an audit. State audit departments are already so busy that they cannot audit every taxpayer for each refund claim received.  Our experience has shown that a properly prepared refund claim, well substantiated and in the desired format, will almost always be handled by desk audit. Occasionally a client will have already been scheduled for an audit by the state, in which case the claim will be automatically forwarded to the field auditor.


What if we do get audited?

We'll meet and work with any government auditors to defend or clarify the refund application. Most audits happen because the audit was already on the state's schedule. The state is constantly hiring new auditors and looking for new tax revenues. Our refund applications consistently stand up under audit scrutiny, and we can provide ample references to prove it.


What if there is a subsequent reversal or reduction to your claim?

Our contract clearly states that we will refund all fees on any items reversed or reduced. Reversals and reductions rarely occur because our claims are bona-fide and hold up under audit scrutiny. 


What if I have any questions after you have completed your work?

All submissions go out with your approval. We also provide you with a complete set of schedules and working papers, so you can review all of our work. However, if you have questions after your claim has been filed and paid, call, fax, or e-mail us anytime! It's usually something we can answer immediately over the phone. If not, we'll check into it and get back to you as soon as possible. If it's a gray area, we'll give you our honest opinion, and assist you in requesting a written interpretation or ruling from the state.

​Our Recovery Service Process:


Getting Started:

Once an agreement has been signed, we set a mutually convenient review start date.  If your company has time sensitive issues (statute of limitations) an as soon as possible start date may prevent significant recoverable dollars from being forever lost.


The Review:

We start by reviewing your most recently completed year of accounts payable files, checking the paid invoices for overpayment of sales and use tax. The outcome of that year’s review determines if a review of additional open periods is warranted. Only documents required to file a refund claim will be copied. 


What we will need:

  • Access to accounts payable files - paper or paperless.
  • Sales tax returns and use tax accruals in statute period (usually 3 years).
  • Details of any sales and use tax refunds/credits taken.
  • A copy of the chart of accounts.
  • About 15 minutes with a contact person for a Q&A session.
  • Brief tour of your plant and a place to work. 


How long will the review take?

If payables are filed alphabetically by vendor, one consultant can review about 3-4 file drawers per day. If a batch system is utilized it will take slightly longer. If your payables are paperless, the speed of your system will dictate our pace.  In any case, we always strive to finish the review as quickly as possible. 


Putting it all together:

It takes a few weeks for the data to be reviewed and the refund claim to be prepared. Once completed, we present our summary to you and with your approval, we send a refund request to the state, or to your vendors, whichever is applicable. 


Following up:

It can take as little as four months to more than a year for a refund claim to be reviewed and paid. We follow up and answer all questions the state or vendor may have. If required, a power of attorney will be filed with the refund claim authorizing us to speak to the state on your behalf.

Baker, Shore & DiLorenzo provides sales and use tax consulting services to a variety of businesses. Our main focus is identifying areas where sales and use tax was overpaid and obtaining refunds of those overpayments.

 

Our accounting and auditing professionals come to your premises and review your accounting of sales and use tax. After finding overpayments, we prepare all the necessary documentation for a refund application and handle all correspondence required. We do not use your staff to do any of our work. We do obtain your approval of any refund application we file. Our work is on a contingency fee basis, payable only when you receive your refund. There is no charge for our time or expenses. We do not charge for "future savings."

Other benefits to this service include:


  • On-site sales tax consultation including the review, and often reduction, of current or closed audits (if applicable)
  • Suggestions on streaming your sales and use tax processes
  • Identification of vendors worthy of receiving blanket exemption certificates
  • We offer a 50% discount on our customized seminar fee, to companies who utilize our sales and use tax recovery service.

Sales & Use Tax Recovery Service