Massachusetts: Sales Tax Handbook
How to appeal a sales tax audit or penalty in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, the Department of Revenue will frequently audit business sales tax returns and may issue penalties or punishments for tardy filing, incorrect reporting, willful omissions, or other violations. Penalties can range from fines to revocation of your sales tax permit depending on the infraction.
If you disagree with a penalty or ruling made by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, you have several options you can pursue in appealing their decision. This page contains basic guidelines for appealing to the Department of Revenue, to an administrative appeal body, and through the courts.
Sales Tax Statute of Limitations in Massachusetts
In sales tax law, the "statute of limitations" is the maximum amount of time state authorities have to investigate and begin potential audit or prosecution related to a a filed Massachusetts sales tax return in the event of underpayment, incorrect reportings, etc. The Department of Revenue cannot begin an audit or issue a penalty after this timeframe.
The statute of limitations in Massachusetts is three years from the later of the return due date or the return filing date.
Appealing to the Department of Revenue in Massachusetts
If you do not agree with a penalty or decision made by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, you have the right to file an appeal and ask for reconsideration. An informal conference may be requested with the Commissioner of Revenue withinth thirty days of notice. days of noticeTop
Administrative Sales Tax Appeals in Massachusetts
In the case of administrative appeal, the petition must be filed with the Appellate Tax Board within sixty days after the date of notice of decision or within six months after application for abatement is deemed to be deniedTop
Judicial Sales Tax Appeals in Massachusetts
If all other appeal avenues fail, businesses can make a final appeal in the state court system. When working with judicial appeals, the suit must be filed with the Appeals Court within sixty days of entry of judgment of the Board
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