After You Receive A Final Tax Bill
If you disagree with a final tax bill, you need to take swift action. Your next step is to request a redetermination hearing by sending a letter with statement of grounds to the Texas Comptroller’s Office. You have 30 days of the date on the tax bill or 20 days in jeopardy determination to do this.
This complex appeals process includes numerous pitfalls. And even if the Administrative Law Judge agrees with you, the Comptroller can still override that decision. You need a tax lawyer who can defend your position at each stage of the administrative appeals process.
Lawrence Brown worked for the Department of Justice Tax Division before entering private practice in 1992. The team that he has assembled has worked hard to build a reputation for success in some of the most complicated taxation cases. Please see our Success Stories page for more information about past case results.
Statement Of Grounds: What Must Be Included
If you are at the point where you need to submit a statement of grounds to contest a final state tax bill, you need to proceed carefully. A mistake could cost you money if not your business.
The statement of grounds must include:
- Reasons that you disagree with the agency action
- A list of the transactions or categories of transactions and why tax should not be assessed or refunded
- Specific legal authority that supports your argument when you disagree with the agency’s interpretation of law
Transactions or items that are not mentioned in the statement of grounds are not considered in the administrative hearing. And fail to lay out a strong factual or legal claim and the case might be dismissed.
If the auditor agrees with your contentions, he or she might amend and re-bill the audit. This is relatively unusual since you have probably already been through several phases of an audit that may have included an independent audit review conference.
A hearings attorney is assigned to review your arguments and evidence. He or she will draft a position letter which outlines the cases against you citing applicable statutes, rules and letter rulings. You have the chance to reply. A hearings attorney may seek more information through the discovery process.
Types Of Hearings
You have the option to request an oral hearing to present your evidence and argument in front of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This is not necessary, however, and a judge may issue a decision based on all the written argument and submissions.
Once the ALJ issues a decision, you can file any exceptions or contest those raised by the other party. A mathematical mistake or some other error might be corrected this way. The decision becomes final unless the Comptroller has an issue or you sue in district court.
How Brown, PC Can Assist
Throughout the complicated redetermination process you need a tax attorney who can protect your interests.
Learn how our experienced team can help you resolve tax problems that threaten your business. Schedule a consultation today by sending us a message online with a short summary or your concerns or calling our office at 888-870-0025.