Colorado's Tax Assessment Appeal Reform

Date: January 05, 2016 Last Edit: January 07, 2016

NFIB a leading member in a coalition attempting to allow business owners full access to the courts in addressing appeals in sales tax audit matters. In addition, NFIB will be supporting legislation in 2016 reforming Colorado’s outdated and unfair requirements.

To appeal a sales tax assessment to an independent court, Colorado businesses and individuals must either pay the full amount in dispute, including interest and penalties, or post a bond for twice that amount.

On very large assessments, this creates a significant barrier to due process, leaving small businesses and other taxpayers with little choice but to pay-up and settle tax assessments that are wrong or unjustified by the law.

A Lakewood woman who runs estate sales faced a $287,000 tax assessment. She and her attorney believed her sales tax responsibilities were unclear and that the auditor’s claims were not properly substantiated, but she was forced to accept a settlement offer from the state of $11,000 because she couldn’t afford to pay the full amount of the assessment.

As this example illustrates, the assessment appeal barrier worsens the already unequal bargaining power between tax collectors and taxpayers, who will have to pay significant legal fees to appeal to an independent court, expend their own or staff time, plus other costs and resources. The prepayment simply poses barriers to due process.

NFIB a leading member in a coalition attempting to allow business owners full access to the courts in addressing appeals in sales tax audit matters and will be supporting legislation in 2016 reforming Colorado’s outdated and unfair requirements.

To learn more please visit: http://www.simplifycosalestax.org/

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