How Long Does a California Sales Tax Audit Last?

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How Long Will My California Sales Tax Audit Take?

How long does it take to complete the review of all of the documentation and tests? Sales tax audits take a lot of time; at least six months. Sometimes, they can stretch out to nine months. There are usually multiple rounds of back-and-forth particularly with statistical sampling, when things get complicated. That is generally the way that things will flow during the course of the audit. 

Again, the most important time in the audit is the beginning, because you are setting the tone for the audit. You are creating a plan and then it is just about executing it.

If you do that, the audit process hopefully should work in your favor. Again, my advice in a sales tax audit is to always retain an expert. You need to have somebody in your corner who is going to go through these issues with you, help you develop your plan, negotiate with the auditor and make sure the statistical sampling is fair. That is really, really critical for many reasons.

What you do not want is when the audit starts to get off-track, because that is where a lot of the problems get kicked up. The clean-up for that is much more expensive, much more time-consuming, and much more of a headache than if you just did it right the first place.