Hey, this may be a first -- audit blogging. I have an auditor from the Washington Department of Revenue in my office right now auditing my last two years sales tax returns. She's a nice lady and so far the interaction has been pleasant.
Here is the funny thing - she has spent about 3 hours now trying to figure out what tax rates should apply at my various locations, and she is still at it. I have written several times about the complexity of WA state sales tax variations for lodging, and how they vary by geography (here and here). OK, if your experienced auditor has to spend hours in frustration trying to figure out what tax applies, the system is too complicated.
Update: At halftime I am ahead, with WA owing me $800. Stay tuned.
UPDATE #2: Small potential setback in the 3rd quarter. Several years ago I shifted assets (vehicles) I had bought in Arizona and used for years in Arizona to Washington for operations there. The auditor suggested I may owe use tax on the vehicles in WA. Huh? Use tax drives me up a tree in general, but this seems really crazy. WA is hyper sensitive to this issue because they have high sales taxes and very high vehicle registration fees and neighboring Oregon has not sales tax and lower registration fees.