The Board of Equalization (BOE) often selects bars for sales and use tax audits. The fact that bars can deal with a significant amount of cash, and can often times have more relaxed financial controls than other types of businesses, make them an ideal target in the eyes of the BOE. In the audit of a bar, an auditor will generally examine the business’ sales records and then seek to verify the recorded amounts with a markup analysis. The markup analysis contains intricate computations and the auditor’s inability to identify certain intricacies […]
If you’re a restaurant owner that’s been through a California sales tax audit, you probably asked the auditor the above question at some point during the process. The answer you probably received was, “It depends,” or, “Sometimes.” If you’re lucky, you didn’t get further clarification in the form of an audit bill for tax on your employees’ tips.
The underlying principle is deceptively simple: if the amounts of your tips are optional (left up to the customers), and all of the tips are actually distributed to your employees, the tips are […]