Florida – Notice of proposed assessment is not a timely assessment for statute of limitations purposes

On June 11, 2015, the Florida Court of Appeal First District concluded that a Notice of Proposed Assessment (NOPA) is not an ‘assessment’ for purposes of Florida’s statute of limitations. Florida law generally requires that the Department may ‘assess’ an amount of tax within three years after the tax is due. The court determined that the assessment contemplated in the statute of limitations is a ‘final assessment,’ not a proposed assessment. The final assessment in this case occurred at the expiration of the 60-day protest period following the issuance of the NOPA, which was after the expiration of the statute of limitations. Accordingly, the court found that the Department’s assessment was untimely.

Although the tax at issue in this case was a sales tax, the court’s ruling appears to be applicable to income tax matters as well. Taxpayers that received NOPAs fewer than 60 days prior to the expiration of their statute of limitations period and are challenging an assessment should review whether the Department’s assessment is timely consistent with the guidance in this case.

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