MAXIMUS Asks: Have You Received a Tax Bill from the Comptroller?
If you, or your clients have been audited by the Texas Comptroller, it’s likely that the conclusion was the receipt of a bill for taxes due. If so, other than payment, what are your options?
The other option is to challenge the deficiency at SOAH, the State Office of Administrative Hearings. SOAH is designed as an independent, fact-finding forum in which the audit is examined and a fair judgment on the validity of the audit findings is rendered. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is assigned to consider evidence supplied by the taxpayer and tax division and charged with providing a Proposal for Decision (PFD) to the Comptroller.
While it is possible for a taxpayer to gain additional relief at SOAH, more often than not that relief comes from a more reasonable “opponent” (i.e. the tax division), than the ALJ himself/herself. Each ALJ has a quota of 45 PFDs/month. When you consider the average month has about 21 business days, this means each ALJ must deliver over 2 PFDs every day just to make quota. As you might imagine, that system doesn't lend itself to ALJs spending the time necessary to properly review the documentation in every case, especially when the documentation is voluminous.