Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

14. Accrued Liability - California Sales Tax

14. Accrued Liability - California Sales Tax
3 Months Ended
Mar. 30, 2019
Accrued Liability - California Sales Tax  
Accrued Liability - California Sales Tax

Note 14:        Accrued Liability – California Sales Tax


    March 30, 2019     December 29, 2018  
Accrued liability - CA sales tax   $ 4,735     $ 4,722  


We operate in fourteen states in the U.S. and in various provinces in Canada. From time to time, we are subject to sales and use tax audits that could result in additional taxes, penalties and interest owed to various taxing authorities.


As previously disclosed, the California Board of Equalization (“BOE”) conducted a sales and use tax examination covering the Company’s California operations for years 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Company believed it was exempt from collecting sales taxes under service agreements with utility customers that included appliance replacement programs. During the fourth quarter of 2014, the Company received communication from the BOE indicating they were not in agreement with the Company’s interpretation of the law. As a result, the Company applied for and, as of February 9, 2015, received approval to participate in the California Board of Equalization’s Managed Audit Program. The period covered under this program included years 2011, 2012, 2013 and extended through the nine-month period ended September 30, 2014.


On April 13, 2017 the Company received the formal BOE assessment for sales tax for tax years 2011, 2012 and 2013 in the amount of $4.1 million plus applicable interest of $0.5 million related to the appliance replacement programs that we administered on behalf of our customers on which we did not assess, collect or remit sales tax. The Company has appealed this assessment and continues to engage the services of our existing retained sales tax experts throughout the appeal process. The BOE tax assessment is subject to protest and appeal and would not need to be funded until the matter has been fully resolved through the appeal process. The Company anticipates that resolution of the BOE assessment could take up to two years.


A settlement proposal was filed on February 22, 2019 and representatives of the Company are attending a settlement conference date on May 21, 2019 in an attempt to resolve the matter expeditiously.