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(a) At or before the commencement of an audit, as defined in section 885.03(c) of this chapter, the Tax Administrator shall provide to the taxpayer a written description of the roles of the Tax Administrator and of the taxpayer during an audit and a statement of the taxpayer’s rights, including any right to obtain a refund of an overpayment of tax. At or before the commencement of an audit, the Tax Administrator shall inform the taxpayer when the audit is considered to have commenced.
(b) Except in cases involving suspected criminal activity, the Tax Administrator shall conduct an audit of a taxpayer during regular business hours and after providing reasonable notice to the taxpayer. A taxpayer who is unable to comply with a proposed time for an audit on the grounds that the proposed time would cause inconvenience or hardship must offer reasonable alternative dates for the audit.
(c) At all stages of an audit by the Tax Administrator, a taxpayer is entitled to be assisted or represented by an attorney, accountant, bookkeeper, or other tax practitioner. The Tax Administrator shall prescribe a form by which a taxpayer may designate such a person to assist or represent the taxpayer in the conduct of any proceedings resulting from actions by the Tax Administrator. If a taxpayer has not submitted such a form, the Tax Administrator may accept other evidence, as the Tax Administrator considers appropriate, that a person is the authorized representative of a taxpayer.
A taxpayer may refuse to answer any questions asked by the person conducting an audit until the taxpayer has an opportunity to consult with the taxpayer’s attorney, accountant, bookkeeper, or other tax practitioner. This division does not authorize the practice of law by a person who is not an attorney.
(d) A taxpayer may record, electronically or otherwise, the audit examination.
(e) The failure of the Tax Administrator to comply with a provision of this section shall neither excuse a taxpayer from payment of any taxes owed by the taxpayer nor cure any procedural defect in a taxpayer’s case.
(f) If the Tax Administrator fails to substantially comply with the provisions of this section, the Tax Administrator, upon application by the taxpayer, shall excuse the taxpayer from penalties and interest arising from the audit.
(ORC 718.36) (Ord. 19-15. Passed 11-16-15.)