212.10 Sale of business; liability for tax, procedure, penalty for violation.—
(1) If any dealer liable for any tax, interest, or penalty levied hereunder shall sell out his or her business or stock of goods, the dealer shall make a final return and payment within 15 days after the date of selling the business; the dealer’s successor, successors, or assigns shall withhold a sufficient portion of the purchase money to safely cover the account of such taxes, interest, or penalties due and unpaid until such former owner shall produce a receipt from the department showing that they have been paid or a certificate stating that no taxes, interest, or penalty are due. If the purchasers of a business or stock of goods shall fail to withhold a sufficient amount of the purchase money as above provided, he or she shall be personally liable for the payment of the taxes, interest, and penalties accruing and unpaid on account of the operation of the business by any former owner, owners, or assigns. Any receipt or certificate from the department does not, without an audit of the selling dealer’s books and records by the department, guarantee that there is not a tax deficiency owed the state from operation of the seller’s business. To secure protection from transferee liability under this section, the seller or purchaser may request an audit of the seller’s books and records. The department may contract with private auditors pursuant to s. 213.28 to perform the audit. The department may charge the cost of the audit to the person requesting the audit.
(2) If any dealer liable for any tax, interest, or penalty shall quit the business without the benefit of a purchaser and there is no successor, successors, or assigns, he or she shall make a final return and payment within 15 days. Any person failing to file such final return and make payment shall be denied the right to engage in any business in the state until the person has filed such final return and paid any moneys due; and the Department of Legal Affairs is hereby authorized to proceed by injunction, when requested by the department to do so, to prevent by injunction any activity in the performance of further business activity until such tax is paid; and a temporary injunction enjoining further business activity shall be granted without notice by any judge or chancellor authorized by law to grant injunctions.
(3) In the event any dealer is delinquent in the payment of the tax herein provided for, the department may give notice of the amount of such delinquency by registered mail to all persons having in their possession or under their control any credits or other personal property belonging to such dealer or owing any debts to such dealer at the time of receipt by them of such notice. All persons so notified shall within 5 days after receipt of the notice advise the department of all such credits, other personal property, or debts in their possession, under their control, or owing by them. After receiving the notice, the persons so notified shall neither transfer nor make any other disposition of the credits, other personal property, or debts in their possession or under their control at the time they receive the notice until the department consents to a transfer or disposition or until 60 days elapse after the receipt of the notice, whichever period expires the earlier, except that the credits, other personal property, or debts which exceed the delinquent amount stipulated in the notice shall not be subject to the provisions of this section, wherever held, in any case in which such dealer does not have a prior history of sales tax delinquencies. All persons notified shall likewise within 5 days advise the department of any subsequent credits or other personal property belonging to such dealer or any debts incurred and owing to such dealer which may come within their possession or under their control during the time prescribed by the notice or until the department consents to a transfer or disposition, whichever expires the earlier. If such notice seeks to prevent the transfer or other disposition of a deposit in a bank or other credits or personal property in the possession or under the control of a bank, the notice to be effective shall be delivered or mailed to the office of such bank at which such deposit is carried or at which such credits or personal property is held. If, during the effective period of the notice to withhold, any person so notified makes any transfer or disposition of the property or debts required to be withheld hereunder, he or she shall be liable to the state for any indebtedness due under this chapter from the person with respect to whose obligation the notice was given to the extent of the value of the property or the amount of the debts thus transferred or paid if, solely by reason of such transfer or disposition, the state is unable to recover the indebtedness of the person with respect to whose obligation the notice was given. All such credits or other personal property or debts are subject to garnishment by the department for satisfaction of the delinquent tax due.
(4) After notice by the department of a transferee liability under this section, the dealer shall have 60 days within which to file an action as provided in chapter 72.
(5) Any violation of the provisions of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.—s. 10, ch. 26319, 1949; s. 1, ch. 59-426; s. 3, ch. 61-276; s. 7, ch. 63-253; s. 5, ch. 65-371; s. 2, ch. 65-420; s. 6, ch. 67-180; ss. 11, 21, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 124, ch. 71-136; s. 4, ch. 81-319; s. 3, ch. 84-170; s. 87, ch. 87-6; s. 55, ch. 87-101; s. 31, ch. 91-112; s. 21, ch. 91-224; s. 1117, ch. 95-147.