By Suzanne Palms and Pilar Mata

The Florida Department of Revenue determined that sufficient reasonable cause had been established to allow a taxpayer to discontinue filing a consolidated Florida corporate income tax return because the taxpayer had experienced “substantial growth.” The Department noted that the taxpayer’s employees, assets and income had increased, and the taxpayer had expanded its service offerings since electing to file a consolidated return. According to the Department, these factors demonstrated that the taxpayer had experienced major changes in business circumstances such that the Department could grant permission to the group to deconsolidate pursuant to Rule 12C-1.0131(3)(b)2.a., F.A.C. The Department required deferred gains realized for federal tax purposes to be reported on the taxpayer’s last consolidated return. Once a taxpayer group has elected to file a Florida consolidated return, the group must continue to file consolidated unless the Department approves a request to file separate returns. There have been a number of deconsolidation requests made by taxpayers over the past few years, but the requests are typically denied by the Department. Those requests that are approved are often subject to restrictions. Tech. Assistance Advisement No. 13C1-008 (Oct. 25, 2013, released Feb. 18, 2014).