Property Tax

Contrary to what many businesses may think, property tax isn’t a fixed operating expense. For owners (and often renters) of real estate, if the assessed value is higher than current fair market value, there are ways to challenge and mitigate property tax assessments, helping you ease your overall tax burden.

Yet many companies with significant investments in real and personal property often lack the internal resources to take charge of their property tax assessments. This can result in overpayment of tax liabilities as well as penalties and interest.

For example, the reporting requirements and category definitions for real and personal property tax reporting differ from federal income tax definitions. This discrepancy in definitions and requirements often results in overreported costs, duplicate assessments, and assessments on property that should be exempt.

What’s more, assessors value personal property based on what companies report. And the forms by themselves may not provide enough insight into your business to provide an advantageous assessment. For example, your answers to the following questions—which aren’t on the return—could help significantly reduce your assessment:

  • Do you have tooling and molds on your books used for overseas manufacturing?
  • Do you provide your salespeople with display equipment to give to customers?
  • Do you have software and Web page design costs?
  • Do you have a scrap heap for idle equipment?
  • Do you retire assets as they’re disposed?
  • Do you maintain inventory in multiple states?
  • Do you track repairs and maintenance in your fixed asset system?

To realize a lower tax burden, it’s also important to keep up to date with changing property tax laws. Businesses also often overlook valuation techniques that could substantially reduce owners’ annual personal property tax liability.

We Can Help

Our nationally recognized professionals have a comprehensive understanding of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and procedures. We can help reduce the risks associated with incomplete or late filings and help you take advantage of exemptions and other tax-mitigation opportunities.

We continuously monitor law changes and precedent-setting case law to help uncover and successfully defend tax positions. We also work directly with assessors and tax officials, reviewing records and determining value differences that occur as a result of market conditions or economic or functional obsolescence. These relationships, combined with our knowledge and experience, help you budget and plan with the confidence that your assessments and property tax payments are accurate.

Solutions We Offer

  • Review of previously filed property tax returns and assessments
  • Property tax compliance, including return preparation and tax bill review
  • Reclassification of assets to comply with jurisdictional property tax requirements
  • Identification and quantification of obsolete and underutilized assets
  • Identification of potential tax exposure owing to lack of compliance
  • Identification of property tax exemption programs and opportunities
  • Review of assessed valuation of real and personal property to identify potential assessor errors
  • Representation at audits or appeal hearings with tax authorities
  • Realignment of property records to assist with accurate compliance and property tax forecasting
  • Transaction review to identify property tax issues and tax planning strategies
  • Training of your personnel to properly prepare returns and identify issues
  • Review of all property tax matters related to state tax reduction initiatives (such as California’s Proposition 13) and change-of-ownership issues
  • Written report detailing our findings
  • Property tax estimates for budgeting purposes

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