What you need to know when partnering with a boutique firm about how they reevaluate your business personal property.
By Pam Carley, Property Valuation Services
Are your personal property taxes eating away at the bottom line of your business? Did you know there are firms that specialize in business personal property taxes? From manufacturing equipment to office furniture, movable equipment can be taxed as personal property in many states. These are some factors to consider when selecting a property valuation firm.
Specialization in Your Market
Look for a firm that gives special attention to understanding your properties from an analytical and accounting perspective. Local certified public accountants or general tax consulting firms do not typically go into the level of detail to understand how personal property taxes impact your specific industry.
Strong Relationships with Assessors
Find a firm that can build trustworthy relationships with assessors and the community. These relationships aid with getting quicker resolutions to issues and in agreeing upon methodologies that other taxpayers may not be able to receive otherwise. These relationships are also helpful in the appeals process.
Just as IRS and state guidelines for income tax can change, so can personal property tax guidelines and laws. Look for a firm that stays abreast of changes and incorporates them when preparing your returns. Due dates for annual property tax filings, tax bills and appeals can change as well and can be difficult to keep track of. Many firms have their own proprietary software platform, specifically written for personal property. These are critical tools to help track code changes and changing deadline dates and maximize process efficiency.
Property Valuation Services Methodology
Property Valuation Services not only handles appeals but can also file the property taxes for your facility on a compliance basis. This allows us to be proactive with the county assessors, presenting our methodologies for cost reduction and in most cases, resulting in preapproval. Our consultants will look at the property tax portfolios, including leased equipment, to identify opportunities for savings where a taxpayer may not know they are able to do so.
In the 2020 tax year, our office filled over 14,000 returns in 34 states spanning over 1,600 individual taxing jurisdictions. We like to think of our firm as a one-stop-shop to help our clients through the property tax cycle. This includes filing tax returns, reviewing appraised values, reviewing and approving tax bills, budgeting for upcoming taxes and assisting on audits, as well as other special projects as directed by our clients.
Differences in Audit Programs
Personal property audit programs across the country vary in frequency and requirements. PVS is available to represent accounts in all states that have active personal property audit programs. Just as we have established relationships with the assessor’s offices, we also have solid business relationships with audit departments and third-party audit firms across the country.
Another area PVS can assist with is tax estimates for new locations or large capital expenditures which require intimate knowledge of each states’ property tax guidelines and property tax rates.
Asset Review and Special Projects
One type of special project is an asset clean-up. For this type of assignment, PVS works with facility personnel to perform a top-level review of assets and identify those that may still be on the books and records but are no longer physically on-site. Our consultants work with the designated client contacts to make sure all disposals are removed from the asset listing. The result of completing a project of this type is a lower taxable asset basis and, therefore, lower annual personal property taxes.
About Property Valuation Services
Property Valuation Services (PVS) is a boutique property tax firm specializing in personal property and real estate taxes that has been in business for over 20 years. PVS has national credibility including directors and managers with decades of experience and expertise in complex property valuation, accompanied by multiple MAI and ASA appraisers on staff. This level of expertise sets us apart from nearly all other property tax firms; however, we operate as a small business with an emphasis on client communication. Our staff includes certified tax agents and designated appraisers that have been working with assessors’ offices and auditors for years.
About Pam Carley, Director of Personal Property
Pam Carley has extensive experience in the valuation of business personal property, including overseeing all steps between asset valuations and return preparation through appeals and tax bill approvals. Pam has been in the industry since 1998 and currently serves as the director of personal property at PVS.