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Article From Director – Tyler Rognlie

My name is Tyler Rognlie and I am the Assistant Director of the Business Personal Property department as well as the manager of the Multi-Specialty at Property Valuation Services. Earlier this summer, I surpassed my 14th year working at PVS. I have always enjoyed the property tax work that I’ve done here at PVS and have gladly chosen to make it my career.  

I lead a team of property tax consultants that oversee a caseload of over 6,000 accounts, which spans over 150 of PVS’s clients. My team is referred to as the “multi-specialty” team, as we handle the personal property tax responsibilities across many different industries, including health care, industrial, communications, manufacturing and hospitality. Within the health care sector, my team primarily services clients within the surgical, oncology, diagnostic imaging and behavioral health segments. My team also oversees the on-boarding of new-to-PVS clients, getting them integrated into our systems and processes.

My team of property tax consultants oversees all compliance aspects of our clients’ property tax portfolios, effectively being a turn-key solution for business’ property tax needs. We administer the preparation and filing of the annual business personal property tax returns, as well as the analysis and review of the valuation issued by the tax assessor. We oversee the appeals process on valuation disagreements with the tax assessor, including attending local board hearings, when merited. Our team also handles personal property tax audit work for our clients. Our mission is to ensure compliance across our accounts, while also working to ensure that we achieve the lowest possible property taxes for our clients.

In the current phase of the tax cycle, my team is continuing to analyze assessments and oversee the appeals process on accounts where we have filed appeals. Additionally, tax collectors are starting to issue the business personal property tax bills, so we are assisting with our support team to resolve property tax bill issues. Also, with now being a time that many clients are setting their budgets for the next year, we are helping clients with their personal property tax budgeting.

I appreciate the knowledge and opportunities that PVS has provided, aiding in my professional development. I also appreciate that my ideas and input are welcomed and valued by my peers in the company. Being able to contribute in the growth and progress within our company has been the most rewarding aspect of my role since becoming a part of the management team.

I’ve enjoyed the relationships I’ve formed and continue to foster with the individuals I work with across my base of clients, as well as my colleagues here at PVS.

On a personal side, I am a (relatively) new father to a now 11-month-old son. My wife and I spend most of our time keeping up with him and helping him discover the world. In the limited windows of free time, I enjoy an assortment of hobbies, ranging from gardening, staying active with basketball, tennis or hiking and doing home improvement projects. We also like to visit breweries around the city and are always looking for a new favorite beer!

Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or anyone in our business personal property department. We always like to hear from our clients!  

Article From Director – Jennifer English

Hello everyone! My name is Jennifer English, and I am the manager of the business personal property dialysis accounts here at PVS. Last month I celebrated my 15-year anniversary of being with PVS. In my 15 years, I have mainly focused on dialysis accounts but have spent a couple of tax seasons helping with hospital returns.

As manager of the dialysis accounts, I not only correspond with all the clients but I also oversee a team of six consultants that handle the day-to-day tasks. During the 2021 tax season, my team filed several thousand dialysis returns. Right now, we are still working on collecting values and working with assessors when assessments come back incorrect. Most of the time, we are able to get any issues corrected informally with a phone call or e-mail to an assessor but at times do have to file formal appeals.

I am very fortunate to be able to work in a field that I have always enjoyed. Not only have I been lucky enough to associate with a great group of supportive coworkers, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with many clients and building great relationships with them over the years. Working with all of you to ensure your personal property tax needs are met makes my job fulfilling to me

Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. Thank you for trusting PVS with your property tax needs!

Article From Director – Tom Tapko


Hello. My name is Tom Tapko. I am currently a team lead and a part of the hospital team for our personal property department. I began with PVS in 2007 as a property tax consultant and quickly learned that I enjoyed the large scale and complexity of filing personal property tax returns for hospitals.

In 2013, I was promoted to team lead for the hospital team. As team lead, I am tasked with assisting  Technical Director Chip Saam with the day-to-day management of the team. This also includes on-going training with the property tax consultants, attending appeal hearings, site visits and audits.

During these summer months, we spend a lot of our time collecting values from the jurisdictions and reconciling any value discrepancies against the returns that were filed to identify issues that may require additional action. Our goal at PVS has always been to ensure that our clients only pay their fair share in taxes.  

I appreciate working for a company that values both its clients and employees. For as long as I have been at PVS, we have always been looking to the future for ways to improve efficiency and results.

I look forward to hearing from any clients, current and prospective, with questions that you may have.  

 

Article From Director – Catherine

Hello!  This is Catherine Murray from Property Valuation Services!  It is hard to believe that I have been with PVS for 18 and a half years now.  When I started, we were in a small office in Overland Park with just 12 employees. Our offices have moved twice since then, and I currently reside about two hours south of our Overland Park office. I work remotely from home, in a small town in Southeast Kansas.

I came to PVS with a master’s degree in music and started as an administrative assistant. I knew nothing of property tax, but learned quickly. I answered phones, sorted and organized files, and helped with incoming and outgoing mail. After a while I started making research calls to various jurisdictions, collecting values and tax bills and creating the tax bill approvals for our clients. I was introduced to real estate appraisal methods and took a couple of the introductory courses through the Appraisal Institute. Not long after that I was asked to take over all the data entry in our property tax software system, and quickly found my niche. I took on a larger role with property tax bills, helping to track and oversee all the bill approvals, as well as train consultants on the bill approval process. In addition, I took over managing the mid-year and year-end tax summary reports, as well as most of the other reports we send to our clients every year.

In 2011 I became supervisor of a new department called the Property Tax Support Group. This group is an administrative group that takes care of day-to-day tasks such as calling on and confirming appraised values on accounts as well as tracking and creating the bill approvals for our clients. I still oversee all the data entry, but I have a lot of help with the actual updating. I continue to manage reports sent to our clients.

Property tax work is a challenging profession, but I love the variety and fast-paced environment. Property Valuation Services is an amazing company. They are honest, hard-working and truly care about their clients and their employees.  

I look forward to many more years with PVS and working with each of my clients! 

 

Benefits Of Business Personal Property Tax Savings During A Time When Companies Are Looking For Ways To Save Money

Years from now as we sit with our grandchildren, we will recall news releases similar to this one from the Texas Tribune

Dallas County orders residents to shelter in place as coronavirus cases there spread

BY CASSANDRA POLLOCK AND ALIYYA SWABY MARCH 22, 2020

Some thought this was going to last for years. Some thought this wasn’t a big deal. Others even thought it was a hoax or government conspiracy. No matter where you fell on the scale, we can all agree that 2020 was filled with anxiety as no one really knew what was going to happen long-term. 

No more going to work, with the lucky ones being able to transition to working from home. Businesses struggled to find ways to mitigate their losses. Restaurants and movie theaters closed, hotels became virtually empty, schools shut their doors and everyone had to learn to live a different life. 

According to the New Jersey Business Magazine, 81% of small businesses lost revenue at an average rate of 30% during the pandemic. Nearly all business types saw decreases in revenue, had to lay off or furlough employees, figure out working from home and many shut down all together.  

COVID-19 has hit small businesses particularly hard, with 81% reporting that they have financially suffered this past year, according to a new survey by Wiss, a Florham Park-based full-service accounting and strategic growth advisory firm, and Sapio Research. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they experienced a “dramatic income loss” because of COVID-19, with 30% being the average revenue loss.

Small business owners and executives impacted by COVID-19 have made budget cuts, applied for loans and have even tapped into their personal savings to survive.

  • Nearly half of small businesses surveyed have cut spending because of COVID-19.
  • 60% applied for a PPP loan,which 26% received (including 41% of those in 100 – 499 employee-sized companies and just 17% of under 25 employee companies)
  • 21% have furloughed staff and 16% have laid off staff
  • 20% used business savings or borrowed from a business line of credit (12%)
  • 21% tapped their personal savings; 8% borrowed from their retirement accounts; and 7% took out a personal loan.
  • Nearly 10% of businesses reported closing due to the financial impact of COVID-19.

Our clients include major health care organizations, manufacturing facilities, water sanitation and movie theaters who had to find ways of surviving just like most did. In a time where everyone is looking for ways to increase profitability by increasing revenue and/or decreasing expenses, there is an untapped resource that most companies have no idea could be their saving grace (pun intended). 

Every year, all businesses (except in a handful of states) are required to pay property taxes on the assets they own and utilize to operate their business. This includes equipment, computers, furniture and, in some states, inventory and supplies.  

The Texas Taxpayers and Research Association states there was over $231 billion in taxable Business Personal Property value in the state of Texas alone in 2016. This association goes on to clarify:

“Texas’ property tax applies to all real estate (land and improvements). Texas’s property tax also applies to tangible personal property (furniture, machinery, supplies, inventories, etc.) used in the “production of income,” i.e. business-owned property. Personal property owned by individuals is specifically exempted. Inventories of raw materials and finished products is a key part of business tangible personal property.”

For some, this is negligible. For others, it means hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in tax liability. It is an odd truth that this is usually an overlooked accounting function, even though it results in one of your largest annual expenses. Also, most have no idea what goes into filing these returns as it is just something their accountant handles every year.  

So what is the problem? There are thousands of property tax firms across the country, over a million accountants and 32.5 million businesses in the United States, all who prioritize federal taxes, income taxes and real estate property taxes. Most of these companies do not fully understand there are opportunities to reduce their business personal property tax burden.  It is commonly thought of as an annoyance that includes filing an annual return and paying a tax bill.  

The solution? Revaluing business personal property assets and analyzing asset lists. First, communication efficiency needs to improve within the company’s departments. When a company stops using a piece of equipment, whether it is a plastics molding processor or phone system, no one thinks to tell the accounting department. The only reason someone in accounting or tax knows of a new acquisition is due to the purchase process. Years later, one of my experts gets a hold of an asset list to scrub and finds multiple assets we can delete due to their removal or possible lack of use. These are called “ghost assets” and result in large reductions. It is unfortunately a common occurrence for an asset list to be inaccurate.  

Next comes revaluing assets themselves. With the right expertise and data, high-tech equipment can be revalued. We look to first break an asset down into component costs. With information our licensed equipment appraisers obtain through collaborations with manufacturers, we can identify exemptions on certain components or aspects of the equipment.  The trick is not only having the data and expertise to perform this type of calculation, but also understanding the thousands of taxing jurisdictions’ different statutes and exemptions possibilities. For example, what can be exempt in Dallas County might be different than Tarrant County. This leads to lower costs, lower values and therefore lower taxes. 

Additionally, with the right information certain assets can be moved into faster depreciation so that each year you are responsible for less taxes.  

Last, and closest related to property taxes on the real estate side, would be finding comps. With a database that searches and finds the resale of our client’s assets we can argue for a fair market value of some of these larger assets.  

There are multiple states who tax inventory and supplies that also allow for the partial exemptions of their inventory based on the percentage of products sold outside of said home state. This is not as easy a calculation as you would think, so having a tax expert file your returns who can also analyze your inventory and sales is huge. We have saved clients six figures in property taxes in a given year by properly filing for their Freeport Exemption. 

For those of you who feel as though this seems like a lot, it is. Our consultants spend much more time filing a return than your current accountant. Scrubbing asset lists looking for errors and ghost assets, revaluing equipment, reviewing potential changes in depreciation, analyzing inventory and sales for exemptions and filing the most accurate return possible to save you tax dollars is not a ten-minute process. What most deem an annual burden, we look at as an opportunity.  

PVS was started in 1997 with the unique expertise in high-tech medical equipment valuation.  For nearly 15 years, their expertise and reputation grew to where they worked with nearly every major healthcare company in the country. Virtually every for-profit hospital corporation, imaging company, surgical organization, dialysis group, oncology and others now use PVS to file their returns and have benefited from hundreds of millions of dollars in tax savings.

In 2011/2012, PVS started working with a joint venture movie theater projector distribution/leasing company and saved them $4.2 million in property taxes by utilizing the same methodologies they had used on high-tech medical equipment. Then they started working with manufacturing facilities, water treatment equipment and other types of assets in the same manner.  

 

 

These savings should be found during the process of preparing a Business Personal Property Tax Return (or rendition as it is called in Texas) for our clients. Most jurisdictions will accept our returns as filed, considering we provide the assessor all backup data and support for valuation changes.  

Assuming you have already filed your return, the other option is to let PVS file an appeal of your assessment and see if there are any reductions we can make this year.  Most jurisdictions have an appeals process, with a deadline listed on the assessment notice sent to the taxpayer.  While these reductions are harder to obtain than if we had filed the return, it is an opportunity to run an analysis to file next year and save you money this year.  

As we all look for ways to reduce our costs and increase our profitability, tax liability should be a no-brainer. How can we reduce our tax liability? First, hire PVS to monitor and analyze your real estate assessments, file appeals and reduce your real estate property tax liability. Hire a company like SALT Solutions (State and Local Tax Solutions) to review your AP and product taxability so they can obtain refunds on sales and use tax paid on items they can exempt. Last, have PVS revalue your business personal property assets and file your return. If already filed, let them look to appeal your BPP values. 

 

Article From Director- Martin Guenther

My name is Martin Guenther, and I am the Technical Director of Real Estate here at Property Valuation Services. I started with PVS in January 2004, and this is my 18th year. I am one of our two MAI appraisers designated through the Appraisal Institute and hold the CMI designation in property tax through the Institute for Professionals in Taxation. I hold appraisal and property tax consulting licenses in multiple states. My role at PVS is to oversee all training for new consultants and continual training for existing consultants on complex properties and issues and assist our Senior Real Estate Director, Gerhart Van Note, and Real Estate Director, Jenna Reyes, in managing the daily tasks of the department. 

In the real estate department, we are in the thick of our appeal season. Many of you have received your 2021 assessment notice and are aware of the new value indicated by the assessor on your properties. Most of the parcels we review have appeal deadlines between May and July, and this year is no different. We are seeing state-wide reassessments in Iowa and Missouri with many county-wide reassessments in Tennessee and North Carolina, along with annual reassessments in many other states, specifically Texas. To assist us in our review of your property assessments, our consultants may have already or will contact you about providing property-specific information. 

The last year has been a struggle as the world in which we knew it was upended with the current COVID-19 pandemic. The negative effects of COVID-19 are being seen in many commercial real estate properties, specifically in hospitality, retail, entertainment venues, senior living, healthcare properties and many more. Not all assessors are recognizing the impact of COVID-19 in their 2021 valuations. You can rest assured; we are reviewing the specific information related to your properties and the current market conditions to properly account for the economic impact resulting from this pandemic. We are working with assessors to indicate an appropriate value for your properties with the intent of generating property tax savings for you.

Our goals here at PVS are to work in the best interest of our clients and to become a valuable resource for you as we work as an extension of your tax department. Thank you for the opportunity to represent you and handle your property tax needs. We look forward to continuing to serve you and cultivate a relationship of trust.

Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or anyone in our real estate department. We will do everything we can to assist you and answer your questions.  

 

Article From Director – Bryan Hileman

 

I’m excited to introduce myself and some of the wonderful things going on at Property Valuation Services that I have the privilege of being a part of. My name is Bryan Hileman, I am the director of Sales here at PVS. I started working here more than twelve years ago cold calling business owners to relay the unparalleled benefits and savings we can provide.  

Over the past twelve years, I have worked with some of the largest healthcare companies in the country, been a part of our transition to working with all commercial real estate property types in all 50 states, worked with our Personal Property department to save a movie theater joint venture over $4M in property taxes on their projectors and worked with the owners of PVS to start an affiliate sales and use tax consulting firm named State and Local Tax Solutions. SALT Solutions works with major national hospital corporations, surgical companies and laboratory organizations. We use our expertise in both sales tax statutes and health care services, products and uses to identify creative new exemptions in order to file and achieve significant sales tax refunds dating back three to four years. We have secured numerous claims for our clients of six and seven figures. 

Years ago, under the direction of our ownership and the leadership of our vice president, we decided to remodel our sales department with the goal of reaching more real estate owners and business leaders. This was in an attempt to educate them on our unique and proprietary reduction methodologies. We formulated a multi-tiered sales department including a call center staffed with talented lead generators to research and call more than 600 prospects a week each and transition as many of those phone calls to our more experienced account executives. These AEs work closely with our Real Estate and Personal Property directors to send out a proposal for signature so that we can start including those companies in our portfolio of valuable clients and, of course, save them a lot of money. 

My role at PVS is to oversee our entire sales department, including three account executives, eight lead generators and one manager. This management entails strategic planning of geographic and industry-specific targeted prospects, which are thoroughly analyzed alongside our Real Estate and Personal Property directors. This helps us take into account prior successes and anticipated changes that would most benefit potential clients. I’m also responsible for the evaluation and implementation of lists for our lead generators based on the aforementioned analysis, along with the management of our internally developed CRM sales system where we monitor all of these prospects. I additionally enjoy being included in conversations with top prospective clientele, the involvement in the negotiation of contract terms with those who are interested in partnering with PVS and collaborating with other departments to better our sales efforts. Considering a large portion of my day also includes sales and operations of our affiliate company SALT Solutions, to which I am honored to now be a partner. My work is always exciting and varies from day to day. 

COVID-19 presented most companies with difficult challenges. Lost revenue has created hardships no one saw coming and unfortunately, property taxes went up in most areas in 2020.  2021 revaluations are the first opportunity we have to make the justified reductions in order to try and alleviate some of the financial burdens facing our clients. Having an expert perform their own valuation and appeal is vital in what will be the most important appeals in decades. It feels great to be a part of a company whose purpose is to look out for those who need us.  

I look forward to seeing our portfolio continue to grow by hundreds of clients each year, further developing our sales department as we strive to find creative and persuasive people to include in our PVS family and be a part of an amazing company for decades to come.

 

 

The Business Challenges of Managing Tax Payments In House

When it comes to making tax payments to jurisdictions on time, many businesses have learned that maintaining compliance is challenging, complex and inherently laden with financial risks and operational headaches. And with the recent surge of remote work, tax payment processing has only become more problematic for many businesses. These challenges are unlikely to go away anytime soon, for a few reasons:

    • Tax compliance is increasingly complex according to the Tax Policy Center. The current tax system in the U.S. didn’t come to be all at once – it developed as a result of additions, subtractions and changes to the tax code made through legislative bills over time. It’s unlikely that taxes will get any simpler for businesses anytime soon. 
  • Tax compliance is costly and time-consuming. The time, money and resources it takes for individuals and businesses alike to comply with the tax code are significant. According to the Tax Foundation, tax compliance alone costs the U.S. economy $409 billion every year. 
  • Tax compliance is not a core competency. Compliance and risk management systems are designed to protect organizations and limit liability, but they aren’t necessarily productive when it comes to adding value, according to Harvard Business Review. As a result, maintaining compliance for complex issues, like tax, can be an internal resource drain for businesses that prevent them from focusing on other, more competitive, areas. 
  • Check payments are unwieldy and expensive. Bank of America estimates that issuing a paper check costs businesses between $4 and $20 per check. Many tax jurisdictions still require paper checks and returns to be physically mailed to their location. The cost and operational demands of managing paper checks and returns should not be underestimated.

Businesses who manage their tax payments in-house are likely to have additional costs, see inefficiencies in their process and work harder to overcome unnecessary challenges. Here are some of the biggest challenges of managing tax payments in-house.

  • Paying Taxes to Multiple Jurisdictions is Complex

Not all jurisdictions accept tax payments the same way. Some jurisdictions require that payments be submitted via paper check along with a printed return, while others require electronic payments through their own payment portals – and these requirements can change over time. Businesses who attempt to keep up with changing formats and guidelines themselves will have their work cut out for them.

It’s unlikely that tax regulations and jurisdictional requirements will become any simpler in the future you only have to look back to South Dakota v. Wayfair for an example of a recent, major legislative shakeup. It seems more probable that staying compliant will only continue to become more complex and difficult for businesses, especially those with many tax jurisdictions to pay.  

Maintaining compliance requires keeping track of large volumes of forms and mailing addresses and visiting multiple jurisdictional websites to facilitate online payments. Businesses that can’t keep up run the risk of triggering audits, governmental interference and incurring costly expenses in the form of penalties and interest fees. 

Whether the business is paying sales and use taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, business licenses and/or registrations – or some combination thereof – it’s a complicated environment. 

  • Managing Taxes Can Be Costly and Inefficient

Businesses may be throwing too much staff, time, money and energy at a resource-draining tax process. Too often, they may not have the staff necessary to maintain tax compliance or manage tax payments efficiently. Processing tax payments adds a burdensome workload to existing internal departments.

Managing tax payments can be labor-intensive and costly. Tax compliance pros will need to study and understand guidelines for each tax type and jurisdiction. Then, a busy accounts payable (AP) or treasury department will have to process the payments quickly and in line with jurisdictional requirements. 

This interplay between departments can be a common point of misalignment and communication breakdowns. The AP or treasury department may be accustomed to paying bills within 30 days, not the quick turnaround time that taxing authorities often require. And tax personnel may not have the clearance to access canceled checks or check images to investigate claims of unpaid tax bills. 

Even when a company has quality tax software and dedicated staff, there is no guarantee that payments will be made on time. Multiple approvers for large payments can add to the time it takes to pay a tax bill, and expediting payments when necessary can be painful when it needs to run through multiple staff members for approval or processing. 

  • Tax Payment Compliance is Not a Core Competency for Most Businesses

Most businesses don’t differentiate themselves from their competitors by paying their tax payments efficiently. Their customers simply don’t care about what goes on behind the scenes. To stay competitive, businesses need to focus on whatever it is they do best.

Compliance and risk systems are built to protect against liability, not drive productivity. For this reason, it’s crucial for businesses to delegate and outsource activities that don’t add to their value and bottom line. In this way, they can stay competitive, work on servicing their customers and continue to honor their core values. 

  • Remote Work and Physical Locations

As an added complexity starting in 2020 with the pandemic, remote work is the current default for many businesses, with almost twice as many employees working from home than working in a physical office according to Stanford research. This shift may extend well past the pandemic – businesses are waking up to the fact that they can maintain operations with much of their staff at home on a full-time or part-time basis. A survey from Enterprise Technology Research reports that the number of employees working from home permanently is expected to double in 2021. 

But managing tax payments doesn’t mix well with remote work. While some tax jurisdictions can be paid online and by electronic payment, many jurisdictions still require paper checks and physical returns to be mailed. 

Printing paper checks and returns, and then mailing them to jurisdictions, is going to be much more difficult for internal staff to manage when they can’t be in the office. What was a labor-intensive or time-consuming process before may now be completely unrealistic without regular access to company checks and mailrooms. 

The Case for Outsourcing

Paying taxes on time and in compliance is essential. But businesses who manage the process themselves may spend too much time, energy and money doing so. It also comes with risk – making late payments can result in penalties and interest fees. And remote work is making it difficult to keep up with the issuing and mailing of physical checks and paper returns. 

Traditional payment processes do not lend themselves to the unique demands of the tax payment process. But automated solutions can facilitate transactions, provide insight into payments and enable individuals to more effectively oversee the entire payment process. Companies that invest in automation are taking a step toward systemizing their tax management and minimizing overhead costs.

The benefits of automating tax payments include:

  • No more keeping track of jurisdictional compliance. When it comes to paying taxes, keeping track of which jurisdictions to pay, and how much to pay them, is only part of the problem. You’ve also got to keep track of how each jurisdiction accepts payments and returns. Keeping up with hundreds or thousands of taxing jurisdictions, and how to remit payments to each one, is a huge undertaking. Automating your tax payments with a payment processor shifts this work off your shoulders.
  • No more devoting resources to payment processing. Your AP and Treasury departments are already managing many financial aspects of your business. Processing large volumes of tax payments each month is a further drain on time, money and resources. Outsourcing will take away this workload, and can help you avoid delays and costly penalties or fees.
  • The ability to focus on your organization’s strong suits. When businesses can remain compliant with tax regulations and debts without having to devote a burdensome amount of time, money and resources to the process, they have a greater ability to focus on their core competencies.
  • Remote work is no longer an obstacle. Across the country, many tax jurisdictions still require paper checks and tax returns. But widespread remote work can make it more difficult to process physical checks and documents. Outsourcing your tax payment process to an organization with large-scale printing and mailing capabilities will ensure your checks and returns are handled efficiently and on time. 

While taxes are an inevitable cost of doing business, the burden of paying them can be mitigated with an effective, automated solution from an experienced payment processor. 

About Anybill

Since 2001, Anybill has provided tax payment automation to many of the world’s largest companies and organizations. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Anybill is SSAE 18 SOC1 Type II and SOC2 Type II compliant and HIPAA compliant. 

Anybill works with clients across all industries, and partners with accounting firms around the country to automate their clients’ tax payments. The company’s combination of technology, service, treasury and payment processing capabilities make it a unique solution for tax payment challenges. 

To learn more about how Anybill helps automate the tax payment process, visit www.anybill.com

Everything You Need To Know About Business Property Taxes

Managing business personal property taxes can be a tedious and intimidating process, especially if you don’t know where to start.  Businesses often overlook critical aspects during the filing process and are unaware that there are valuation methodologies they could be using to lead to a reduction in their tax liability. 

Understanding your assets and your local jurisdiction’s assessment guidelines will ensure you are only paying your fair share of taxes and will prevent your business from encountering problems further down the road.  Don’t let excessive business personal property taxes stand in the way of your business’ success.  The following guide will help you understand what to look out for this upcoming tax season. 

 

Real vs. Personal Property Taxes

When most business owners hear the term “property tax”, they likely think of their real estate property taxes.  Just like homeowners must pay property taxes on their house, most understand that a business must pay property taxes on their commercial real estate.  A lesser understood concept is that businesses must do the same with their business personal property.  According to Smart Asset, a business’ property taxes will be listed under one of two categories: real property or personal property. 

Real property includes stationery assets such as buildings and land.  Personal property is categorized as intangible or tangible. Intangible property is property that does not derive its value from physical attributes.  Examples of intangible property are things like trademarks, patents, copyrights, intellectual property, and software. Movable items, such as equipment, furniture & fixtures, and computers, that are necessary to conduct day-to-day business fall into the category of tangible personal property (TPP). These assets are what a business would report when filing their business personal property tax return. 

Distinguishing between real and personal property isn’t always simple. For example, a heavy piece of manufacturing equipment that is attached to a building could be considered real property or personal property.  Filing hundreds of thousands of personal property tax returns and working thousands of personal property audits has taught us that this can also be confusing to county appraisers. Furthermore, there are times where a personal property appraiser considers an asset to be tangible personal property while their real estate counterpart down the hall included that same asset in the calculation of the same property’s real estate value.  Unfortunately it is not uncommon to find double taxation issues where an asset is assessed as both real estate and personal property. If there wasn’t an expert keeping an eye on both property tax types, the taxpayer could be out tens of thousands of dollars.  

 

What is Business Personal Property Tax?

Items included on your business personal property tax return should be reported properly to ensure the account is being assessed correctly.  It is also important to review any assessment notices to confirm the assessor’s acceptance of the return or look to identify changes that may have been made. 

Business personal property tax is a self-reporting tax, meaning the taxpayer files a return that lists the tangible assets in their possession as of a certain date.  In most cases, the date the assets were acquired, and the cost of the assets are used to place the assets on a set of depreciation tables to account for the loss in the assets value as they get older.  As assets depreciate differently, the set of tables typically includes several tables that account for the loss of value at different rates.  In order to avoid over assessment, and therefore, overpayment of property taxes, it is imperative that the assets be placed on the appropriate table.  For example, furniture & fixtures might depreciate over 10 years while computers will depreciate faster due to advances in technology.  Assets that fall into business personal property include:

  • Furniture & Fixtures
  • Machinery & Equipment
  • Computer Equipment
  • Office Equipment
  • Vehicles
  • Inventory

 

How to File

Business personal property filing requirements are different in each state. Additionally, in some states, each jurisdiction may have unique guidelines and protocols to follow.  As technology advances, some states are also now offering online options to file your return.  As a business owner, you must stay up to date on guidelines and deadlines. Also, be aware that not all states tax personal property – Crowd Reason identifies twelve states that don’t assess business personal property taxes. Check each assessor’s guidelines to know how and when to file to avoid any penalties.

 

 

Outsourcing the filing of your business personal property tax returns reduces the risk for mistakes and can save you money on your taxes. Hiring a property tax consulting firm like Property Valuation Services can help you better understand your state and local statutes regarding the taxation of personal property. PVS specifically tracks and evaluates the value of business personal property efficiently through their customized tracking and filing system. They have developed asset specific valuation methodologies that allows for the revaluation of equipment, much like they do for real property accounts.

One of the major issues facing the 2021 filing season is the impact of COVID-19, according to Technical Director, Chip Saam. The pandemic may have affected the fair market value of equipment. The impact COVID-19 has had on equipment is not as straightforward for each industry. For example, some would argue that medical equipment has depreciated faster due to increased usage during the pandemic and, therefore, has lost value. In this view, the market value for certain pieces of medical equipment has decreased compared to normal market conditions. On the other hand, businesses like movie theaters and restaurants may be seeing the fair market value of their equipment depreciate at a slower rate due to decreased usage.  This change in the normal fair market value assessment process may cause drastic changes to previous business personal property appraisals depending on your industry.  Businesses should keep the effects of COVID-19 on the market value in mind when looking at the valuation of equipment. 

States with high property tax rates, like Texas and Virginia, thrive on tax revenue to support economic growth. Increasing valuations pose a problem for business owners who have little understanding of valuing their business personal property when comparing values to market data. Texas also often levies forced assessments on those businesses who are not properly filing their renditions.  In addition to the proven reduction/revaluation techniques listed above, PVS has a bot that consistently searches and populates a database with the resale costs of high-technology equipment, so they can prepare returns based on actual market value as another means to save you money. 

 

How Business Personal Property Audits Affect Your Business 

A Business Personal Property Tax Audit can result in unexpected tax liabilities, penalties and interest that can bring unexpected consequences to a company’s financial situation. PVS makes tax audits simple by reducing the amount of financial information auditors have control over and can defend audit assessments with concrete data to support lower values and taxes. Services like theirs can save your business from these additional taxes and possible penalties and interest. 

The auditing process can be a time burden on your company. When auditors examine your business’s financial information, they often request items outside of the scope of completing an audit of your personal property tax return and this can take up time from your staff.  Additionally, some audits can cover periods of up to four years resulting in a time-consuming information gathering process.  PVS consultants give auditors what they need, nothing more, and work in your best interest to reduce liabilities and protect your rights as a business owner.

 

 

Other Issues That May Impact Your Personal Property Tax Liability

Your business may qualify for tax exemptions that aren’t currently being incorporated into your personal property tax return filing. Led by experienced property tax professionals and a licensed ASA Equipment Appraiser, PVS has been able to save companies millions of dollars by reviewing the methodologies used in preparing prior returns. They were able to save three movie theater corporations over $4M in property taxes through these methodologies, in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars saved by their healthcare clients. 

 

Property Valuation Services Is Here to Help

Property Valuation Services is changing the way businesses file their business personal property tax returns. As a recognized leader in providing property tax solutions, PVS aspires to be the first choice for a broad range of property tax and appraisal needs. They are committed to being a customer-focused organization whose detail-oriented work is embodied with quality, integrity, ethics, respect, and exceptional communication with our clients.

Completing an analysis of the previous year’s filings will mitigate risks involved in your business personal property taxes. PVS can do the work for you by analyzing your previous year’s filing, revaluing assets, accelerating depreciation, tracking assessments, reviewing tax bills for accuracy, and semi-annual reports.

Your property values are top priority at PVS. If you are already a PVS customer, thank you for trusting us with your property tax responsibilities and we hope that you learned a little more about the detailed process PVS goes through in providing personal property tax services.  We’d like you to consider us an extension of your tax department and we look forward to continuing our relationship. If you are not a PVS client but would like more information concerning your specific situation or would like to discuss the opportunity of becoming a client with PVS, please call 888-862-2722. For more information, please visit the website.

Article From Director – Jenna Reyes

Spring greetings from PVS! 

I am pleased to introduce myself and provide a few timely updates from the world of ad valorem tax. My name is Jenna Reyes, and I am the Director of real estate at Property Valuation Services. I started with PVS in 2007 in our personal property department, preparing tax returns and arguing appeals for our hospital and imaging clients. A few years later, I made a change and transitioned to the real estate department, where I now oversee all consultants and clients and assist with our IT development, sales Account Executives and various other aspects of the company. I am a licensed agent in Texas and multiple other states across the country, and an active member in the Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT) and the national CREW network. While I have honed my baking and cocktail-making skills since the start of the pandemic, the hardest part of remote working has been the loss of in-person interaction with our clients. From Boston to Nashville to Dallas, I look forward to a break from our Zoom and Teams calls in the future, and to getting back out on the road, touching base with PVS’s clients. 

Like the spring weather, things are heating up here at PVS. Tax assessors around the county have begun mailing taxpayers their 2021 notice of value, which in most states is based on the real property’s fair market value as of January 1, 2021. These assessments should reflect any unpaid rent, loss of tenants or vacancy and decline in market rents or income that occurred in 2020. Even if your property remained stable over the last year, the industry itself may not have fared as well, and your assessment could be excessive. Our team has started filing tax appeals in states like Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina and Kansas. Several states around the county will be conducting countywide revaluations this year: Tennessee (Davidson), North Carolina, and the entire state of Iowa and Missouri. Our real estate

consultants have collected year-end income figures from our clients, and combined with market sales, local rental data and industry statistics, we will be aggressively pursuing tax savings for our clients where assessments are over market value or are unfair or unequal compared to similar properties in the county. 

The pandemic is not the only threat to hit our country and impact property values over the last year. Recently the state of Texas was hit hard by a nasty winter storm, leaving property damage and financial loss in its wake. Texas Tax Code 11.35 outlines exemption parameters in an area declared as a disaster by the governor. The Texas attorney general opined in 2020 that this section of the tax code applied only to physical damage and did not apply to Covid-19 losses. But on February 12, 2021, Governor Abbott declared a state of disaster in all 254 Texas counties due to the storm. Those properties with at least 15% physical property damage can apply for a temporary reduction in value this year. PVS’s real estate department will be reviewing Texas assessments carefully as they’re issued over the next two months. Along with annual tax protests (due May 15), we will be applying for exemptions on behalf of our clients prior to the May 28 deadline. Our service goal is simple: make sure our clients are paying only their fair share of property taxes. 

Spring is synonymous with rebirth and renewal, a fresh start. I cannot think of a year where that optimism resonates more than 2021. We hope all our clients have made it through this last year safely, both in a personal and professional manner. As your tax agent and partner in business, PVS looks forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work, helping reduce the tax liability for our clients in a time when it is so needed. We look forward to sharing our results with you in the coming months, and as always, we thank you for your continued support of Property Valuation Services.