What’s New

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.

 

Article From Director – Tyler Tackett

Hello, my name is Tyler Tackett. I’m currently the In-House Software Developer and IT Consultant. I lead the IT department in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and assist our help desk in Kansas City. I began working for Property Valuation Services in August of 2006 bringing me towards my fifteenth anniversary. When I started at PVS, there were about 30 employees and now, we are a team of 76. In 2006, my department was just me and one external developer and is now composed of three in-house developers, the help desk and two external developers. In my tenure, we have greatly expanded our information technology footprint. Our database size has increased by a factor of 164, not including supporting documents. In this data, we have added many clients along with their parcels and assets.

In my earlier days, I was the IT Manager at our office in Overland Park. We planned to facilitate remote employees for working from home during tax season and a few employees in remote smaller offices beginning back in 2006. The next year, we focused on improving our document management within our software solution which allows our employees to easily link and retrieve relevant documents related to various levels of the taxing process. These improvements also enabled our web access to be expanded so our clients could easily retrieve their tax returns and bills. In 2008, we began moving to a virtualized hosting environment that more easily enables us to scale and have redundancy for failover if needed. These features have been constantly improving and expanding in the following years. These early initiatives to keep our infrastructure in line with current technology trends have enabled us to easily adapt to the current work from home environment.

PVS has always invested in technology solutions to ensure an efficient and accurate tax management process for our clients. Our software, PVSpts, started development in 2000 and has been in constant development since. Every year, we add and improve features allowing us to better serve our clients. In the beginning years, many things were done on spreadsheets and paper. As we have progressed, spreadsheets are now mostly an input or output of our system. Our software now includes asset, contact, document, email, invoicing, marketing and tax management components. In the last year, we’ve completed a major software upgrade to take advantage of new database technology and search tools. We value input from our employees on ways to improve our internal procedures and client requests for processes that better align with their procedures. As we have onboarded new clients, we’ve had many requests over the years for new features that we have successfully implemented. We can typically implement client requests promptly while providing a solution that meets or exceeds our client’s needs by using our collective tax and development experience. 

As we progress in 2021, we look forward to another year of improvements and new features. Rest assured that PVS is equipped to handle your tax needs during the pandemic.

 

Article From Director – Gerhart VanNote

Happy New Year and wishes for a harmonious 2021! 

My name is Gerhart Van Note and I am the Senior Director of Real Estate for Property Valuation Services and oversee the entire real estate tax department.  I started with the company in January of 2006 and 2021 will take me into my 16th year.   We have grown from a department of three to fifteen highly qualified, motivated real estate tax professionals! The department consists of MAI’s licensed appraisers, licensed real estate agents and CMI’s – just to name a few! These professionals are qualified to handle any property type in any jurisdiction.

In fact, our client base has grown from just over 40 to over 800+ in the last 15 years.  Our real estate parcel count has grown from 4,600 to currently 16,600. We have seen tremendous growth and we owe it all to you, our clients!  

In the next few weeks, we will be sending out property information requests to you via email so we may begin our value analysis for 2021.  With most lien dates around the country set in early 2021, we anticipate filing a large number of appeals in the next few months due to the pandemic of 2020.  COVID-19 has wreaked havoc not only on the people of the world but has affected nearly all commercial and residential real estate properties.  We are currently reviewing and gathering market data to help support our appeals that will occur later in the year.  I have worked with most of our clients over the years and if you should have any questions or would like to discuss your property(s) in more detail, please feel free to reach out to me personally or anyone in the real estate department.

It has always been the mission of PVS to work in the best interest of our clients.  We truly value this mission and appreciate the atmosphere it creates. We view our team as an extension of your company and will always do what is in your best interest. To our current clients, thank you for allowing us to look after your property tax needs and we welcome the opportunity to serve any future clients in the same capacity.  

I wish you and your family a safe and healthy new year and may your company be strong and prosperous in 2021!  Thank you again for your business and looking forward to serving your company’s needs for many years to come.  

 

Article From Director – Vanessa White

Greetings, my name is Vanessa White. I have been with Property Valuation Services (PVS) for fifteen years, and I’m preparing for my sixteenth tax season.   When I started at PVS, we had less than twenty employees, and we worked about 8,000 parcels.  As of today, we have 71 employees, and we are working approximately 36,000 parcels. Initially, PVS hired me to fill the Office Manager position, but as the business grew and the number of employees increased, I saw the need for a dedicated HR professional.  In 2012 I received my first HR designation, Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and in 2015 I received my second HR designation, Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP).    Growing with PVS has provided me with a solid understanding of all aspects of the business that allows me to utilize my HR knowledge to benefit PVS, which ultimately benefits our clients.     

As an HR Director, I’m responsible for providing guidance to Management on employment best practices, resolving employee issues, and HR law compliance.   This year I’ve added another skill to my wheelhouse, understanding the ever-changing world of COVID-19 and what I can do to keep employees safe to ensure we meet the business needs.   2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, but as I reflect on everything that went well this year and look ahead to preparing for the 2021 tax season, I’m proud of how our Management and employees have successfully navigated this difficult period.    

In January, I saw the potential for a lockdown, so I took my concerns to our Senior Management.   We started assessing our ability to transition our offices to work remotely from a technology standpoint, purchase needed supplies, and create remote work policies.  Most of our offices, especially all essential staff, already had access to work remotely.  Still, our IT support used the advanced notice to prepare support employees to work remotely too.  Weeks before the country started lockdown orders, we tested our systems by asking all employees to work remotely for a day.  Because we were able to test our systems in advance, we were confident that our business would continue as usual when the state mandated lockdowns occurred.  

We only allowed three essential employees into the office to manage incoming and outgoing mail during the state mandated lockdowns, which coincided with the businesses part of our tax season.  Although we qualified as an essential business, we used an abundance of caution to limit employee’s exposure while all the health experts tried to figure out how to manage the virus’ spread.   After the bulk of the personal property tax return deadlines were complete and we had a better understanding of how to protect employees, we gave all employees the option of returning to the offices if they followed strict COVID protection policies.  Currently, we have seventeen employees who have elected to return to the corporate office.  While we strive to do what is best to keep employees safe from the virus, we felt it was important for our employees’ mental health to give employees the choice to return to the office.     

As we have learned more about the pandemic, we have safeguards to protect employees and ensure we can meet our business needs for the upcoming 2021 tax season.  We have compartmentalized our corporate office to limit the number of employees in contact with other employees, so only nine people can be exposed in a section.  Everyone in all our offices are required to wear masks. Any item that is touched by multiple people (i.e. physical returns) are handled with gloves. We have disinfectant cleaner and hand sanitizer stations all around the offices.  We have social distance and other reminder signs posted around the building.  We frequently email employees to remind them of our COVID employee protection policies and update them on the latest CDC information.  We have back-up teams comprised of remote workers cross-trained to handle essential tasks, including a team that can replace the three essential employees physically in the office if necessary.  We have put every reasonable safety measure in place to keep our employees safe and ensure our clients receive uninterrupted service.    

The measures we have taken to protect employees have resulted in no transmission inside any of our offices.  We have five employees that have contracted COVID, but luckily only two employees have physically been in an office.  After each positive test result, we had the offices professionally sanitized.  We sent all exposed employees home to work, and the employee with the positive test and all exposed employees must receive a negative test result before they can return.   

While we all eagerly await an end to this pandemic, I’m confident that PVS will continue with business as usual.  Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any PVS member.  Thank you for your continued support.  

 

Article From Director – Pam Carley

Hello, my name is Pamela Carley.  I am pleased to report that I just wrapped up my 21st  tax season with Property Valuation Services (PVS).  I began working with PVS shortly after the doors opened.  I have held multiple positions within the organization and have gained valuable experience from each job.  As such, I am now teaching and spreading my knowledge to my current team.  Our team of employees works hard throughout the year to benefit our clients and achieve the best possible result! 

My department currently manages the review and filing of all business personal property tax returns at PVS.  This is a large task as we filed over 14,000 returns in 34 states dealing with over 1,600 individual taxing jurisdictions this 2020 tax year.  Our department consists of myself, three managers, two team leads, and fourteen consultants.  To process such a large volume of tax returns, PVS has developed a valuable proprietary tracking system titled (PVSpts).  This system is a critical tool for our internal function and provides valuable data access to our clients through web access. This system is continually updated to maximize process efficiency. 

This year my team had many challenges to overcome, as did many other companies, due to COVID-19.  Our department has been extremely successful in meeting these challenges by providing remote access to each employee. Moreover, as we had already allowed our employees to utilize remote access before the pandemic, this change was quite painless.  Additionally, we were able to make the necessary modifications in PVSpts to account for the needed changes, and all returns have been filed and reviewed without incident.  Each team member really stepped up and all return deadlines were met without compromising employee safety!  

Our personal property tax filing season is quickly coming to a close for the 2020 year.  Consequently, we have transitioned to tracking all proposed assessed values to ensure the proposed assessments reflect the values we requested on our recently filed tax returns.  As this process can become quite intricate and is extremely time sensitive, PVS has created a dedicated team titled the Property Tax Support Group (PTSG) which is dedicated solely to securing data on these valuations.  With PTSG’s support in gathering this data, my team has been able to operate more efficiently by focusing on valuation work. 

In a perfect world, all issued valuations would reflect our requested valuations. However, in practice, many issued valuations must be negotiated by our office to move towards our requested assessment.   This negotiation process takes several months as I assist my team in reviewing each proposed assessment and potential appeal.  Our office contacts each jurisdiction to obtain detailed working papers which reflect the assessor’s method of valuation. We analyze each account in detail to the individual asset to identify deviations.  Each assessor is contacted to discuss these differences, and in the vast majority of cases, a negotiated settlement is achieved. 

Some situations require that appeal(s) be filed to achieve our desired assessment.  Our office works extensively with each assessor to resolve things without an appeal; however, should an appeal be warranted, PVS is fully equipped to manage the process.  Filing an appeal is a complicated process, as each state, county, and taxing jurisdiction has differing processes for appeal.  As such, the appeal phase of the tax cycle takes the remainder of the year.    

Over these 21 years, I have worked with the vast majority of our clients.  It has always been the mission of PVS to work in the best interest of our clients.  I truly value this mission and appreciate the atmosphere it creates.  I have enjoyed this experience and am looking forward to many more years with PVS.  

 Should you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any member of PVS as we are always here to answer your questions.  Thank you for your continued support.