If you are a business owner or executive, you are likely juggling more than ever through this pandemic. Even while your day-to-day life has been met with many new challenges, you are still keeping up with accounting. You are still responsible for your state and county revenue taxes. Fortunately, Sharon Lyall CPA is an essential business and we are able to operate in a manner that fully complies with our state regulations and CDC recommendations for social distancing. Even now, we are here to help you find areas where you may be paying too much in business personal property and real estate taxes.
Business Personal Property and Real Estate Tax
While many businesses have had to suspend operations, there is still often a substantial property tax burden hanging over their heads. Through our years of experience in business personal property taxes, we have found that companies are often paying more than they should. Some of the reasons why include:
Confusion: With personal property taxes the burden of reporting is on the taxpayer and tax codes are often difficult to read and decipher. Therefore, many companies do not fully understand what they owe.
Time: However, few CPAs spend the required amount of time in this area, so it would be a challenge to attempt to correct this on your own. Most focus on Federal and state income tax; however, there may be extensive savings available for those who know where to look. If you do not have time to pursue the expertise, you need someone on your team who can help, like Sharon H. Lyall CPA.
Categorization: Many are unaware of how to properly categorize property and real estate. This often results in being double-taxed on property. Bank vault doors, for example, may be considered real estate in some counties and personal property in others, which often leads to them being taxed as both. If your banking company has multiple locations, you can imagine how much being taxed twice adds up. Some assets are depreciated differently. In almost every industry, there are commonly miscategorized items that, if corrected, could save companies significantly.
Ghost Assets: Even more frightening than you could imagine, ghost assets haunt your books and drive your tax bill higher than it should be. Ghost assets are business personal property assets for which you are paying taxes that are fully depreciated according to Federal and state tax rules but that actually no longer exist or, at least, you no longer own. They can be everything from old computer equipment and fax machines to furniture and phone systems. These items are on your asset lists, which are often used to report your personal property to the county but need to be disposed of and can hurt your bottom line if your company has a single location. I’m sure you can imagine how scary they are when multiplied across numerous franchises.
County Real Estate Revaluations: 14 North Carolina counties have performed property revaluations in 2020, some are appraising commercial real estate at a 33% increase on average. In the new year, companies in those counties will have a chance to appeal. Many owners and executives may believe their valuations are too high; however, it is hard to know whether you have a case. If you feel your appraisal is higher than it should be, you are not alone. Sharon H. Lyall CPA helps business owners determine if they should consider appeal and how to begin the process.
As business marches on through these challenging times, if you find you need to take another look at your business property tax situation to find areas where you might save money, contact Sharon Lyall CPA. We help companies throughout the region and can perform a free tax review to help determine where you might reduce your tax bill.