Making Amends for Missed Opportunities

One of the frustrating things about life is talking about things we wish we’d done.  One of the wonderful things about personal property tax filings is doing something about it!

It is not uncommon for a person to review a property tax return in the current year and say, “Well, what do you know? Some of these assets are exempt!” Then there is much rejoicing in the fact that a location’s personal property taxes have been reduced.  However, once the celebratory pizza party is over, little thought is given to recovering a similar slice of the taxes paid in previous years.

There is no general rule for obtaining refunds.  Since many jurisdictions have already spent the money you are requesting, they may shudder at the mere mention of a refund.  Keep in mind that some issues make better refund opportunities than others.  Double taxation is one of the best.  If you reported items, such as tanks, on your personal property and find that were already picked up in the real estate assessment, get that adding machine warmed up.

Taxability is another hot issue.  If a group of assets is discovered to be non-taxable in the current year filing, such as exempt pollution control equipment, exempt software, or exempt tooling, those assets were probably exempt last year too—grab some more paper for that adding machine!

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