State and local tax compliance can often cause anxiety for businesses because of the difficulty to stay on top of all the changes! Our Refund Checkup is just what the doctor ordered to relieve anxiety and put your mind at ease relating to state and local tax compliance.
Individuals responsible for managing state and local taxes for business know it can be difficult to stay up to date with:
Your business’ new services or products and where those services or products are sold;
Your business’ purchases and where/how those purchases are used;
Understanding the consequences of entering new states or localities; and
Changes to the state and local tax laws, rules and regulations where you are currently operating. With all of this activity, you can see how easy it is for businesses to unknowingly over comply. For the same reasons you go to the doctor or dentist for a routine checkup, businesses can benefit from a ZHF Refund Checkup.
Why conduct a refund checkup?
Our Refund Checkup helps your company analyze your current compliance to identify where you may be overpaying state and local taxes. We assist you by working with the state or local taxing jurisdictions to obtain a refund of those overpayments. As part of the Refund Checkup, we may also identify underpayments that you may want to resolve prior to being contacted by a state or local tax auditor who may assess the tax with penalties and interest. To help ensure future savings, our Refund Checkup also identifies the root causes of any non-compliance (overpayments or underpayments). We can then work with you to implement strategies to reduce and eliminate non-compliance.
Who makes a good Candidate for refund checkup?
There are several factors in diagnosing whether you are a good candidate for a Refund Checkup. If your business encounters any of the following factors, then your business is a good candidate for a Refund Checkup:
Pays a substantial amount of state and local taxes (do not forget to include sales tax paid to vendors) – we can perform a Refund Checkup for the following taxes: sales, use, real property, personal property, gross receipts, income, franchise, and unclaimed property.
Operates in any of the following industries: manufacturing, retail, construction, insurance, banking, leasing, restaurant, hotel, printing, transportation, distribution, and wholesale.
Currently under audit (or have recently been audited) – in most audit situations, the state or local auditors do not identify refunds as part of their audit process. We can typically get the refund approved in conjunction with the audit. Even if your company has never been audited, you are still a good candidate, as the Refund Checkup will help to put your mind at ease relating to your past compliance.
Has high turnover in accounting or tax staff – we have often found that refunds can be identified as the knowledge of taxability is not transferred to new staff (or is transferred incorrectly).
Has a decentralized compliance function – we have found that refunds may be identified because the local compliance staff is not up to date with changes in tax laws, court cases or regulations. If your company’s compliance is centralized, we have also found that refunds may be identified because the specific state or local tax laws for each location are not thoroughly understood by centralized staff.
Refund checkup process?
We complete our Refund Checkup with minimal effort on our clients’ part. We work as partners with our clients and capitalize on your knowledge of your business to efficiently and effectively identify refund opportunities. During the Refund Checkup we will notify you of any discovered unpaid tax. Once the checkup is complete, we can work together to fix the root causes of the overpayments/underpayments. The Refund Checkup is performed in three steps to ensure that we minimize the amount of your time and resources and maximize value to you.
Step 1: Initial Review
Our experienced professionals will review your business operations, tax filings, tax filing positions, and structure to gain an understanding of its principal transactions. We will develop an understanding of how entities within your legal structure work with one another. We will also review past compliance, internal controls, audit history, and refund history. The purpose of Step 1 is to identify and estimate any potential overpayments or underpayments and determine how we will conduct the rest of the Refund Checkup. After we mutually agree, we will move to Step 2.
Step 2: Documentation management
We develop and implement an action plan to manage the acquisition of the appropriate detail to document the amounts to be requested as part of any refund claim based on Step 1. Before proceeding to Step 3, we will need your approval on all refund claims.
Step 3: Refund processing
We complete and file the necessary refund claims or amended returns along with the necessary support documentation obtained in Step 2. Our goal is to always provide enough information so the taxing jurisdiction can make its decision without requesting further documentation. To expedite the refund claims, we monitor the claims to ensure that the taxing jurisdiction is completing its review process as quickly as possible.
Why Select Zaino Hall & Farrin?
Our professionals have over 100 years of collective experience working in state government, industry, and tax consulting. This experience allows us to quickly understand your business operations, identify refunds, and communicate with state and local tax department officials to expedite the refund recovery process.
To further discuss our Refund Checkup process and its benefits or to schedule a Refund Checkup, please contact any one of the ZHF professionals.