Did you know that you may potentially be paying taxes that you don’t have to pay? It is becoming more important now than ever for businesses to conduct a sales tax refund review. By doing so they have the potential of saving money and better yet, getting money back from overpayments made on their acquisitions of expense and capital asset items. Read on to see if you should consider a refund review for your business.
A refund review may be known as a recovery project, sales tax recovery project, audit recovery, or reverse audit. Overall, they all mean essentially the same thing: Reviewing transactions – specifically expense purchases and fixed asset acquisitions – for tax that was paid that should not have been.
It is a process conducted by sales tax professionals who review all business purchases to tell you where you are paying taxes, what you are paying taxes on and why you are paying them. Throughout this project they are able to see if you are subjected to any tax exemptions.
Due to the complexity of the nature of sales tax and state sales tax legislation, there are many exemptions that companies are not aware of and not utilizing but may be subject to and could benefit from. This is valuable knowledge for your business—and peace of mind that you’re compliant where you need to be compliant.
It’s no secret that every business of any size, especially those that have nexus in more than one state, will benefit greatly from a sales tax refund review. Industries like manufacturers, retailers, software providers and more who have several associated exemptions in multiple states can especially benefit from a refund review. More importantly, business purchases made in these industries may not have tax associated with it. There may be exemptions that you are unaware of, which may be unduly costing your business.
A common example is your business could be paying taxes on a purchase of software and depending upon the place and nature of the use of this software, you may not have had to pay tax on that purchase, or it may be allocated to non-taxing jurisdictions or jurisdictions with a lower rate.
The bottom line here is, whether you're a small business paying thousands in taxes a year or a large company paying millions in taxes a year, you undoubtedly should consider a sales tax refund review.
A lot of finance or accounting departments in businesses will err on the side of caution when paying out state taxes. This is sensible logic: Dealing with unpaid taxes down the road is a much worse scenario than paying it upfront.
Nonetheless, being cautious and always paying the tax can end up costing your business a lot of undue money each year. Sales tax is a margin killer, especially when you’re overpaying. A refund review can help you recoup some of these lost funds and prevent you from overpaying in the future.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are there for the taking, or there to recover in a time of crisis during an audit. Sound too good to be true? Here’s a real-life example.
This company was faced with a mountain of sales tax liability. They were about to be put out of business. This eCommerce seller partnered with Peisner Johnson and reduced their liability from seven figures to almost nothing.
Sometimes you need something and you don't know it. In the words of Socrates, “ You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Your business may be running like a well-oiled machine but you won't know for sure until you pop the hood and take a good look. To most businesses, this can seem like it will entail a lot of effort on your end and we understand the pushback. However, we assure you we won’t bug you at all as we conduct the review and you are as involved or uninvolved as you choose to be.
The million-dollar question is; why wouldn’t you want a free look? If your business collects and remits state sales tax, there’s a good chance you could recover overpayments or out-of-pocket expenses by taking a closer look at your compliance. For businesses looking to improve the financial standing of their business, reverse audits provide a favorable and manageable process for doing so. Find peace of mind, collaborate with us. We are a “What’s Next” call away.