County Tax Assessors Investing in Technology: The Implications for Businesses
By Carla Yrjanson
As county government becomes more efficient and timely in how they manage property taxes, businesses should do the same or they risk penalties and possibly costly audits resulting from non-compliance.
According to a joint survey conducted by Thomson Reuters and the National Association of Counties (NACo), county assessors expect investments in technology—including information management systems, mobile and cloud-based software and services—to increase staff and operational efficiency, improve data accuracy, and enhance the reliability and security of information. Already delivering on expectations, the same survey found that despite less staff, 72% of U.S. counties report increased assessed property values and 64% of counties reported an increase in the volume of records processed in the last year. In addition, recent U.S. Census Bureau data highlights property tax as a leading source of revenue for states, which likely means that government will continue to enforce property tax compliance in the coming year.
With all this coming, exactly what does it all mean for businesses? As counties ramp up their technology systems to drive improved information accuracy and reliability, what can business do to keep in-step with increasingly technically-savvy local government?
With more than 18,361 taxing authorities collecting property tax in the United States, each with varying rules and regulations on state taxation, a system that bases property tax on the values and location of property at a specific point in time, achieving property tax compliance is no easy feat. However, just as there is technology designed to help government to become efficient tax-collecting machines, there is also technology to help businesses to become equally efficient at lowering property tax compliance administrative costs and improving cash management. There are also many free resources available that provide the key filing, appeals and tax payment due dates in various states.
The bottom line is that as county government becomes more sophisticated and subsequently more efficient and timely in how they manage property taxes, businesses should do the same or they risk penalties and possibly costly audits resulting from non-compliance.
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