Regardless of your industry, your tax workflow is probably largely comprised of research and data entry tasks: keeping track of your assets and their location, retrieving appropriate depreciation schedules, filling out business personal property tax returns, reviewing valuation notices, and paying tax bills. A substantial amount of time and effort goes into tax preparation office procedures.
But now more than ever, tax departments are struggling to remain competitive, particularly in light of newly remote environments with fewer resources and upended processes. To meet the needs of their organizations going forward, tax teams will need to embrace solutions that will increase their efficiency throughout the tax workflow.
Technology is increasingly being used to do more with less. Below, we walk through the typical tax workflow, then follow up with how technology is helping to save time.
The Typical Tax Workflow
1. Prepare and file business personal property tax returns.
Even in a small office or warehouse, you likely have a lot of assets to keep track of—computers, desks, hauling equipment, and so on. With multiple offices, you’ll have an exhaustive, detailed list of assets by location, along with a lengthy tax preparation office procedure.
Your team must go through each asset and classify them for the various tax assessors. The catch, however, is that each assessor has different asset classes and depreciation schedules. So you’re forced to research each assessor’s requirements, which quickly eats up your tax team’s time.
Once you collect all the internal and external information you need, then it’s time to fill out and file the appropriate business personal property tax return form for each location.
Tired of wasting countless hours on data entry? Automate it—and increase your accuracy—with MetaTaskerPT. Request a demo today.
2. Receive and review assessor valuations.
Once the assessor receives and evaluates your business personal property tax return, they’ll send you a notice of valuation for each return. The notice provides the value the assessor assigned to that location based on the information you provided and their own resources. Assessors also send a notice of valuation for your real estate.
If the amount seems too high, hopefully you or another member of your property tax team will check the accuracy of the valuation by using one or more commercial property valuation methods, and then appeal if need be. Appealing takes time, and may or may not be worthwhile given the value. For example, is a $5,000 discrepancy worth pursuing? Probably not, but a $500,000 difference in expected value is likely to inspire additional investigation.
3. File appeals.
You can file appeals for both business personal property and real estate, but personal property is typically more challenging to argue. With real estate, you’re arguing over the value and can use a number of valuation methods to plead your case. With business personal property, however, you’re essentially debating the appraisal method the assessor used to value your property—that’s a harder sell.
Once you indicate your intent to appeal, the assessor sets a date for you to engage with a locally elected board. Afterwards, the assessor sends follow-up documentation noting the result, whether it’s the same or a modified value.
4. Receive and pay tax bills.
The final step of the tax workflow is payment. You’ll receive a tax bill from the assessor, but it’s up to you to verify whether you’ve received all bills from relevant parties (county, city, school, etc.), and that the information on each bill is correct.
You’re also responsible for paying by the due date, regardless of unforeseen circumstances—e.g., the tax bill is sent to the wrong location, gets lost in the mail, etc. Tracking down bills can be a pain, but it’s one every tax team knows all too well.
How MetaTaskerPT Is Shifting The Typical Tax Workflow
MetaTaskerPT is advanced tax software that helps tax teams manage high-volume, time-sensitive property tax documents. If tax documentation is tying up your team—such as reviewing hundreds of assessment notices across multiple locations—you can use MetaTasker PT to make their workflow significantly easier and quicker.
Here’s how it works:
- You scan all your property tax documents—of any form and any type—and upload the files into MetaTasker. Hundreds of documents can be uploaded at a time, and you can work on other tasks while the upload takes place. At this point, your job is done.
- MetaTasker converts your images to readable text and mines data from the documents, using humans for answers when necessary. Essentially, this step consists of structuring the data located on the forms (even if the document itself is unstructured). All your tax data—account numbers, amounts due, due dates, payment collectors, etc.—is added to your database.
- MetaTasker automatically imports the extracted data into your property tax software so it’s ready for use. MetaTaskerPT integrates with a number of tax applications; however, using it in combination with TotalPropertyTax (TPT) gives you the most seamless experience, and another powerful tool to leverage on the compliance side.
You can then use MetaTaskerPT to sort and filter data to help you with prioritization. For example, you can order notices by due date to ensure you address all desired appeals. Similarly, you can order by bill due dates to avoid missing any payments.
With MetaTaskerPT, you can save time on low-value administrative work, cross-section data for searching and prioritization, and avoid entering notice values and other data manually. You can then focus on developing tax strategies and gathering evidence for appeals.
Learn more about how MetaTaskerPT can empower your tax team—schedule a free demo today.