I know, I know, I’m supposed to be an expert in Sales and Use tax, however I had a really great mentor (John) who walked into my office at Quiksilver one day many years ago and told me he could save me money on my Business Personal Property Taxes (California Form 571-L) and it wouldn’t cost me anything but time. He wanted 50% of the refund that we would receive after adjusting our current 571-L to the proper way of reporting our fixed assets. So, once the state received our current 571-L they immediately contacted us for an audit as our taxable base decreased dramatically and many categories shifted. The audit covered the prior 3 years, after which I gladly wrote John a check for nearly $160,000, half of the refund that we received.
So what magic did he have? Knowledge. Yes, educate yourself and you really are a gift to others. Back in the 90’s all we had were paper forms to fill out and the state only provided minimal categories and limited documentation on how to fill out the 571-L. Naturally the categories included were the highest tax rate categories and John taught me that there are MANY other categories and other things that are just plain legally excludable from being entered on the 571-L. Much of this has transitioned online, however it is still difficult to property report your fixed assets and pay the appropriate amount of tax.
Let me know if you’re interested in more information or a review of your 571-L as I can increase your cash flow, save you money on your current filing and on an ongoing basis, as John did for me.