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Double Taxation for Leasehold Improvements

Some business property is being double taxed but the owners don't know it! If you own or lease a restaurant, store, or office space with leasehold improvements there is a good chance that the personal and real property is subject to double taxation.
Real property includes all land, buildings, and fixtures. All improvements on leased property must be considered real property. However, leasehold improvements can be taxed as personal property even if those improvements are technically real property so long as the underlying real property assessment does not include value for the leasehold improvements. This is where the costly double taxation can occur.
Many real property assessments already include value for leasehold improvements. Cost calculator methods are used to value commercial and industrial buildings and these methods often have added or assumed items covering the leasehold improvements. Assessors also typically add value to the real property assessment when new construction items are added. Therefore, a review of your personal property statements and the underlying real property assessments is vital to avoid double taxation.

Coordination between the leasee and the landlord also can result in tax savings to both as the personal property tax deduction rates are often lower than real property rates and the real property item costs are sometimes lower than the acquisition costs of the leasee. Analysis of the property and coordination of the parties can result in the most effective and tax saving challenge.
Contact me today if you feel that your leasehold improvements are being unfairly taxed!

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Personal Property Statements: Don’t make This Costly Mistake!

Urgent! Personal property statement deadlines have already passed, but make sure you didn't make a costly mistake!
If you have assessable commercial or industrial personal property you were probably required to file a 2012 Form L-4175 by February 1, 2012. Many taxpayers make the costly mistake of attaching tax asset detail sheets to the personal property statements. These sheets typically include acquisitions costs and dates and provide a basis for completing your personal property statement. However, the sheets often include information for income tax purposes that should not be disclosed to the assessor! Leasehold improvements that are already taxed as real property and are listed on the tax asset detail sheet only for income tax depreciation purposes can be caught by the assessor and entered into your personal property assessment, resulting in double taxation. Sometimes it is necessary to include support for Section M of the personal property statement, the leasehold improvements section. But you should limit the supporting documents to the items that you must disclose in Section M to support the return and not include the entire tax asset detail sheet. Avoiding this problem requires detailed analysis of your personal property statements and asset details. Contact me and I can help you avoid address this problem and avoid it in the future!

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Property Assessments are once again increasing!

Property Assessments are once again increasing!

Many homeowners and property owners are currently being shocked by their assessments! Real estate markets have arguably stabilized in some areas. However, what many property owners did not expect is to see assessments increase! While values have remained stagnant or even have continued to fall in the majority of the State of Michigan, assessments are going up. Assessors have been using the highest priced sales to drive up assessments while ignoring the many typical lower priced sales that still saturate the market.
The best way to address this problem is to appeal your property taxes to the Board of Review and then the Tribunal. Boards typically do not give much property tax relief, but all residential property owners must appear before a Board before going to the Tribunal.
The Tribunal offers the opportunity to present appraisals and comparables to show your property's true worth. You get more than just a few minutes before a rubber stamp Board. You also get the opportunity to negotiate a settlement. I can assist you in this process. I have achieved significant tax savings for many homeowners and have the resources to present the best evidence possible.
Don't delay. Contact us here at 1-800-LAW-FIRM, PLLC for a free consultation.

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Urgent! Homeowners!

Don't miss the 2012 March Board of Review! If you own residential property you must appeal your assessment to the 2012 March Board of Review prior to appealing to the Michigan You will be receiving or have already received a Notice of Assessment, Taxable Valuation (including Leasehold Improvements) and Property Classification. This notice states "THIS IS NOT A TAX BILL" in bold letters on the upper right hand corner. The lower half of this notice states the time and place for the Board of Review. Non-residents have the legal right to appeal property taxes by letter. Pay close attention to the notice because some jurisdictions require residents to appeal in person!
We appeal hundreds of properties to the March Board of Review in numerous jurisdictions every year. If you contact us with sufficient time before the scheduled meeting, we can handle the Board of Review protest for you and ensure that your rights don't vanish! Contact us today.

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Welcome to my Michigan Property Tax and Michigan Tax Tribunal Blog!

Welcome to my Michigan property tax appeals blog! I formerly served as a Judge with the Michigan Tax Tribunal and will share my knowledge and insight in my blog posts. I will be making regular blog posts concerning various Michigan property tax issues and how to appeal your property taxes to either the local board of review or the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Through the years I have gained a considerable amount of experience and have achieved significant tax savings for many clients. My blog will include posts concerning residential, commercial, and industrial real and personal property taxes and tax appeals. Follow my blog and contact me for all of your property tax needs!

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