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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