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Overpayment Reviews for Manufacturers: Compare Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples.jpgWho should you hire to conduct a sales tax overpayment review at your manufacturing facility?

Don’t base your decision solely on the contingency rate. Be sure to compare apples to apples to get the most value and the best results. Here’s a list of questions to answer when reviewing sales tax consultants:

1) Are they sales and use tax experts?
Confirm this by asking what percentage of their work is devoted to sales and use tax issues? Also, how many years of sales tax experience does each team member bring to the table?

2) What is their experience working with manufacturers?
How well do they understand the manufacturing process? Do they know the key areas where most overpayments occur?

3) How many overpayment reviews have they completed for manufacturers?
On average, what percentage of refund requests have been granted?

4) Do they have experience working in your state?
How many overpayment reviews have you completed in this state?

5) How familiar are they with the sales and use tax laws in my state?
When was the last time they completed sales tax work in your state?

6) What is their process for collecting data?
If data is pulled from hard copies, who pulls the documents? How much assistance do you need from staff?
If data is provided electronically, what security measures are set up to safeguard the data? 

7) What is included in the Report of Findings?
Reason codes? Explanations? Recommendations?

8) Who submits and monitors refund requests to the state?
Do they have a dedicated refund coordinator to work with the state and vendors? What is the system for keeping you updated?

9) Do they offer sales tax training for your staff?
Does the training address specific information from the overpayment review? Are state-specific laws addressed? How is the training presented?

10) What type of follow up is offered?
Do they offer periodic checkups of your processes to determine if overpayment problems are solved?  Will they be available to answer questions?

Here’s an example of a chart to help you compare different overpayment review providers.

Overpayment Review Provider Comparison Chart

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Work with a team that understands manufacturing operations, has sales tax experience and knows your state’s laws. Don’t buy oranges if you need apples!

For a list of more questions that should be answered during your overpayment review, download this complimentary checklist:

6 questions every manufacturer should ask

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Mary Albright
Written by Mary Albright

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