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Bill Would Give Businesses More Time to File Property Taxes

A bill before the House Ways and Means Committee would give businesses more time to file amended property taxes, but at a penalty.

Representative Bill Davis’ legislation would double the amount of time a business has to file an amendment to the taxes it pays on its personal property, so that instead of getting six months to calculate how much a company’s non-land assets are worth, accountants would have as much as a year. But if that amended filing comes after the original 6 month grace period expires, the state will collect ten percent of any refund the company receives.

Mark Cahoon with the Indiana Manufacturers Association spoke in favor of the provision, and says he doesn’t think it’ll lead to lazy accounting.

“Somebody could kind of file a return they know is incorrect with the time constraints,” he says, “so let’s just get this out the door and we’ll come back and fix it later. So we built in that disincentive to do that, that’s you’re going to have to explain a 10% reduction in your taxes because you did that.”

The Indiana Chamber’s Vice President for Taxation and Public Finance, Bill Waltz, also spoke in support of the bill, saying he thinks accountants would rather appear capable and keep their jobs than try to game the system. Waltz says many more amended returns were filed before the state repealed its inventory tax, starting in 2002.

Another provision of the law would allow a county to take three years to pay back any sizable refunds, instead of cutting a single large check.

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