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Tax Tips for Dealerships

Tax rules continue to become increasingly complex and sophisticated; it's nearly impossible to know all of the rules that could benefit your business. Consider the following questions:


  • Do you have the internal resources to properly manage taxes?
  • Has your business undergone significant changes recently?
  • Are you aware of the tax ramifications of these structural or organizational changes?
  • Are you aware of current legislative updates and how they affect your dealership?

Let our dynamic, innovative, and energized tax professionals help you take advantage of the federal, state and local incentives and opportunities available within your industry.

While it's true that you can't avoid your tax obligations altogether, you can minimize them, especially if you partner with an expert who has the industry knowledge to do so.

Because it's one thing to be a tax expert, it's another to be an auto dealer tax expert that understands the opportunities and challenges inherent in the industry. These include:


  • Michigan Business Tax. The state's Single Business Tax (SBT) is going away after 2007, and the new Michigan Business Tax (MBT) will replace it. This new tax provides both challenges and opportunities to dealers. Proper coordination, planning and strategies are necessary to minimize the tax for your dealership, leasing companies, real estate entities, and personal tax returns. Plante & Moran tax professionals can help guide you through these changes and diagram the most efficient game plan going forward.
  • Profitability Analysis. The most successful dealerships are profitable in all departments. Our team can help analyze operational performance in all departments to help identify opportunities for cost savings and revenue opportunities. We can provide industry benchmarks and best practices available to help your dealership thrive.
  • Inventory Valuation. There are significant tax savings available for dealerships using the LIFO (last in, first out) method for valuing their inventory. Our team can help analyze your current inventory valuation method, identify savings opportunities available, and offer practical, timely solutions to maximizing your savings . With inventory being the most significant asset of dealerships, there are significant tax savings available to dealerships using the proper valuation methods.
  • Cost Segregation. Dealerships have significant investments in real estate and equipment. Whereas many companies depreciate these investments over the typical 39 years, cost segregation enables them to depreciate these costs over a much shorter period of time, affording companies a more timely tax benefit. Plante & Moran's cost segregation specialists will conduct a complimentary assessment to determine if you, too, could be taking advantage of this opportunity.
  • Family Wealth Advisors. We recognize that securing your family's future is of utmost importance and requires expert, personalized advice. Whether you're developing investment strategies, planning your estate, formulating a succession plan for your dealership, or choosing a trustee, our experts will design a plan to help you achieve your financial goals.
  • State & Local Taxes (SALT). There are a number of SALT issues dealerships must consider. Are you properly handling the sales and use tax payments and filing requirements? Are you claiming sales tax exemptions appropriately? Are you being over-assessed on your real and personal property taxes? Are your properly handling sales and use tax related to demonstrator vehicles? Our SALT experts can help you examine these and other crucial questions.

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