While I fancy myself as a do-it-yourself kind of homeowner, I’m not afraid to outsource certain tasks to professionals.
One service that I’m happy to outsource is pest control. The company I use keeps Chateau Hoffman free of all unwanted guests, so I’m happy to write that check each month.
During my most recent pest inspection, the technician hit me with a left hook:
“Mr. Hoffman, would you be interested in hearing about the kitchen and bathroom remodeling services our company now offers?”
Home improvement services from a pest control company?
For a second, I thought that this might not be too crazy since their pest control work is within the home repair/maintenance industry. That thought train lasted for about five seconds before my skepticism kicked in.
“No thanks, I appreciate the offer though.”
I had a gut feeling that the jump from pest control to kitchen/bathroom remodeling was too extreme for my level of risk tolerance. They may be able to do it just fine, but the risk of errors is too much for me.
Connecting the Dots
I was speaking with my friend Karen Syrylo from the Maryland Chamber of Commerce recently and I learned a really interesting nugget of information. To streamline audit operations in Maryland, sales and use tax auditors are now starting to act as unclaimed property auditors as well.
(If I just threw you a left hook, rub your eyes and re-read that last sentence.)
In some cases, taxpayers in Maryland are having auditors simultaneously do sales tax audits and unclaimed property audits.
Deja vu…this reminded me of the remodeling pitch I got from my pest control company!
Here’s the magic question: would you feel comfortable having your pest control company remodeling your kitchen? If not, it’s probably because you’d be worried about their expertise in the area of kitchen remodeling.
The next question is: would you feel comfortable having your sales tax auditor also auditing your company’s unclaimed property activity? If not, it’s probably because you’d be worried about their expertise in the area of unclaimed property.
Green auditors can make for a very difficult time in defending an audit. If your organization has operations in Maryland, it may not be a bad idea to prepare for an unclaimed property audit. If your organization is like most, you may need to draw straws and figure out who is going to take responsibility for unclaimed property in the first place. (Most companies toss it around like it’s a hot potato.)
If your company has already been hit with a one-two punch in Maryland (a sales tax audit and a simultaneous unclaimed property audit), feel free to drop in a comment below and let us know how it went!