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Top Apps for Business Location Decisions Part 2: Taxes and Incentives

A selection of tax and incentive Web apps to help executives collect, analyze, and compare data on potential locations for business expansion and relocation.

Taxes and incentives are major considerations for companies planning facility expansions, as well as for those maintaining day-to-day operations. This year, tax exemptions, incentives, and corporate tax rates comprised three of the top 10 site selection factors in Area Development's 25th Annual Consultants Survey. These online tax and incentive tools can help businesses examine their companies' tax profiles, as well as prepare for future financial growth.

Property Tax Lookup Tool
This tool from The Tax Foundation not only allows users to research property tax rates on a county basis, but it also provides comparative property tax statistics, such as national median real estate taxes, U.S. taxes as a percentage of home value, and taxes paid as a percentage of median income. Information is available in yearly, three-year, or five-year increments, with statistics going back to 2005.

ICA Incentives
ICA Incentives is the first database tracking incentive deals throughout North America. It tracks more than 150 deals every month across all types of companies and industry sectors. Business users can analyze trends in incentive awards at the state, city, and sector levels; optimize their own incentive packages and negotiations; and obtain in-depth research from a full databank and database of downloads on all types of incentive deals. Users can customize their own reports and search by filters including sector, location, incentive type, and value. The information derived from the multiple news feeds ICA follows is downloadable into Excel spreadsheets.

White House Tax Cut Calculator
Last year, President Barack Obama prevented 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the middle class from expiring. Obama also passed a payroll tax that applies to 2011 taxes. Users of this tax calculator can determine how these legislations affect them. The calculator applies to individuals.

Sponsored by North Carolina State University's Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), myDSIRE allows businesses to create customized searches for incentives that apply to sustainability, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. Organizations use myDSIRE for individualized incentive data, RSS-enabled incentive updates, and a policy-tracking service. Information is culled from DSIRE's data on more than 2,200 programs for renewables.

State-to-State Migration Data Tax Tool
Created by The Tax Foundation, this Web tool tells users the number of people and amount of income that moved to and from every state in a period spanning 1993-2008. Users can view figures for immigration, emigration, or net migration. (Information on foreign immigration and emigration is not available.) The data derives from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its Statistics of Income division.

Area Development Online State Resources
Every year in March, Area Development collects updated business tax and financial incentive information from all 50 states and organizes it on its State Resources Web page. Once on the page, users can select a state to view its taxes and incentives for that year. While this information is not meant to replace research directly from state revenue organizations, it is a rich resource that lists major state tax and incentive programs, as well as each state's contact information.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Worldwide Tax Summaries
This comprehensive data tool includes information about individual and corporate taxes for 143 countries. Users can select nations either in map or list formats. Once a country is selected, users arrive at a landing page that summarizes that nation's tax and governing structure. Corporate tax information covers corporate income taxes, deductions, tax incentives, tax administration, withholding taxes, and other critical data.

IRS: e-file for Large Businesses and International
This IRS guide includes all the information corporations with at least $10 million in assets need to know to complete e-file, a way to electronically file taxes. The data collected on the Web page encompasses everything from the latest tax schedules to the Modernized e-File (MeF) Status Page, which tells users the system's status and updates. Other information includes a troubleshooting guide and how the IRS approves tax prep software for electronic filing.

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