Frequently asked questions

Questions about a predominant use study for the utility sales tax exemption and refund
Call National Utility Solutions with any questions regarding the predominant use studies for utility sales tax exemptions at 346-241-0100 extension 3 or Toll Free 844-767-0037.
Is a predominant use study required and what happens if I do not have a predominant use study?

For most States, if a tax payer is claiming a utility sales tax exemption for an electricity, natural gas, or water meter and does not have a predominant use study for each meter exempted, the tax payer may be reassessed the utility taxes limited to the statute of limitations for the State the facility is located. The statute of limitations ranges from 24 to 120 months depending on the State the facility is located.

How long does it take to have the predominant use study completed?

Typically, once an agreement has been made, our technical staff will contact you within one business day to set an appointment to perform your predominant use study within a week or two. The amount of time at your facility is minimized since our associates have performed over 21,000 predominant use studies and will be familiar with the power-draw of the common components such as lighting, HVAC, computers, refrigerators, etc… The raw data is compiled at our headquarters to further minimize time at your facility. The study is normally completed and certified by our Professional Engineer within one or two days of the site visit.

How long does it take to have the sales taxes removed and refunded from the utility invoices?

The sales taxes are typically removed from your utility invoices by your next billing cycle from the time the predominant use study is completed. The refund time will vary from provider to provider and whether or not State agencies are involved in the refund claim processing. If the State agencies are not involved in the refund claim, a refund or credit is normally issued within 30 to 60 days from the time the predominant use study was completed. If the State agencies are involved in the refund processing, it will normally take 3 to 6 months to receive the refund due to State agencies being back-logged with claims.

Will performing a predominant use study disrupt our production?

There should not be any disruption to your operation. No equipment will be turned on or off and no employees will need to start or stop working during the predominant use study. It is preferred that the technician experiences normal day to day activity during his site visit.

How much does a predominant use study cost?

Pricing is subject to scope of work needed or wanted for a facility (number of meters to be studied, size of study(s), amount of processing needed, and the likely need for defense of the study since we handle the defense at no additional cost). 99% of our clients prefer our performance-based pricing structure when refunds are available. This means there is no upfront out of pocket expense, no charge for meters that do not qualify, and no charge at all if none of the meters qualify at the facility. We simply participate in a portion of the refund we recover on your behalf. We do not participate in the future sales tax savings going forward. We can accommodate other pricing structures if desired. Regardless of pricing structure, we handle the defense of our predominant use studies at no additional cost to ensure you get the exemption and refund and get to keep it. Contact us for a competitive no-obligation quote or Call 346-241-0100 or Toll Free 844-767-0037.

Will the utility sales tax exemption cause an audit?

This exemption is just like any other raw material sales tax exemption that you may already be taking except that it normally requires a predominant use study as proof of qualification (on a per meter basis, not a per company/location basis). Many States offer utility sales tax exemptions to attract new businesses and retain existing businesses so it will not cause an audit or any other activity from the State agencies. Should any State agencies choose to review our predominant use studies prior to releasing the refund, we will handle the defense of our studies at no additional cost.

What happens if the predominant use study is rejected by the State agencies?

If you have previously had a predominate use study rejected, contact us for a no-obligation consultation. The rejection may have been based on any one or more of these reasons: non-qualified business model, improper format, inaccurate/incomplete content, not balanced with the usage history, not certified by an engineer from an accredited college of engineering. It is also possible that the predominant use study was done correctly; but nobody was there or trained to defend the study. If National Utility Solutions performed your study, contact us since we also handle the defense of our predominant use studies at no additional cost and will honor our guarantee that our study is valid per the various State regulations if we are given the opportunity to defend said study.

Can we do the predominant use study (utility use study) ourselves?

Although taxpayers do have the opportunity to represent themselves in sales tax matters, most State agencies prefer a third party to perform the predominant use studies to help ensure a non-biased study. Our clients realize these exemptions may become a sales tax liability if the predominant use study(s) are not done correctly. Their refunds can be drastically delayed and/or reduced if the person performing the utility use study is not well-versed in the State law regarding the format, content (mis-categorizing components), and accuracy requirements. If the processing is not done correctly, that can also contribute to reduced or delayed refunds. To avoid a 2 to 10 year utility sales tax liability, our clients prefer to have experts handle the utility sales tax exemption from start to finish. For our clients’ protection, we carry a $1,000,000 Professional (errors and omissions) insurance policy in addition to a $2,000,000 General Liability policy.

Your work could be reduced to forwarding copies of electricity and/or natural gas invoices while our technicians, professional engineer, and processors take care of the rest.

What happens if we do not qualify for the utility sales tax exemption?

There is never a charge for our services for meters that do not qualify for the utility sales tax exemption. Since each meter must stand on its own merits, it is common that a facility that has multiple meters will have some that meet the criteria and some that do not. If no meters qualify, we will shake your hand and thank you for the opportunity with no charge at all. If a sales tax exemption is already in place and you find out that the meter does not qualify, you will want the sales taxes re-instated as soon a possible to eliminate the sales tax liability over time.

Do predominant use studies (utility use studies) expire?

For most States, the predominant use studies do not expire but may need to be updated from time to time when significant changes are made to the facility or the business model. Some States do require the studies to be updated every few years. Contact us for information regarding your State or for information regarding what to do if your predominant use study is still valid but you see sales taxes re-appear on your utility invoices to avoid problems with your State agencies in the future.

How much can I expect my utility sales tax refund to be?

The utility sales tax refund is based on the length of time the meter(s) have been on sales tax, which State the facility is located, and their respective statutes of limitations. Depending on which State the facility is located, the refund will be either a full, tiered, or partial (a percentage determined by the predominant use study) of the sales taxes paid in error for up to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations will vary from 24 to 120 months depending on the State. Call 346-241-0100 or Toll Free 844-767-0037 to discuss your specific situation.