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Filing Business Property Statements

Taxes on business personal property began with the signing of the California Constitution. They are governed by the State of California and administered by the various counties.

More about the Business Property Tax

Purpose of the Business Property Statement

The Business Property Statement is used for reporting all business equipment, supplies and fixtures for each business location along with other important information. The information provided on the statement is used to assess and tax property in accordance with California State Law.

The owner also reports the acquisition costs of new business equipment, supplies and fixtures that were owned on lien date at the address shown (location of the property) as well as any equipment, supplies and/or fixtures that were sold or no longer owned by the business.

All 58 California County Assessors mail out similar statements that enable businesses to report the cost of their equipment, supplies, leased equipment, real property and improvements.

Reporting Equipment

Examples of reportable property

Some of the property that must be reported includes:

  • Cameras
  • Computers, printers, servers
  • Copiers and fax machines
  • Forklifts
  • Machinery
  • Office furniture
  • Restaurant Equipment
  • Shelving
  • Storage Tanks
  • Telephones
  • Tools
  • Video Equipment

Reporting Your Own Personal Equipment

If you are using any personal equipment in your business, it must be reported. For example, persons working out of their homes must report personal desks, computers, calculators and etc., if those items are used in their business. Other examples include:

Example 1:
Someone operating an auto repair shop is using their own "personal" tools in the business. In this case, such tools become assessable as business personal property and must be reported.
Example 2:
A home business or auto repair shop goes out of business prior to January 1. In this case, any equipment previously used in the business that could revert back to "personal" use is no longer taxable. Such items become nontaxable because they can revert to being "Household Furnishings or Personal Effects," which are exempt.
Example 3:
A grocery store goes out of business prior to January 1st but equipment such as freezer boxes and store shelving remains in the building on that date. In this case, such items would still be taxable and must be reported even though the business was closed on the Lien Date. That is because in this case, the equipment could not revert to or be used as "Household Furnishings or Personal Effects".

Reporting Your Home Business

Any equipment used for a home business is considered to be business personal property and must be reported on the Business Property Statement.

Reporting Equipment That has Been Gifted or Given to you

Where the equipment you use in your business was acquired as a gift, you may report your estimate of its current market value on the Business Property Statement (that is, what you think it would sell for in the open market place). Enter that estimated value in the most current year's cost line and add a note indicating that the entry is an estimate.

Reporting Equipment Owned by Someone Else

The Business Property Statement must show all taxable property owned, claimed, possessed, controlled or managed by the person filing the form. If you are responsible for paying the tax on the equipment, then you may estimate its value and report it on the Business Property Statement.

On the other hand, if you are not responsible for its tax, then you should declare the equipment in Part III of the Business Property Statement (Equipment belonging to others). Where equipment is declared in Part III of the Business Property Statement, the Assessor will also send a Notice to File to the person reported as the equipment's actual owner.

Reporting Equipment and/or Furnishings Belonging to Your Landlord

In this case, you need to write a remark about that circumstance on the Business Property Statement, or on an attachment to it. Also fill out Part III (Equipment Belonging To Others) of the form. If you own any small equipment, such as a printer, copier, etc., that you are using in the business, you should report these costs under Part II of the Business Property Statement and also Schedule A.

Renting Space for Your Business (such as a hairdresser)

Note these facts on the Business Property Statement, or on an attachment to it, and include the name and address of the business that actually owns the equipment. You also need to report any equipment you might own in Part II of the Business Property Statement.

Reporting Leased Equipment

You are required to report this information in Part III of the Business Property Statement so that the Assessor can properly locate and assess the actual owner for the equipment.

Filing When There Has Been No Change from the Prior Year

You must report personal property holdings in detail and as requested or mandated. If nothing has changed from the prior year (no equipment was purchased or sold), then you may refer to your prior year's Business Property Statement filing in order to be consistent in completing the current Business Property Statement. If you failed to keep a copy of the prior year's filing, you may request a copy of it from the Assessor's Office.

Reporting Just Current Acquisitions

You must report all business personal property that you own, control, or possess as of the lien date.

If Your Business was Sold or Closed

If You Sold or Closed Your Business Before January 1

Note the change in the Remarks section of the eFile form. If you are filing a paper form, fill out the cover page, and send it to us along with the following details:

If Your Business Was Sold

Indicate the new owner's name, address, date of sale, and sales price of the equipment, furniture, and fixtures.

If Your Business Was Closed

Indicate the date the business closed under "Date of Sale". Also indicate how the business property was disposed of. Any business property that you retain may still be assessable.

If you received a Notice to File a Business Property Statement from the Assessor and your business is no longer in operation, you are still required to file the Business Property Statement. You should also include a note on the Business Property Statement indicating that the business has closed, so the Assessor does not continue to assess the property.

Outside of the normal statement filing season, you may fill out a Statement of Change form with the date you went out of business, the status and disposition of any equipment owned or used by you at the time the business closed. If any of the property was sold to another person or business, please indicate the buyer's name and address. Make sure to identify any property that reverted to your own personal use as household personal property.

Note: Where a business has closed but you still own equipment previously used in the business, it may still be taxable despite the fact the business is closed. If the equipment you still own can be converted to household uses (that is, could become your personal effects), then it may not be assessable on the next lien date.

If You Sold or Closed Your Business After January 1

All property is assessable to the owner as of the lien date. The lien date is the date that property taxes for any fiscal year become a lien against a property owner.

The law specifies that all taxable personal property must be assessed as of a specific point in time, and that point is precisely at 12:01 a.m. January 1 (regardless of what transpires after that date). Even if closed shortly after the lien date, a business must still file a Business Property Statement and pay taxes for the coming fiscal year on any taxable property they owned on the lien date.

If You Don't Own any Business Personal Property

If you are an Employee of the Company and don't own any Business Personal Property

If You Are eFiling

Please note those facts in the Remarks section or upload a written statement as an attachment with the name of the company you work for and the company's mailing address before pressing the Final Submit button.

If You Are Filing a Paper Form

Please note this information on the Business Property Statement paper form or as an attachment with the name of the company you work for and its mailing address, and return the signed Business Property Statement to the Assessor's Office for processing.

Assessor will use this information to make sure you are not assessed unless are legally responsible for an assessment.

Getting Help Filing Your Statement

You can contact us for assistance with completing a Business Property Statement; there is no charge for this service and you do not need to make an appointment.

We recommend that you bring a copy of your depreciation schedule (assets listing) along with you.

What Happens After Filing

We review the form for completeness and accuracy and then use standard State Board of Equalization approved methods to convert reported costs to an estimate of their fair market value as of the lien date.

After the Assessor has assessed your property and has finished processing your Business Property Statement, the data is stored electronically. Paper forms are scanned and also stored electronically.

Please note that by law, your Business Property Statement is NOT a public document and it is not available for public inspection.

The assessment itself is then forwarded to the County Auditor, who computes the taxes owed and then forwards that information on to the Tax Collector, who in turn creates the bill and collects the tax.

Correcting Information

The Business Has Changed Location or Name

If the business has moved, or changed location be sure to enter that information in Part I General Information. Additional information can be entered in the Remarks section if needed.

Pre-filled Information is Incorrect

Correct any incorrect information and note details of the correction in the Remarks section. If you notice pre-filled information that the system won't let you correct, note the corrections in the Remarks section or contact our office.

You Submitted Incorrect Information

Please contact our office if you eFiled incorrect information.

Clerk-Recorder-Assessor

William F. Rousseau

County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters

Business Hours
Monday – Tuesday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Note: Document processing and fee transactions end 30 minutes prior to closing

Address

Assessor's Office

585 Fiscal Drive
Room 104F
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.4659106, -122.7251807

Electronic Filing

Deadline to File Business Property Statements Passed

eFile Your Property Statement

The deadline was 5/7/2018. We will mail the 2019 Notice to File letters February 2019.

Business Property Forms

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Important Notice

Important Information 75x40The staff of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor's Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.