Business Personal Property FAQs

 

What is Personal Property?

Personal Property is property not permanently affixed to or part of the real property, such as furniture, fixtures, and/or equipment.  Everything that is not real estate is personal property.

Who is required to report Personal Property?

Every individual, firm, or corporation owning business personal property in Alabama on October 1st of each year.

When should Personal Property be reported?

A complete itemized listing of all personal property owned on October 1st must be provided to the local assessing official in the taxing jurisdiction in which the property is located.  This list must be submitted between October 1st and December 31st of each year to avoid penalty.  The list must include a description of the property along with its acquisition date and cost.

Can I file my Business Personal Property online?

Yes.  Please click here.

If I do not receive a Business Personal Property Rendition form in the mail, where can I get one?

You are welcome to contact our office and we can mail or fax a form.  Or, more conveniently, click here.

What are some examples of the kinds of things I list on the rendition form?

Basically all furniture and fixtures as well as machinery and equipment purchased for and used by the business.

What gives the Revenue Commissioner authority to tax my business?

The State of Alabama under Title 40, Code of Alabama 1975, requires that every person report to the county taxing official each year a complete list of all business personal property owned by the taxpayer on October 1st of the tax year.  Copies of the Code of Alabama are available at local public libraries.

Am I required to fill out and return the Business Personal Property Rendition form every year even though my equipment is the same as last year?

Yes, our office must receive a form every year no later than December 31st to report equipment that is owned and located in the county as of October 1st.

Most of my business equipment has been fully depreciated on my income tax return, do I still list these items on the Business Personal Property Return?

Yes, all assets owned as of the October 1st lien date must be reported with acquisition dates and acquisition costs.  The depreciation schedule used in preparing income tax returns may be used.  However, the depreciation schedule must be adjusted for additions and deletions so that it will contain property owned by the business on the October 1st lien date.  Also, assets which are expensed rather than capitalized for income tax purposes and are not included on the depreciation schedule must be added to the taxpayer’s listing so that all personal property is reported.

How does the Revenue Commissioner’s office value my business personal property?

The Property Tax Division of the Alabama Department of Revenue has established procedures in the Alabama Personal Property Appraisal Manual for determining market value and the assessed value of personal property.  All counties in the state of Alabama use this manual to achieve uniformity.  The type of business, type of equipment, acquisition year, and acquisition date are all used in figuring values.  For example, computer equipment depreciates more quickly than items of office furniture.  Business Personal Property falls into Class 2 property and is therefore assessed at 20% of its market value.

What if I fail to comply with the law?

If you fail to file a listing of your Business Personal Property a field review will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Title 40 of the Code of Alabama 1975.  During this field review a listing will be made of your business personal property and this property will be assessed to you.

When will I receive a tax bill to pay the ad valorem taxes on my business equipment?

You will receive a tax bill the following October 1st, just like ad valorem taxes on real property.  For instance, what you own this October 1 you will receive a tax bill for those items the next October 1st.

I already paid tax on my business equipment when I purchased them, why am I being taxed again?

When you purchased the equipment you paid sales tax and this is ad valorem tax or “ownership” tax that is solely based upon value.  It is based neither upon the ability of the owner to pay nor upon the amount for which the property last sold.  Ad valorem tax on business personal property has been a law in the State of Alabama since 1975 and is a law in many other states as well.

Can my business be audited by the Revenue Commissioner?

Yes, and it will be.  Blount County is currently following Alabama Department of Revenue guidelines to regularly audit businesses which have personal property.  At the end of 2002, Blount County had completed a 4 year review of all Business Personal Property, at that time, the process started over.

O.K., I understand, but how can I insure that I have complied with the law?

You are encouraged to contact our personal property department.  We will help you in any way we can.  Our phone number is (205) 625-6868  ext. 3110.  You are also welcome to come by our office located in room 105 on the main floor of the courthouse.

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