Deadline for business property declarations is fast approaching
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An often overlooked but nonetheless important deadline is fast approaching: commercial property declarations. And the deadline is here.
Each year, my office mails most commercial, industrial, and professional businesses commercial property declarations. The returns are a basis for determining property tax assessments for business equipment and related accessories.
Businesses with personal property with a total cost of $100,000 or more must file this commercial ownership statement every year before April 1. This is required by state law. However, businesses have until May 7 to submit it. Subsequently, a 10% penalty will be applied. Business inventory is tax exempt.
In general, businesses with total personal property worth less than $100,000 are not required to file a business property declaration annually. Instead, a value may be established based on an initial commercial property declaration filing or through an on-site valuation. Said value may be adjusted by subsequent annual on-site appraisals. Please note that if my office mails you a form, you are required by law to return it, regardless of the amount of personal property.
Business personal property is typically all property owned or leased by a business, except real property and inventory items.
Business personal property includes, but is not limited to:
Office equipment (for example, FAX machines, photocopiers)
Furniture (for example, desks, chairs, bookcases)
It is important to remember that business personal property is valued annually beginning January 1. If your business was open or you owned personal property on that day and you have the required amount of property, you must file a return, even if the Assessor did not mail one to you. Business Proprietary Statements are private documents and are kept confidential by my office.
That said, I understand that this has been a very difficult year for many businesses and I invite you to provide me with information about your business team for the possibility of some tax relief. The restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have had a negative impact on the value of many commercial businesses, such as gyms, hotels and cinemas, while others have not. Businesses that were operating on January 1 but unfortunately had to close will be considered. Make no mistake about it, I intend to be proactive about these reductions. As an example, our office proactively reduced business personal property for approximately 47,000 businesses countywide last year.
Property taxes are based on the assessed value of your property. I also think it’s important to keep in mind that the very reason for our property taxes is to support vital public services provided to all of us, including law enforcement, fire protection, education, parks, and recreation, as well as highways.
Property tax bills show land values and improvements. Improvements include all assessable buildings and structures on the ground. In general, properties owned and used by educational, charitable, religious, or government organizations may be exempt from certain property taxes. You may also qualify for certain exemptions.
The bureaucratic name for the business personal property form is form “571-L” and as I mentioned it must be filed no later than May 7 to avoid a penalty. However, May 7 falls on a weekend this year, so the deadline is May 9. To file the form online or just to get more information, visit https://assessor.lacounty.gov/businessowners/business-prop-statement-filing.
Finally, if you wish to contact us by phone, please call toll free at (213) 974-3211 or (888) 807-2111.
Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang has been in office since 2014. Upon taking office, Prang implemented sweeping reforms to ensure that the highest ethical standards based on fairness, accuracy, and integrity were adhered to in his office. integrity, which is the largest office of its kind in the nation with 1,300 employees and provides the foundation for a property tax system that generates $17 billion annually.