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January 12, 2011 Written by 

Business Personal Property And Fixtures

Business property owners must file a property statement each year detailing the acquisition cost of all supplies, equipment, fixtures, and improvements owned at each location within Santa Clara County. In general, business property values are based on original cost, property classification and type of business. However, other approaches to value such as income and market may be used when appropriate.

Unlike real property, business property is appraised annually.

  • Every entity receiving a Business Property Statement or request to file letter must submit a completed statement by the date indicated.
  • If the statement is not received by the Assessor's Office by the delinquency date, state law requires that the Assessor's staff estimate the value of all property and include a 10% penalty.
  • If you choose not to e-file, a paper Business Property Statement must be signed by the assessee, a partner, a duly appointed fiduciary, or an agent. When signed by an agent or employee other than a member of the bar, a certified public accountant, a public accountant, enrolled agent, or a duly appointed fiduciary, the assessee's written authorization of the agent or employee to sign the statement on behalf of the assessee must be filed with the Assessor. The signature on the authorization must be an original not a fax or copy. In the case of a corporate assessee, the statement must be signed by an officer or by an employee or agent whom the board of directors has designated in writing. A property statement that is not signed in accordance with the foregoing instructions does not constitute a valid filing. The 10% penalty for failure to file is applicable to unsigned property statements.
  • The following should not be reported on the property statement:
    Inventory
    Application Software
    Licensed motor vehicles
  • Except for the "SIGNATURE" section/page, the taxpayer may furnish attachments in lieu of entering the information on the property statement. However, such attachments must contain all the information requested by the statement and must be in a format acceptable to the Assessor. When paper filing, the original property statement must be returned and must contain appropriate references to the attachments and must be properly signed.
  • State law requires that at least once each four (4) years the Assessor's Office audit the books and records of a significant number of businesses. Other entities are audited on a random basis or when requested by the taxpayer.

Business owners can now download from the Assessor's website at www.sccassessor.org/efile a copy of a summary report that documents the basis for their enrolled assessed values (extended values statement.)  These assessments are based, in part, on the property statement completed by taxpayers prior to May 7.  Taxpayers who e-filed timely can also download a copy of their filed Business Property Statement.

To access either statement, taxpayers will need the account number and BIN (business identification number) used when they e-filed earlier this year.  If they don't have their BIN, they can e-mail the Assessor's Office their business account number and they will mail them a new BIN.  The Assessor also e-mailed more than 14,000 businesses with information about this service in July. 

Use the links below to download a sample business personal property report, the previous year's completed 571L as submitted electronically by the taxpayer, or to view a copy of the e-mail from the Assessor that details the process.

Attachments:

 



Business Division

County Government Center
East Wing, 5th 
Floor
70 West Hedding Street
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: 408-299-5400
Fax: 408-298-9441
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