Business owners in Connecticut must file their 2010 personal property tax declaration by November 1, 2010. This declaration is due at the town assessor’s office in each town where personal property is located. The penalty for late filing is 25% of the assessed value.
If additional time is required to file, an extension of time for good cause can be requested. This request must be in writing and must be received by the assessor’s office by November 1, 2010 to be valid.
The personal property tax is self-assessed in Connecticut. Unlike real property and vehicles, business owners have to declare what personal property they own.
However, caution needs to be exercised. Even though the property is self-assessed, it is potentially subject to audit. Given the economic pressures on cities and towns, it's easy to see them allocating more resources to auditing these returns to generate more tax revenue. They can audit declarations within three years of the required filing.
The personal property tax declaration should be consistent with the business fixed asset or depreciation schedule. This is a schedule of the fixed assets owned by the business and the depreciation taken. It is important to remove assets from this schedule that are no longer in service.
ACTION ITEM: A timely filing of the personal property tax declaration will avoid having a higher assessment. Additionally, maintaining an accurate deprecation schedule will assist with the filing of a complete personal property tax declaration.
Thomas F. Scanlon, CPA, CFP®