Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is “Tangible Personal Property” ?
A: Tangible Personal Property is all property owned or held by a business to operate that business, including but not limited to, furniture, fixtures, vehicles, tools, machinery, equipment, raw materials, and supplies. The tangible personal property reporting schedule and its accompanying instructions contain a good, but not all inclusive list of the items that make up personal property. Finished goods in the hands of the manufacturer and inventories of merchandise held for sale or exchange are not considered tangible personal property.
Q: How is Tangible Personal Property reported and assessed in Tennessee ?
A: No later than 1 February each year, the Assessor of Property is required to furnish each applicable business in the county with a schedule for listing all of their tangible personal property. Those business owners (or agents) must then complete and return those forms to the assessor’s office prior to 1 March. In many cases, for an existing business, this simply involves listing the equipment acquired or disposed of during the previous year, so that it may be added to or removed from the schedule already on file. It is basically a “self declaring” system, but is subject to audit for verification.
Q: I no longer operate a business, why do I still receive a schedule to fill out ?
A: If you have closed your business, but are still receiving Tangible Personal Property schedules, you probably have not closed out your business license. Along with contacting the County Clerk’s office to remedy this, you need to state that your business is closed in the “notes” section on the back of the schedule, then sign, date, and return the form to the Assessor .
Q: What happens if a business owner fails to return the tangible personal property schedule ?
A: If a business owner fails to complete and file a schedule, the Assessor of Property must make a “forced assessment” regarding the quantity and value of the personal property held by that business by using information available on businesses of similar size and function.
Q: I have a personal vehicle that I use for business purposes, do I have to list that vehicle as business property ?
A: Yes, if you use the vehicle for business it must be reported.
Q: Some of the equipment or machinery that I use to run my business is leased, do I report that property on my schedule ?
A: Yes, under Tennessee Law, leased or rented equipment is assessed to the lessee and you are required to list it on your schedule..
Q: I run a small business out of my home that uses very little equipment or supplies, do I have to individually list those items ?
A: No, if you believe that the depreciated value of all your personal property is $1,000 or less,
you can check that box on the reverse side of the schedule and there is no requirement to itemize.
Q: What if I disagree with the value assigned to my personal property by the Assessor ?
A: As with “real property”, a property owner has the right to appeal their personal property assessment, beginning with the County Board of Equalization and continuing until satisfied or their appeals are exhausted. For the initial appeal to be heard, however, the taxpayer must first file a completed schedule.
Dates to Remember:
1 January : Date of Assessment
1 April : On or before 1 April, all forms must be returned to the assessor’s office, to include military exemptions.
20 May : Assessor lists all property and notifies property owners of any changes in their assessments.
TCA 67-5-504 & TCA 67-5-508
1 June : County Board of Equalization meets for approximately two weeks to consider appeals and certify values.
TCA 67-1-404 & TCA 67-5-1410
July : County Commission and City Council set their respective tax rates.
1st Monday in October : Taxes become due and payable.
1 March (following year) : County taxes become delinquent, penalty and interest begin to accrue.
1 June (following year) : City taxes become delinquent, penalty and interest begin to accrue.