Business Property Tax
All businesses located in Pittsylvania County are required to file an itemized listing (including fully depreciated or expensed items) of all business equipment owned as of January 1 of the tax year. This document is due to the Commissioner of the Revenue by February 15th of each tax year. This list should include an asset description, year purchased and original, capitalized cost. Below are some examples:
|Type of property||Examples|
|Fixtures and Furniture||desks, chairs, tables, file cabinets, display cabinets, shelving, etc.|
|Office Equipment||typewriters, calculators, cash registers, computers, telephone systems, fax machines, Security Systems, etc.|
|Leased Equipment||Property you lease from others (like copiers, computers, etc.) Please include name and address of lessor.|
Business Personal Property
Business personal property (furniture, fixtures, and hand tools) is assessed at a percentage of the cost ranging from 30-5% depending on the year acquired. Heavy construction machinery, including but not limited to land movers, bulldozers, front-end loaders, graders, packers, power shovels, cranes, pile drivers, forest harvesting and silvicultural activity equipment and ditch and other types of diggers owned by businesses are assessed at 10% of the original cost. The tax rate set by the Board of Supervisors is the same as personal property - $9.00 per $100 assessed value.
Businesses are requested to file an itemized list of personal property and equipment declaring the date of acquisition and original cost. Machinery or tools used directly in the harvesting of forest products and liable for payment of forest products tax shall be taxed at the machinery and tool rate set by the Board of Supervisors, which is currently $4.50 per $100 assessed value. To qualify for this taxation, copies of the forest products tax return must be submitted with the yearly reporting form.
The return must be filed by February 15; however, if this date falls on a weekend or a legal holiday, the deadline is the next business day. If the return is received after the filing date or not returned there is a 10% or $10 penalty (whichever is greater) assessed. Any questions concerning the business personal property tax should be directed to 434-432-7946. If you have filed these Business Tangible Personal Property reports in the past, the Commissioner’s Office will automatically send you the required reporting form for the current year by early January.
If your business is new, or has never filed these reports, you may request them by contacting the Commissioner’s Office at 434-432-7946 or by written communication to P.O. Box 272, Chatham, VA 24531.
- What is business personal property tax?
Business personal property tax is a tax on the furniture, fixtures, machinery, and tools used in a business, trade, or profession. The Code of Virginia (§58.1-3503) states that all tangible business personal property is taxable for the physical life of the property regardless of age (1 day or 1,000 years old). Taxable assets include items that have been received free of charge, as a gift, or personal items that have been brought from home to use in the business. Taxable property also includes items that have been partially or fully depreciated for income tax purposes. This tax is assessed annually and is based on all assets owned, or in the possession of, the business on January 1.
- How is business personal property assessed?
Assessed values are based on a percentage of the original cost for the year of acquisition of the asset. The Commissioner of Revenue determines the assessed value of your property by a set percentage (based on purchase year) of the original cost of each item. The return section entitled “Business Furniture, Office Equipment and Tools” lists these percentages. (Note: Original cost is the actual cost of the business tangible personal property before any allowance for depreciation. If the property was depreciated under IRS Code Section 179, its original cost is the amount that you expensed for federal tax purposes.
- Who is required to file the business personal property tax return?
Every established business, trade, or profession is required to file business personal property tax. The business return is required of every business regardless of size or number of employees. It is not acceptable for businesses to not file the required forms with the expectation that the Commissioner’s Office will simply pick up the past year’s information as the basis for assessment of the current year’s taxation. Businesses should attach a detailed list of their property to include the following to their BPP return: • Their current federal depreciation schedule, or • An itemized list of all property owned or leased by your business.
- What is a detailed fixed asset list?
A detailed fixed asset list is a list of all furniture, fixtures, machinery, and tools used in a business, trade, or profession. The list should include the item/asset description, the year acquired or placed into business use, and the original cost. Each business should make a copy of the filing information each year and maintain the list as changes occur throughout the year (disposals, purchases, items received, etc...)
- What should be included on the asset list?
Business personal property tax includes items that have been purchased by the business to use, or have with the intent to use, to operate any aspect of the business. Taxable assets include items that have been received free of charge, as a gift, or personal items that have been brought from home to use in the business. Taxpayer property includes items that have been fully depreciated for income tax purposes regardless of age. The fixed asset list should include every item in the business - not just new purchases or items recently received. Taxable items include but are not limited to equipment, vacuum cleaners, sanders, hand tools, saws, climbing equipment, ropes, electric tools, ladders, yard tools, mowers, pressure washers, air compressors, tripods, cameras, lenses, film developing equipment, hair styling equipment, massage tables, hot stones, movable shelves and racks, baby cribs, play pens, toys, kitchen utensils, kitchen appliances, linens, filing cabinets, desks, chairs, wall pictures & hangings, lamps, furniture, decorations, storage cabinets, heaters, fans, photocopiers, fax machines, calculators, digital cameras, lap top computers, and computer equipment excluding software packages.
- What items are exempt from the business personal property tax?
Real estate (building and land) and computer software packages (Lotus, Excel, Word, Quicken, etc....) are the only items exempt from the business personal property tax.
- Is there a minimum dollar amount that does not have to be reported?
No. All items in the business are taxable for the physical life of the item.
- Is leased equipment taxable?
Yes. The tax liability is determined by the lease agreement between the lessee and lessor. If the lessor is required to file and pay the tax, the lessee should list the leased equipment on the back of the business personal property filing form. If the lessee is required to file and pay the tax, the equipment should be included on the lessees’ business personal property filing return. The lessee should make notation on the detailed asset list that the asset is a leased item.
- When are the annual business personal property tax returns mailed to businesses?
By early January each year.
- When are the annual business personal property tax returns due?
February 15 each year.
- What should I do if my business has an address change, moves, or closes?
Please contact the Pittsylvania County Commissioner of the Revenue’s office as soon as possible at (434) 432-7940. If you are out of business, or have sold the business prior to January 1 of the current year, you must notify the Commissioner of your business cessation date in writing. If you ceased business after January 1 of the current year, the business personal property must still be reported by the due date; your business tangible personal property tax will not be pro-rated.
- How does my responsibility change if I am a merchant?
If you are a merchant, the form must report the merchant’s capital as defined in the Code of Virginia to include all other taxable personal property of any kind whatsoever, except money on hand and on deposit and except tangible personal property not offered for sale as merchandise.