Most business property, real and personal, is subject to property tax. Real property consists of land, buildings and other improvements. Personal property is everything not treated as real property, including:
All tangible personal property is taxable unless exempted. The following are exempt from personal property tax:
- Tangible personal property with a total aggregate fair market value of $15,000 or less per taxpayer within a single county
- An item of expensed personal property having an acquisition cost of $1,000 or less and having a percent good of 15 percent or less
- Inventory held for resale in the normal course of business
- Farm equipment and machinery used primarily for agricultural production
- Household furnishings
- Intangible personal property
- Personal property used for irrigation purposes
Under Utah law, county assessors are empowered to collect information on business personal property by using an annual signed statement to determine property value. A taxpayer must apply for the personal property exemption for tangible personal property with a total aggregate fair market value of $15,000 or less.
If a business fails to provide the requested information, the assessor must impose a penalty of $25 or 10 percent of the tax due, whichever is greater. If the signed statement is not filed after a second written notice, the property value will be estimated by the assessor.
Business personal property is valued based on percent good schedules developed by the State Tax Commission. You can locate the schedules by going to our website, washco.utah.gov, and by selecting the following options: Departments, Assessor, Personal Property,
Taxes are based upon the location and status of property as of January 1 of each year. Property acquired in 2019 is not taxed until Jan. 1, 2020. Property taxes are a primary source of revenue to local government entities including counties, school districts, cities and towns, and a variety of special districts. Taxes are due on May 15.
Property intentionally concealed, removed, transferred, or misrepresented in order to avoid taxation is subject to a penalty of 100 percent of the tax due. Any property not assessed may be valued and taxed as far back as five years prior to the time the property is discovered.
The Property Tax Division of the State Tax Commission audits personal property accounts throughout the state. Audits are selected based on a variety of criteria, including failure to file the annual Personal Property Signed Statement. A business selected for an audit is notified by mail two weeks in advance of the audit. The auditor will call to schedule an on-site inspection of the property and the accounting records. Audit results may be appealed to the county board of equalization.