Personal Property Taxes

Do you have the needed forms online?

Yes, you can download many of the Assessing Forms. Click here for Downloadable Forms.

What is personal property?

Personal property is business equipment, office machinery, inventory, and furniture and fixtures.

Who must pay this tax?

All business organizations are eligible to pay unless exempt by state statute for charitable, religious and non-profit status.

What is a Form of List?

It is a state-required form notifying the Assessors' Office of any and all business equipment, furniture, fixtures and sales inventory for each year. Must be filed by March 1.

Who must file a return?

This form must be filed each year by all individuals, partnerships, associations, trusts, and corporations that own or hold taxable personal property on January 1, except telephone and telegraph companies and owners of pipelines that are required to file a personal property return with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Individuals owning or holding household furnishings and effects not located at their domicile on January 1 must also file State Tax Form 2HF. Literary, temperance, benevolent, charitable, or scientific organizations that may be entitled to an exemption must file State Tax Form 3 ABC listing all property they own or hold for those purposes on January 1.

When and where must my return be filed?

A Form of List must be filed by March 1 with the Board of Assessors in the city or town where the personal property is situated on January 1. If the property has no situs on January 1, it must be listed on a Form of List filed with the Assessors in the city or town where you are domiciled (legal residence or place of business). A Form of List is not considered filed unless it is complete.

Can I get an extension of the filing deadline?

The Board of Assessors may extend the filing deadline if you can show a sufficient reason for not filing on time.  Requests for an extension may be granted by writing to the assessors explaining the circumstances for the need for an extension.

What is the penalty for failure to file or filing late?

If you do not file a Form of List for the fiscal year, the Assessors cannot grant abatement if you do not show a reasonable excuse for the late filing. If the tax assessed is more than 150 percent of the amount that would have been assessed if the list had been filed, only the amount over that percentage can be abated. You can avoid this penalty by filing on time.

What is the return used for and who has access to it?

The information in the Form of List is used by the Board of Assessors to determine the taxable or exempt status of your personal property and, if taxable, its fair market value. You may also be required to provide the Assessors with further information about the property in writing and asked to permit them to inspect it. Forms of List are not available to the public for inspection under the public records law. They are available only to the Board of Assessors and Massachusetts Department of Revenue for purposes of administering the tax laws.

Who is eligible for an abatement?

Anyone who feels overvalued or exempt is eligible to file for an abatement. You must file an abatement form at the Assessors' Office within 30 days of the first actual tax bill for that fiscal year.

Should I bring any data with me?

With your application for abatement, you should bring any information that supports your case.

Are abatement applications public records?

Abatement filings and abatement amounts are public records. However, individual abatement applications are not public records.

Where can I see a list of the personal property tax rolls?

A list of the Personal Property Tax Roll is available in the Assessor's Office.