Over the past month, everyone has been challenged by the unprecedented disruption that the COVID-19 outbreak has brought to every community, company, and family around the world. A month ago, the County of Los Angeles announced the Safer at Home order, directing non-essential businesses to suspend operations that cannot be handled remotely from home. At the Assessor’s Office, we understand that many of you are facing difficult decisions every day regarding your ability to pay staff, rent, mortgages, and taxes. That’s why we have made filing business property statements as convenient as possible.
What are business property statements?
Separate from property taxes paid on real estate, businesses pay business personal property taxes on equipment, machinery, and furniture with an aggregate total value of $5,000 or more. The Assessor’s Office identifies taxable business property using various types of Business Property Statements filed by taxpayers and via an “in the field” review by appraisers. The applicable statement is due by April 1, with a penalty applied to statements filed after May 7. Nonprofits must also file Business Property Statements. Some nonprofits will file the 571-L, the form filed by most businesses, while others, particularly low-income housing organizations, may need to file the 571-R.
The Business Property Statement is critical to ensure an accurate assessment. The Assessor is constitutionally required to enroll a value. Failing to provide the necessary information compels the Assessor’s Office to perform an estimate of value, which could result in over-assessment.
Please help us and help yourself by completing and filing your statement, if required to do so, by the May 7 deadline.
Additional important information:
- Not all businesses are required to file a Business Property Statement. You must file if you:
- Were sent a form by the Assessor’s Office regardless of total reportable costs
- Have $100,000 or more in aggregate total reportable costs of Business Personal Property
- Reporting of property should be as of the January 1, 2020 lien date.
- April 1 is the due date to file the statement, it is not the deadline to pay taxes on that property. The Tax Collector uses the assessed values reported to the Assessor to generate bills – due in August.
- There are a number of different Business Property Statements. The 571-L form is the most commonly required type filed by businesses and non-profits. Others include the 571-R for apartments, often filed by low-income housing non-profits, the 571-F (Agriculture), and 571-C (Power Plants). There is also a 576-D for vessels and a 577 for Aircraft.
- The deadline to avoid a 10% penalty on assessed values is May 7. The Assessor is required by law to apply the penalty. In order to avoid the penalty, property statements must be “postmarked” by May 7. Postmarks must be official (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.), not personal/office timestamps.
- While the deadline is May 7 to file business property statements, amendments or corrections to timely completed statements can be filed through May 31.
- Due to Assessor’s Office locations being closed to the public, we accept properly signed property statements that are scanned and submitted by email. Qualified taxpayers, who were provided a PIN on their mailed property statements can e-File, and we encourage those taxpayers to do so.
- If you need assistance in preparing the statement the Assessor’s Office recorded a webinar, which can be viewed at https://assessor.lacounty.gov/571-l-webinar/.
- Questions can also be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-974-3211. Our offices may be closed to the public, but the Assessor’s Office staff remain ready to help.