Business personal property is all movable furniture, fixtures, machinery, farm equipment and supplies owned, possessed, or controlled by an individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or association in their business. For a complete definition of personal property for tax purposes, see WAC 458-12-005 and RCW 84.04.080.
Each business personal property account receives a new Personal Property Listing each January showing equipment that was reported and assessed during the prior year. Businesses are required to update their listings and return them each year by April 30th in order to avoid a penalty for late filing. Clark County does not grant extensions for filing a personal property listing after the due date. However, if the listing is filed late for just cause, the Assessor can waive the late filing penalty. Once the business personal property has been assessed, the current and future year's taxes must be paid before it is sold or moved out of the county.
New business personal property accounts are discovered through field checks, telephone directories, and a report provided by the Washington State Department of Revenue. If you have a new or existing business in Clark County, you are required to establish a business personal property account. To have a business personal property account number assigned, please email us at Personal.Property@clark.wa.gov. You will also need to complete a Personal Property Listing that includes an itemized list of your business assets, with their original cost and year purchased. A depreciation schedule used for filing your federal taxes may be submitted in place of another asset list in most cases.
Many types of personal property are exempt from taxation. Household goods and personal effects for personal home use are normally exempt, unless they are used in a business. Other personal property exempt from taxation includes: custom software, livestock, inventories held solely for resale, motor vehicles licensed for road use, and intangible personal property. Additional personal property exemptions are allowed by the state.
Additional personal property information and educational tools including Personal Property Tax, Personal and Industrial Property Valuation Guideline publications, and a short educational video are available at the Washington State Department of Revenue website.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will I receive my listing?
How do I complete my listing?
Do I need to return a listing even if there were no changes to my business assets last year?
What is the penalty for not filing a listing by April 30th each year?
I received a form titled “Notice of Value” in the mail. What is it?
How can I get a copy of the asset detail?
What is the tax (levy) rate on my personal property?
When do I pay my Personal Property taxes?
What do I need to do when I close, sell, or move my business out of Clark County?
- Listings are mailed out after January 1st each year. If you have not received your listing by the end of February, please contact our office so we can verify the mailing information on file for your business.
- Instructions for completing the listing are on the form itself. If you have a CPA or other tax professional who handles your property taxes, they should be familiar with the process.
- If you provided an asset list in a prior year, the most recent list on file will be included with your listing. This allows you to simply cross out assets you have removed from your business, and write in assets you acquired during the previous year.
- Yes. The listing form includes a check-box on the asset detail page to indicate there were no asset changes last year.
- The penalty is 5% of the following year tax due per month, up to a maximum of 25%. For example, if the listing is returned in May the penalty is 5%. In June the penalty increases to 10%, and so on until it reaches the maximum of 25%.
- Clark County considers a government postmark of April 30th as a timely filing. A postage meter stamp is not a timely filing. Hand-delivered listings are date-stamped by our office on the date received. Listings submitted by fax or email are automatically date-stamped.
- This notice is the summary of the assessed value of all the business assets you reported owning as of January 1st on your listing.
- Per RCW 84.40.030, the Assessor’s Office is required to value those assets each year at 100% market value.
- If a business does not return a listing, the prior year’s historic value is used to establish this year’s value and a 25% non-filing penalty is applied.
- You may request a copy of the asset detail listing by emailing our department’s personal property mailbox at: Personal.Property@clark.wa.gov or faxing your request to: 360-759-6556.
- The tax rate for personal property is the same rate levied on real property. The tax rate is based on where the personal property was located on January 1st of the assessment year.
- Tax bills are mailed by the Clark County Treasurer’s Office every February. Property tax payments are due by April 30th and October 31st of each year.
- The taxes are based on the prior year’s assessment.
- The current year’s assessment of your personal property results in a tax obligation (lien) for the next tax year. RCW 84.56.120 states that all taxes must be paid prior to closing or selling your business or moving the personal property out of Clark County. This means that if you close, sell or move your business out of Clark County before the end of this year, you must pay next year’s tax bill.
- Please contact our department at 360-397-2391 or Personal.Property@clark.wa.gov to inform us of the changes and request a final, advance tax bill.