Unlike real property, business personal property is appraised annually.

The Business Personal Property Division (BPP) of the Office of the Assessor-Recorder is responsible for assessing all unsecured property owned by businesses located in the City and County of San Francisco and conducts business audits mandated by the State. Business Personal Property includes items like machinery, equipment, fixtures, and leasehold improvement held or used in connection with a trade or business. Unlike Real Property, Business Personal Property taxes are based on information provided to the Office of the Assessor-Recorder on an annual basis. Business Personal Property is reassessed annually because businesses may have acquired new or disposed of existing personal property during the course of the year. 

Business property owners must file a property statement each year detailing the acquisition cost of all supplies, equipment, fixtures, and improvements owned at each location within the City and County of San Francisco. 

The State Constitution indicates that all property is subject to property tax unless otherwise exempt. Failure to file the Business Property Statement (Form 571-L) will subject business owners to an arbitrary assessment plus a 10% penalty.

Assessment begins with the cost of the asset, including sales tax, freight and installation per filed Business Property Statement (Form 571-L).  The Assessor applies a valuation factors (for reference, please see the Business Factor Table) to the cost of the asset to arrive at the assessed value.

Unlike real property, business personal property is appraised annually. Owners of all businesses must file a business property statement each year with the Assessor’s Office detailing the cost of all their supplies, equipment, and fixtures at each location. This is required unless the Assessor’s Office has already established the value of the business property and sent out a notification of “direct billing” or “low value exemption”. Business inventory is exempt from taxation.  For more information, call (415) 554-5531.

The State Constitution says that all property is subject to property tax unless otherwise exempt. Most people are familiar with the property taxes on their home. The assets of a business are also subject to assessment and taxation. Section 201 of the Revenue and Taxation Code of California states that “All property in this State, not exempt under the laws of the United States or of this State, is subject to taxation under this code”.
Business Personal Property is any tangible property owned, claimed, used, possessed, managed or controlled in the conduct of a trade or business. This includes all machinery, fixtures, office furniture and equipment. In general, business personal property is all property owned or leased by a business except licensed vehicles, business inventory, intangible assets or application software.
Yes. The filing laws apply to non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations may, however, qualify for property tax exemptions. For more information, please contact (415) 554-5596 and ask for the Exemptions Division of the Assessor's Office.
Equipment gifted to you for use in your business is taxable and must be reported on the property statement. If you don’t know the equipment cost and/or year of acquisition, provide a good description including make and model and the general condition of each piece of equipment.
Assessment begins with the cost of the asset, including sales tax, freight and installation. The Assessor-Recorder applies a valuation factor to the asset cost and this becomes the assessed value. The valuation schedule is based on the expected economic life of the asset, and is different from the valuation schedule used by tax accountants.

The Assessor-Recorder’s Office, directed by state law, will arbitrarily determine an assessable value. In addition, a 10% penalty for failure to file will be added to your assessment (R&T Code, Sections 441, 463 and 501).

The tax rate for 2020 lien year is 1.180%, and the Office of Treasurer & Tax Collector will mail tax bills for unsecured property to taxpayers in July 2020, and payments will be due by August 31, 2020. When you file your business property statement in a timely manner, you should receive your bill by the end of July. Payment is due on or before August 31st, and becomes delinquent after that date and will be subject to penalties and interest. If the business owner also owns the building in which the business resides, the business property tax will be included with the secured tax bill. The secured tax bill is sent by the end of October with the 1st installment due by November 1st. Although the assessment is the responsibility of the Assessor, the tax bills are the responsibility of the Tax Collector’s Office. The assessor can handle any questions related to how your tax bill was determined. Questions related to billing and payment of bills should be directed to the Tax Collector’s Office. The Tax Collector’s website is www.sftreasurer.org
This line item includes assessments for combined structural improvements, as well as any fixtures to your property that was reported during this lien year.

What if I disagree with my assessment?

If you disagree with an assessment made by the Assessor, we recommend you first discuss it with an Auditor-Appraiser at the Assessor's Office. An Auditor-Appraiser is available Monday through Friday, 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. at (415) 554-5531, or in person at 1155 Market Street, Fifth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103, from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. Whether or not you discuss the matter with the Assessor, you also have the right to file an assessment appeal with the Assessment Appeals Board. The Appeals Board is an independent agency representing the Board of Supervisors and is not connected with, nor is it under the control of, the Assessor's Office.

If I file an appeal do I still have to pay the property tax bill?
Yes. Filing an appeal does not exempt you from paying your property taxes as due because the assessment of your property is deemed correct until a change is made by the Assessment Appeals Board.

How do I file an Application for Changed Assessment?
An application must be filed, in writing with the Assessment Appeals Board at 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., City Hall, Rm #405, San Francisco, CA 94102. You may request an application by calling the Assessment Appeals Board Clerk at 415-554-6778 or by mail at that address. The Assessment Appeals website is: sfgov.org/aab

When can I file an “Application for Changed Assessment”?
The normal filing period for filing an Application for Changed Assessment is July 2 to September 15th of the current fiscal year. The filing period applies to any assessment produced for the annual assessment roll. If a bill for an assessment roll is mailed to you after the normal filing period has expired, the filing period is extended and you must then file an application within 60 days of the date of mailing of that tax bill.


 

Yes, the Business Property Statement is subject to audit by the Assessor-Recorder’s Office. A new law was enacted and became effective January 1, 2009. This law basically gives the Assessor-Recorder the discretion to audit a significant number of all businesses to encourage the accurate and proper reporting of personal property