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Small businesses will get personal property tax forms this month
SALEM-If you own a small business-even a home-based business-Oregon law requires that you file an annual personal property tax return with your county assessor.
County assessors will mail 2011 personal property forms to businesses this month. Business owners must complete and return them to their assessors by March 1, 2011. Tax owed on personal property is shown on property tax statements and is due November 15, 2011.

Completed returns must include a detailed list of all business-related personal property, along with equipment purchase and lease dates, and original costs.

Personal property may include office furniture, personal computers, easily moved machinery, and even off-road vehicles and display cases if they are used in the business. It also includes leased equipment, such as copiers and power washers.

The county assessor figures the tax due each year based on the personal property return. The assessor may cancel the tax if total personal property is under a calculated threshold. The 2011 threshold will be determined in March.
"But all business owners must file personal property returns, even if personal property value is less than the calculated amount," said Syndi Gates, a department tax analyst.

If you're a business owner, you must file a return each year even if:
• you didn't receive a tax return from the county in which your property is located;
• the assessor cancelled your tax in prior years;
• you sold or closed your business during the year;
• you sold or disposed of your personal property.

Assessors may calculate tax, penalty, and interest for any of the five previous years if a business hasn't reported personal property.

Find information, forms, and a list of taxable personal property here, or contact your county assessor.

Find information on all Oregon income taxes, tax forms, and instructions here. Or call 1-800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or e-mail us. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1-800-886-7204.