Business Personal Property FAQs

How does the Assessor’s Office know I have a business?
Because either a Personal Property Schedule was filed for your company in the past, a business license was obtained; your company appeared in a local phone book, or by personal knowledge.

Who has to file a Tangible Personal Property Schedule?
Every business owner, incorporated as well and unincorporated, operating in the state of Tennessee is required to file a schedule with the Rutherford County Assessor of property no later than March 1 of each year.

What is a Tangible Personal Property Schedule?
A form used to list the cost of your business assets. Tennessee law requires that all partnerships, corporations, other business associations not issuing stock, and individuals operating for profit as a business or profession file a Personal Property Schedule with the Assessor’s Office annually. The Assessor uses the Schedule to place a value on your business personal property.

What property should be reported on the Tangible Personal Property Schedule?
Report all property that is used or held for use in a business or profession such as computers, artwork, desks, paper, window air-conditioning units, etc. This includes items that are personally owned by the owner of the business along with items that are leased, loaned, or rented to the business.

When is the deadline for filing the Tangible Personal Property Schedule?
The Schedule must be received by the Assessor’s Office on or before March 1 of each year. All Schedules received via US postal service must be officially postmarked on or before March 1st.

What are the penalties for failing to return the Schedule by March 1st?
Failure to return the Schedule will result in the Assessor’s Office issuing a “Forced Assessment” for your personal property value and a tax bill will be generated reflecting the Forced Assessment.

What is a Forced Assessment?
A Forced Assessment is an assessment resulting from an estimation of value.  That value may be estimated based upon a field inspection of your property or it may be estimated based upon the average value of personal property for businesses similar to yours.

How can a Forced Assessment be adjusted?
Once you have received a Forced Assessment, you may correct it by timely filing an appeal with the Rutherford County Board of Equalization. You must file an appeal and Personal Property Schedule with the Rutherford County Board of Equalization within the period for filing appeals. If the time period is after the Rutherford Board of Equalization has met, you may request a Forced Assessment Relief form from the Assessor’s office. This form must be filed in the Assessor’s office by March 1 of the second year following the year of the Forced Assessment.

If my Personal Property Schedule is already filled in, what does that mean?
If figures appear under the Cost on File Columns, these are the cost figures previously reported on your Personal Property Schedule. These figures should be reviewed for correctness. 

Since last year, my Personal Property assets have changed, what do I do?
Changes should be recorded under the Revised Cost column. A letter of explanation or a clear note must accompany your Schedule if you are reporting less equipment this year than was reported in the previous year.

How will the Assessor of Property notify me if my assessment changes?
If your assessment changes, you will receive an Assessment Change Notice.  You should contact the Assessor of Property if you disagree with your assessment. You may also appeal to the County Board of Equalization, which begins meeting on June 1.

If my Personal Property Schedule is blank, what do I do?
If no data is under Cost on File columns, it means that the Assessor does not have a history of any of your purchases and you must list them on the Schedule.  Suggestion:  On a separate sheet of paper, list all assets by description, purchase price, year acquired and by group types as shown on the Schedule. Within each group, total all items purchased in the same year. Post on the Schedule under “revised cost” the totals for each year for each group. 

If I have purchased a pre-existing business and there are back taxes owed, am I liable for those taxes?
Yes. The taxes follow the equipment. If you buy the business and equipment, you also inherit the taxes as well.

Must I sign my Schedule?
Yes.  Part IV, Signature section of the Schedule must be completed. Unsigned Schedules will not be processed.

What do I do to close my business?
Notify the Rutherford County Clerk’s office that you would like to close your business license.  Not renewing your business license does not close your business.  Once you have closed your business license, notify the Rutherford County Property Assessor’s Office that your business is closed so that you will be removed from the tax roll.

Even though my business has closed, should I file a Schedule?
Yes, if your business was not operating in Rutherford County prior to January 1, and/or your Rutherford County Business License has been closed, please note this closure on the back of the Schedule in the Notes Section, sign and date the schedule, and return the Schedule to the Assessor on or before March 1.  Failure to report a closed business will result in a Forced Assessment.

I lease equipment in my business, should I report it on the Schedule?
Yes. Leased, loaned or rented property must be reported in Part III located on the back of the Schedule.

If I should not receive my Schedule in the mail, am I still responsible to file?
Yes.  The Assessor’s Office is required to mail the Schedule to the last known address of the business owner. Even though the business owner may not receive the Schedule, it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to know the Schedule is due to be filed each year with the Assessor.

Will I be audited?
Your business may be randomly selected for audit. Methods vary based on the size of the business. You may be required to provide records detailing asset description and original cost.

How do I contact the Assessor’s Office for questions?
You may visit the Rutherford County Assessor’s Office which is located at 319 N. Maple Street, Suite 218, or by calling for assistance at (615) 898-7761 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. excluding weekends and holidays.