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Business Personal Property Tax

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Business Personal Property Tax

What is business personal property tax?
Business personal property tax is a tax on the furniture, fixtures, machinery, and tools used in a business, trade, or profession. The Code of Virginia (58.1-3503) states that all tangible business personal property is taxable for the physical life of the property regardless of age (1 day or 1,000 years old). Taxable assets include items that have been received free of charge, as a gift, or personal items that have been brought from home to use in the business. Taxable property also includes items that have been partially or fully depreciated for income tax purposes. This tax is assessed annually and is based on all assets owned, or in the possession of, the business on January 1.

How is business personal property assessed?
Assessed values are based on a percentage of the original cost for the year of acquisition of the asset. The percentages are listed on the filing return.

What is the tax rate for the City of Roanoke?
The tax rate for the City of Roanoke is $3.45 for every hundred dollars of the assessed value. Please note that Aircraft is taxed at a rate of $1.06 per $100.00 of the assessed value. The tax rates are established by Roanoke City Council.

Who is required to file the business personal property tax return?
Every established business, trade, or profession is required to file business personal property tax. The business return is required of every business regardless of size or number of employees.

What is the deadline for filing business personal property returns?
On or before February 15. A postmark of February 15 is accepted as a timely filing; however, metered mail is not.

What is a detailed fixed asset list?
A detailed fixed asset list is a list of all furniture, fixtures, machinery, and tools used in a business, trade, or profession. The list should include the item/asset description, the year acquired or placed into business use, and the original cost. Each business should make a copy of the filing information each year and maintain the list as changes occur throughout the year (disposals, purchases, items received, etc...)

What should be included on the asset list?
Business personal property tax includes items that have been purchased by the business to use, or have with the intent to use, to operate any aspect of the business. Taxable assets include items that have been received free of charge, as a gift, or personal items that have been brought from home to use in the business. Taxpayer property includes items that have been fully depreciated for income tax purposes regardless of age. The fixed asset list should include every item in the business - not just new purchases or items recently received. Taxable items include but are not limited to equipment, vacuum cleaners, sanders, hand tools, saws, climbing equipment, ropes, electric tools, ladders, yard tools, mowers, pressure washers, air compressors, tripods, cameras, lenses, film developing equipment, hair styling equipment, massage tables, hot stones, movable shelves and racks, baby cribs, play pens, toys, kitchen utensils, kitchen appliances, linens, filing cabinets, desks, chairs, wall pictures & hangings, lamps, furniture, decorations, storage cabinets, heaters, fans, photocopiers, fax machines, calculators, digital cameras, lap top computers, and computer equipment excluding software packages.

What items are exempt from the business personal property tax?
Real estate (building and land) and computer software packages (Lotus, Excel, Word, Quicken, etc....) are the only items exempt from the business personal property tax.

Is there a minimum dollar amount that does not have to be reported?
No. All items in the business are taxable for the physical life of the item.

Is leased equipment taxable?
Yes. The tax liability is determined by the lease agreement between the lessee and lessor. If the lessor is required to file and pay the tax, the lessee should list the leased equipment on the back of the business personal property filing form. If the lessee is required to file and pay the tax, the equipment should be included in Schedule 1 or 2 on the lessees business personal property filing return. The lessee should make notation on the detailed asset list that the asset is a leased item.

Are vehicles assessed for business personal property tax?
Yes. The vehicle tax is prorated according to the number of months a vehicle is located or domiciled in the City of Roanoke. Taxpayers and businesses have 30 days to notify the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office of any changes (buy, sell, moved, junked, traded, totaled, etc...). The Commissioner’s office verifies all information with the Virginia DMV. Additional documentation may be required from the taxpayer before an adjustment is made.

When are the annual business personal property tax bills mailed?
April 15

When are the annual business personal property tax bills due?
May 31

What should I do if my business has an address change, moves, or closes?
Please contact the City of Roanoke Commissioner of the Revenue’s office as soon as possible at (540) 853-2524.