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Business Property FAQ

All businesses located within the town of Branford must file a personal property declaration with the Assessor by November 1 annually.

Q. Who needs to fill out a declaration?
A. Businesses, occupations, farmers and professionals. Owners of non-registered motor vehicles, horses, ponies, and thoroughbreds, mobile manufactured home not assessed as real estate.  Lessors.

Q. What is considered Personal Property?
A. In the most general terms, personal property is everything subject to ownership, excluding land, any interest in land or any permanent improvement thereon.  It is property that is not permanently affixed to or part of real estate. By its very nature then, personal property is moveable. This broad definition includes tangible items such as airplanes, boats, furniture, fixtures, equipment.

Q. Why was my Declaration changed by the Assessor?
A. Because of incorrect filing or failure to file.  Many times businesses will remove items from year to year and not properly dispose of them, therefore the Assessor is required to put them on the current declaration.  Also, a penalty may be imposed.

Q. Why a 25% penalty for late filing and or failure to file properly?
A. Pursuant to § 12-41 (d) states that any person who fails to file a declaration of personal property on or before the first day of November, or on or before the extended filing date as granted by the assessor pursuant to section 12-42 shall be subject to a    penalty equal to twenty-five per cent of the assessment of such   property; (2) any person who files a declaration of personal property in a timely manner, but has omitted property, as defined in section 12-53 shall be subject to a penalty equal to twenty-five per cent of the assessment of such omitted property.  The penalty shall be added to the grand list by the assessor of the town in which such property is taxable.

Pursuant to § 12-53 (a) states that “omitted property” means property for which complete information is not included in the declaration required to be filed by law with respect to either  the total number and type of all items subject to taxation or the true original cost and year acquired of all such items.

Q. Is Personal Property public information?
A. As for the Assessment, the Business name and address they are public information.  However, all other information in the file is confidential.

Q. What happens if I just don’t file a declaration?
A. There is a technique which is called Discovery.  The Assessor’s  office can discover a new or existing business by methods as follows: Field Inspections, Building Permits, Newspaper, Trade Names.

Q. Why should I let the Town come to my business for a field inspection?
A. In order to assess the property of your business we do a listing.The listing will fairly and accurately list your items with the correct depreciation schedule and value.  It is to your advantage to let us assist you in a proper valuation. But if you feel confident, you are welcome to file on your own.

Q. Why am I receiving an audit?
A. The Assessor is authorized to audit declarations, within three years of the date of the required filing.  Substantial penalties are applicable if such an audit reveals property not declared as required by law (CGS § 12-53).  An audit is at the discretion of the Assessor.

Q. Why is it important to fill out the Leasing Report?
A. Because we need to know who to assess for the equipment.  If you don’t it is impossible to cross reference with the leasing company’s report and you may be improperly taxed and even penalized.

Q. Why do I have to list my disposal, sale or transfer of property?
A. Because if not disposed of properly, by law it will be added back on to your return and taxed accordingly.

If you have any questions or problems with filling the declaration please contact our office, we would be more than happy to assist you.

Last Updated: Fri, 06/07/2019 - 12:42pm