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A Guide To Georgia Business Personal Property Taxes

Posted by Lisa English on Apr 28, 2020 10:55:08 AM

A Guide To Georgia Business Personal Property Taxes

Consistently ranking high among the 50 states for its business-friendly environment, Georgia is home to many successful Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized corporations, and small businesses alike. If your organization is considering setting up shop in the Peach State, here’s what you need to know about Georgia business personal property tax, which the Georgia Department of Revenue refers to as “tangible personal property.”

Georgia Business Personal Property Tax: Key Dates

Key Dates

Explanation

1/1 Lien date for all property

Businesses must report all property located in the county on January 1

4/1 Georgia property tax due date

Tax return is due

4/1 Application for Freeport Exemption Inventory deadline

Due date for filing the Freeport Exemption application

April-June, notices are mailed. Appeals due within 45 days of notice mail date.

County assessors mail assessment notices beginning in April of the year in which the return is filed. Businesses have 45 days from the mail date to file an appeal if necessary.


Take a look at how our advanced property tax software helps ensure your team never misses a deadline—and gives them the time they need to be more strategic.

Filing Business Personal Property Tax Returns In Georgia

In Georgia, property tax is a tax on the value of all real and tangible property unless exempt. (Intangible personal property is not taxed.) All business personal property assets must be reported, but some types of tangible personal property are not taxed, including most types of automobiles, trucks, and other licensed vehicles; and tangible personal property of less than $7,500 in value within a particular county (excluding motor vehicles, trailers, and mobile homes). Inventory must be reported on the return, but more than 90% of Georgia counties have adopted some level of exemption for inventory via the Freeport Exemption (see below for details).

Tangible personal property returns must be filed annually with the county tax commissioner or county board of tax assessors. All local assessors accept the Georgia Department of Revenue’s “Tangible Personal Property Tax Return: PT-50P.” There is a 10% penalty for late filing or non-filing.

If you believe the value calculated by the state’s schedules does not reflect a true fair market value of your company’s assets, Georgia allows you to include your opinion of fair market value on your return.

Georgia’s Freeport Exemption

Companies that hold inventory in Georgia temporarily may qualify for the Freeport Exemption, which exempts certain types of inventory from taxation. There are two levels of Freeport Exemption, both of which are set at a county level:

  • Level 1 Freeport grants an exemption of 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100% (as determined by individual counties) for the following types of property for Georgia manufacturers or distributors that ship products out of the state:
    • Inventory of goods in the process of being manufactured or produced, such as raw materials and partly finished goods (Cobb county business personal property tax rules, for example, allow for 100% exemption of freeport inventory.)
    • Inventory of finished goods which are held by the manufacturer or producer for no more than 12 months
    • Inventory of goods stored in Georgia, but that will be shipped outside the state within 12 months
    • Inventory goods of a fulfillment center which are stored in the fulfillment center
  • Level 2 Freeport grants an exemption of 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100% for all property constituting business inventory that does not qualify for a Level 1 exemption, including retail inventory.

The Application for Freeport Inventory Exemption (PT50PF) must be filed with the county tax commissioner or county board of tax assessors along with the Tangible Personal Property Tax Return by April 1 each year, but applications filed after April 1 can receive a partial exemption if the form is filed by June 1.

Assessment Notices, Appeals, & Tax Bills

In Georgia, business personal property tax notices are only required to be mailed if the assessor disagrees with the taxpayer’s tax return. There is a 40% assessment ratio across the state, which means taxpayers are taxed on 40% of the fair market value of their assets, unless otherwise specified by a particular jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions, typically cities, tax at 100% or the fair market value.

If you believe your property has been assessed unfairly, you may appeal the decision; the deadline for filing an appeal is 45 days after the notice was mailed.

Georgia counties set their own individual tax bill due dates. Note that some counties even have different dates from one year to the next; keeping track of those dates and paying on time is imperative to avoid penalties. (Tweet this!)

Save time doing your Georgia business personal property taxes (and other states!)

Whether you have business personal property assets just in Georgia or if your business has additional locations, you need a tool that can help you manage the tax cycle more efficiently. TotalPropertyTax (TPT) software removes many of the manual burdens associated with property tax filing, like data entry and information verification; it also simplifies appeals and bill-paying. As a result, tax teams that use it are better able to comply with tax requirements and have more time to strategize about lowering their tax bills. Schedule a free demo of TPT today to see how it can reduce the burden of your property tax filings—and enable your skilled team to start working smarter.

Download Now: Property Tax Comparison By State

Topics: Business personal property tax