Personal Property Information
Frequently Asked Questions about Taxable Personal Property
What is “Taxable Personal Property?”
Taxable personal property is tangible property other than real estate, as described in Sections 12-41 & 71 of the Connecticut General Statutes. Examples include, but are not limited to: non- residential furniture, fixtures, equipment, computer equipment, tools, machinery, horses, mobile office and storage buildings, signs, videotapes and disks, leasehold improvements, leased equipment and non-registered motor vehicles. Personal property such as residential furnishings, clothing and jewelry is not taxable.
I already paid sales taxes on my property. Is this a new requirement?
The sales tax is a state tax and the personal property tax is a local tax. Connecticut law has required owners of taxable personal property to annually report property owned by them on October 1 to the municipal Assessor since 1949.
Who must file a Personal Property Declaration?
All owners and lessees of personal property on October 1, or having personal property that may have been in various locations but was located in the City of Norwalk during the three months prior to October 1. Leased, loaned or rented personal property must also be declared, but is taxed to the owner. The principal exception is in situations where personal property has only a temporary location as of October 1, then it must be listed on a Form of List filed with the assessors in the city or town where the owner is domiciled (legal residence or place of business).
THE PERSONAL PROPERTY DECLARATION IS NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC INSPECTION.
I didn’t get a declaration in the mail. Am I still required to report my property?
Yes. It is the responsibility of the property owner (or lessee) to file a declaration. The Assessor’s Office mails declarations in September to all known owners of taxable personal property. If you do not receive a declaration form in the mail, one can be obtained at the Assessor’s Office.
When are Personal Property Declarations due to be filed?
The deadline for filing declarations is November 1 of each year unless it falls on a Saturday or Sunday than it’s due the next business day. There is a 25% assessment penalty for late filings. A Personal Property Declarations is not considered filed unless it is complete.
What if I don’t file a declaration?
The Assessor will prepare an estimated declaration and add the 25% non- compliance penalty to that assessment.
How does the assessor know if my declaration is accurate?
Connecticut law authorizes the Assessor, or the Assessor’s designee, to perform an audit for up to three years, requiring the property owner to appear with accounting books, documents, federal tax returns, etc. for examination under oath in reference to their personal property. Any property discovered during an audit and not previously reported will be added along with the 25% non-compliance penalty.
What if I buy or set up a business after October 1?
Must I declare my personal property? If you buy or set up a new business and have no personal property on October 1, you need not file a declaration until the next year.
I’m no longer in business but I received a declaration. Do I still need to file?
Yes. Complete the section on page two of the declaration “Affidavit of Business Closing or Sale of Business” and tell us what happened to the property. Do not ignore the declaration! If you do not return the declaration with this information, the Assessor will assume that you are still in business but have failed to file. You will be assessed, penalized and taxed unless you return the form.
Are there any tax breaks available to owners of personal property?
Yes. Certain full and partial exemptions may be available for manufacturing equipment, mechanics’ tools, farming equipment and pollution control equipment. Incremental exemptions may be applied to newly acquired machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and fabricating. Contact the Assessor’s Office for further details.
What if I think I’m over-assessed?
You can appeal your assessment to the Board of Assessment Appeals. Applications must be made by February 19, 2021. If you filed your declaration late or failed to file at all, you may still appeal your assessment, but a 25% penalty must still be applied. Contact the Assessor’s Office at (203) 854-7749 for further information about the Board of Assessment Appeals.