Business Personal Property / e-File
The Assessor is responsible for the discovery and assessment of all taxable business personal property located in Lake County as of January 1 every year. In general, Business Personal Property is all tangible property owned, claimed, possessed, controlled, or leased by a profession, trade, or business except real estate.
Business Personal Property is not subject to Proposition 13 value limitations and is appraised annually at fair market value as of January 1.
Not all Business Personal Property is assessable. The California Constitution states that all property is subject to property tax unless it is specifically exempted by law. Examples of non-taxable business personal property include household items and personal effects, goods held for sale or lease (business inventory), and motor vehicles that pay an in-lieu property tax as part of their registration fees.
Examples of taxable business property include:
- Machinery and Equipment
- Office Furniture and Equipment
- Movable Construction Equipment
- Property Leased to Others
- Building/Fixtures/Land Improvements
- Construction in Progress
- Leasehold Improvements
The Real Property Division of the Assessor's Office assesses the Land and real property structures to the landowner. The Business/Personal Property Division assesses the remaining taxable business property to the owner of the business.
Every year in January, identified businesses receive a request from the Assessor to file the Business Property Statement or the Agricultural Property Statement for business property owned as of 12:01 am, January 1st (lien date) of that year. Business property owners must file a Business Property Statement (Form 571) each year detailing the acquisition cost of all supplies, equipment, fixtures, and improvements owned at each location with the County of Lake.
Per Revenue and Taxation Code, Section 441, you must file a statement if one of the following is true:
- The Assessor's Office has sent you a Notice of Requirement to file Business Property Statement (Form 571), and/or Notice to e-File a Business Property Statement
- You have taxable business property with a total cost of $100,000 or more, located within the County of Lake as of January 1 of each year, even if the Assessor's Office did not send you one of the above notices
All lessors are required to report equipment out on lease in the County of Lake, regardless of any assigned tax responsibilities. All leased equipment including leases to public utilities, leases to public schools, free museums, and leases to other educational or charitable institutions must be reported.
Statements are due April 1 and a 10% late filing penalty will be applied if a statement is not received by May 7. Each business location is required to file its own Form 571. To set up a new business account to file your Form 571, please call 707-263-2302 for more information. Failure to file the business property statement will result in the Assessor's Office estimating the value of your business property and adding a 10% penalty to the assessment (R&T Code, Section 441, 463, and 501).
Form 571 Document Resources
- Form 571-L Business Property Statement (PDF)
- Form 571-A Agricultural Property Statement (PDF)
- Form 571-R Apartment House Property Statement and Short-Term Rental Property Statement (PDF)
- Form 571-LA Banks, Insurance, and Financial Companies use Alternate Schedule A (PDF)
Most businesses in Lake County who are requested to file are now required to use the e-File system to submit their Business Property Statements online to save time (and paper!). The e-File system is a free web-based application and all information entered is secured and protected by your assessment number and Business Identification Number (BIN). Lake County is no longer using the SDR Filing system.
Before visiting our e-File website, please be sure that you have your letter from the Lake County Assessor requesting you to e-file your Business Property Statement. It contains three boxes one for the assessment number another for the Business Identification Number (BIN) and one for the Form ID. These are the required items to be able to enter the e-filing process.
Please note that at this time, the Business Property Statement and Agricultural Property Statement are able to be e-filed. If you have been sent a different type of Property Statement (i.e., Miscellaneous Property Statement, Short-Term Rental Property Statement, etc.), e-filing is not available. Also, statements requiring a supplemental schedule (i.e., banks and vending machines) are not eligible for e-filing.
Note that the e-filing process guides you through the electronic statement with the assistance of various help screens and reminders. Please note that while some fields may not be applicable to you, the program may still require an entry. Simply insert a Z, space, or 0 (zero) to proceed. You will be able to leave and return to the electronic statement as many times as you like for completion and/or correction, until being "Final Filed" with our office. Amendments after Final Filing are still possible but will require that we reset your BIN. Once you are ready to e-file, please click on the following link to proceed. Instructions on how to proceed as well as instructions for the Business Property Statement will be included after you log in. If you should require assistance, please contact the Personal Property Division at 707-263-2302.
Frequently Asked Questions
In order to help you understand the assessment process, we have established a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - visit the FAQ tab to review these questions and answers.
Businesses Not Requested to e-File
Businesses that are not requested to e-file are required to mail their Form 571 and attachments to:
255 N Forbes Street
Lakeport, CA 95453
We welcome your comments and suggestion in order to better serve you in the future - please email us!
If you did not receive your "Notice to File Your 2021 Business Property Statement" or misplaced your BIN, contact the Assessor's Office, Business Division calling 707-263-2302, faxing 707-263-3703, or by email.
If you are not the business's owner, business's officer, and/or business/s authorized signatory, all requests must include a current copy of the Agent's Authorization.
If a business fails to file the Business or Agricultural Property Statement, or if it is filed late (postmarked after May 7th) (exception: if May 7 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, a property statement that is mailed and postmarked on the next business day shall be deemed to have been filed between the Lien date and 5 pm on May 7), a 10% penalty will be applied as required by Revenue and Taxation Code Section 463.
All businesses are subject to audit in order to verify the accuracy of the reported information and the correctness of the Assessor’s work in valuation.
- Why should I e-file my Property Statement in lieu of paper filing?
The primary reason the Lake County Assessor is promoting the e-filing of the Property Statement is the storage of historical filing details by the taxpayer. When you e-file your Property Statement, the system will save the information filed and have it available for the subsequent year. As a result, the time it takes for you to e-file your Property Statement is minimized. Also, in an effort to maximize efficiency for the Assessor's office, the one-page Request to File Letter replaces multiple sheets of paper that have historically been sent for the Property Statement. The one-page letter saves postage for the Assessor as well as e-filing saves postage for the taxpayer.
- Why do I have to complete this statement?
Per the California Revenue and Taxation Code (Section 441), every person who owns, claims, possesses, or controls tangible personal property not specifically exempted, shall file a Property Statement upon request of the Assessor. Generally, personal property that is assessable consists of business property used in the conduct of a business (i.e., machinery and equipment, office furniture and equipment, tools, computer equipment, and leasehold improvements), boats, aircraft, and mobile equipment. Since you have received a Request to File Letter, you are required to e-file a Property Statement with the Assessor.
- When is the statement due?
The e-filed Property Statement indicates that the Statement is to be filed by April 1. However, according to The California Revenue and Taxation Code (Section 441 and 463), the taxpayer has until May 7 (or the next business day if May 7 is on a weekend) to e-file the Statement. If not e-filed by May 7, our office must add a 10% late filing penalty. Note that the online portal for e-filing is open until 11:59 pm on May 31, however, the statement must be submitted by 11:59 on May 7 to be considered filed timely.
- How do I e-file a Statement?
If you received a Request to File Letter, electronic filing is the preferred method of filing. Important information that you will need for e-filing is included in the Request to File Letter including your Assessment Number, Business Identification Number (BIN), and Property Statement Code (Form ID). To proceed with e-filing visit our e-File website.
- Why did you return my e-filed statement?
If we received an e-filed Property Statement that is not completed properly, our office may return the Statement for proper completion. We will include a Send Back Letter with the returned Statement identifying the reason(s) it was returned. Also included will be a new Business Identification Number (BIN) that will be needed to access the online portal. Many of the remaining frequently asked questions will shed some insight on many of the common problems we find with Business Property Statements. After reviewing the Send Back Letter and these frequently asked questions, please contact our office if you still do not understand why it was sent back.
- What is considered a ‘Valid Statement'?
While completing the e-filed Property Statement, all items on the Statement must be addressed properly, including each of the following. Per Revenue and Taxation Code Section 441(g), the Assessor will not accept a statement determined to be in error. The following are typical problem areas on the Business Property Statement:
- Location of the Business Property: For Businesses, this would be the primary location of the equipment used in your business. If you are a construction company, logging company, etc., where the equipment moves from location to location, this would represent the location of the company's home office. For those with only mobile equipment, this would represent the primary storage location of the equipment.
- Part I: General Information: All of the questions in this section must be addressed properly.
- Part II: Declaration of Property Belonging to You: In completing this section, all of the attached sections need to be completed properly as amounts are transferred from Schedules A, B, and any alternate schedules that may be provided. Also, an amount representing Supplies must be reported on Line 1 based on the supplies on hand on January 1.
- Part III: Declaration of Property Belonging to Others: Any personal property and fixtures that belong to others must be reported in this section. The most common will be equipment being leased/finance, but can also include equipment on locations provided by services you contract with outside companies. See the Instructions provided with your Statement for a full listing of the type of items that should be included. Please note that if you have a Conditional Sales Contract (equipment is capitalized and title transfers to you at the end of the lease), the item(s) should be included on Schedule A and not in this section. Please indicate in this Section if you included the item elsewhere on the Statement.
- Declaration by Assessee: This section needs to be completed in full. When a Statement is e-filed, the requirements for a valid signature are not valid.
- Schedules A and B: These schedules must be completed with the acquisition costs of personal property and fixtures broken down by year of acquisition and type. If entering costs in 'Prior' or in Column 3- Other Equipment, attachments, or comments are required.
- BOE-571-D (Supplemental Schedule for Reporting Monthly Acquisitions and Disposals of Property Reported on Schedule B of the Business Property Statement): If there are additions and/or acquisitions of items reported on Schedule B, the itemization of the changes must be made on this schedule. With the information provided, we have better information to ensure that items are classified properly. Please note that in no circumstance can we accept 'Same as Last year' and/or 'No Changes' as valid information. If the Statement is not completed properly, we may return the Statement for proper completion if time permits. An invalid Statement will be considered the same as a Statement not filed timely.
- What if the information already populated is not correct?
Per the instructions provided, it asks for you to make the necessary corrections to the name, mailing address, and location of the business property. Do this by re-keying the information. If the location of the property is incorrect, but you are still located in Lake County, please be sure to document the correct date in Part 1 (d). If you closed your business or moved out of Lake County, please complete, sign and date the "Business Closed, Sold, or Moved Form," and attached it as part of the return.
- Can I attach a software-generated statement?
There are several companies that have software that generates a statement similar to the requested Property Statement. Per Revenue and Taxation Code Section 441.5, the Assessor has taken the position to not accept software-generated statements in lieu of the original. Software-generated statements may be used as an attachment to the original e-filed statement if all items are addressed properly. If not valid, your statement may be returned for correction and/or considered to be an invalid filing.