If you are in business you are subject to a personal property tax. Taxable personal property includes, but is not limited to, items such as:
Collection of Tax
The taxes are collected in arrears: meaning, collection occurs the following year after the assessment. FOR EXAMPLE, the assessor will list the value of personal property, based on the value as of January 1 of the assessment year. However, the tax is not normally due until the following April. (See Advanced Tax below for exceptions)
Delinquent Tax Subjects the Assets to Distraint
The treasurer must proceed to distraint (seize) and sell personal property if the tax is not paid. The treasurer may place a lien on the property owner's other real and personal property if the tax is not paid. (RCW 84.56.070)
Washington State law requires advance payment of the taxes if the property is sold or transferred before the tax is due. It is important to note that the person, who owns the property as of January 1 of the assessment year, owes the tax due the following year. The tax is due even if the business closes or the property is sold or transferred.
FOR EXAMPLE, a property owner lists equipment on the personal property affidavit due by April 30, 2015. In August 2015, the property owner sells the equipment (or business). The property owner owes the full amount of taxes due in 2016 for the 2015 assessment year. However, the lien follows the property. This means that a new owner can have the equipment distrained (seized) if the previous owner does not pay the tax. Buyer Beware!
Payment of Property Tax (Method of Payment)
The county treasurer mails the property tax statements on February 13 each year. If the amount of tax due is less than $50.00, full payment is due by April 30. If the tax due is $50.00 or more, half of the amount may be paid by April 30 and the balance by October 31 without incurring a penalty for late payment. If the first half tax is not paid on or before the 30th of April, the tax becomes delinquent, with interest and penalty on the entire year, and subject to distraint & collection charges.
The tax lien levied on personal property is a lien from the date of assessment. No sale or transfer of property shall in any way affect the tax lien. Check with the County Treasurer's Office before buying or selling personal property to protect the property against lien (RCW 84.60.020).
If you need more information, call (360) 337-4936.
|Last Updated: February 01, 2017|