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Abatement filings and abatement amounts are public records. However, individual abatement applications are not available to the public for inspection under the public records law.
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Personal property is business equipment, office machinery, inventory and furniture and fixtures of a business.
A state required form notifying the Assessor’s office of any and all business equipment, machinery, inventory and furniture and fixtures.
This Form of List (State Tax Form 2) must be filed each year by all individuals, partnerships, associations, trusts, corporations, limited liability companies and other legal entities that own or hold taxable personal property on January 1st, except entities required to file with the State. In addition, all second-home owners must file a return on State Tax Form 2HF.
Forms of list must be filed by March 1st with the Board of Assessors in the city or town where the personal property is situated on January 1st. If the property has no location on January 1st, it must be listed on a form of list filed with the Assessors in the city or town where you are domiciled (legal residence or place of business). A form of list is not considered filed unless it is complete.
The Board of Assessors may extend the filing deadline if you can show a sufficient reason for not filing on time. The latest date the filing deadline can be extended to is 30 days after the tax bills are mailed for the fiscal year. Requests for an extension must be made in writing to the Assessors.
If you do not file a form of list for the fiscal year, the Assessors cannot grant an abatement for overvaluation for that year. If you file late, the Assessors can only grant an abatement if you show a reasonable excuse for the late filing or the tax assessed is more than 150% of the amount that would have been assessed if the list had been timely filed. In that case, only the amount over that percentage can be abated. You can avoid this penalty by filing on time.
The information in the form of list is used by the Board of Assessors to determine the taxable or exempt status of your personal property and, if taxable, its fair market value. You may also be required to provide the Assessors, in writing, further information about the property as well as be asked to permit them to inspect it. Forms of list are not available to the public for inspection under the public records law. They are available only to the Board of Assessors and the MA Department of Revenue for purposes of administering the tax laws.
You must file by the due date of your 1st half tax bill.
You can pick up the necessary number of applications at the Assessor’s office. Otherwise you can visit the Municipal Finance Legal Guidance site.
You should bring any information that supports your case.
A list of the Personal Property tax roll is available in the Assessor’s office.