Personal Property

In accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 59 assessors are required to assess a personal property tax on all personal property that is situated in their community.  Personal property tax is assessed to certain businesses, public utilities, and to homeowners of a second home that is not their primary residence.  This tax is separate from real estate tax.

If you own a business in Tewksbury you are required to submit a FORM OF LIST (State Tax Form 2) to the Assessor’s Office by March 1 of each year that you are in business.  The Form of List is the basis for the personal property tax assessed to the business. Personal property is assessed at the same rate as commercial and industrial property.

It is important to file the Form of List annually. You may request an extension if you are unable to submit your form by the due date of March 1.  However, the request must be in writing and must show sufficient reason for not filing on time.  Without an approved extension, the amount you can file an abatement on may be limited.  Failure to file the form at all can result in your application for abatement being denied.

What is considered taxable as personal property?

In general, all tangible items that are not physically or firmly attached to land or a building are subject to personal property tax unless that item is explicitly exempt or is subject to another local tax such as an excise tax.  There are many other exemptions that may apply depending on the ownership entity, the type of property and the property use. 

For example:

Individuals are entitled to exemption for (1) household furniture and effects at their domicile, (2) farm utensils, (3) tools of a mechanic’s trade, and (4) boats, fishing gear and nets up to a value of $10,000 owned and actually used in the individual’s business if engaged exclusively in commercial fishing. [G.L. c. 59, § 5, cl. 20].

See page 2, Section 3 of the FORM OF LIST for more details.

For more information regarding personal property tax, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Revenue website and their Personal Property FAQ.