New personal property forms leave some business owners confused

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 | 8:00 p.m. CST; updated 11:56 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

COLUMBIA — Changes in forms and statutes have left some Boone County business owners confused when filing their business personal property forms this year. While taxable business personal property has not changed, extended forms have brought what Boone County Assessor Tom Schauwecker called “cumbersome rules for compliance.”

Schauwecker explained that Missouri adopted the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System last year, which was approved by the General Assembly. The system divides all of a business’ assets into classes, which take into account varying periods of depreciation in value.

In 2005, a state law was passed to provide a uniform way of assessing business’ personal property beginning in 2007 for property that was put into service after Jan. 1, 2006.

Randy Turley, chief counsel for the Missouri State Tax Commission, said before the law was passed, there wasn’t a uniform way to assess personal property.

Prior to the state law, there was no system in place that specified a depreciation for taxable business property. Schauwecker did, however, request the net book value, or 10 percent of historical cost of all business furniture, fixtures and equipment. Net book value is equal to the original cost of the item minus depreciation costs.

“I prefer my old simple, stupid method,” Schauwecker said. He said the new system is just a more detailed version of prior guidelines and will yield the same result.

According to another statute that went into effect this year, owners of mobile home parks, home storage facilities, marinas or hangars will be required to report to their county assessor information about some personal property located at their facilities.

The statute also requires residents to report any house, trailer, mobile home, boat, vessel, floating home, floating structure, airplane or aircraft by Jan. 30 to avoid penalties.

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