Business Tangible Property and Vehicles
Tangible personal property, as defined by state code, is all personal property not otherwise classified as intangible personal property, merchants’ capital, or as short-term rental property (Code of Virginia, § 58.1-3500). In general, tangible personal property is a moveable item that is real, material, substantive, and not permanently affixed to any real property.
Business tangible property includes property owned by the business, property owned personally and used in the business on a full- or part-time basis, property received as a gift, property that is leased or rented, and property that is fully depreciated or expensed for federal tax purposes. Examples of business tangible property include furniture, fixtures, computer equipment, heavy equipment, and vehicles. In addition, machinery and tools (M&T) used in manufacturing, winery, mining, water well drilling, processing or reprocessing, radio or television broadcasting, dairy, dry cleaning, or laundry business are also subject to local taxation (Code of Virginia, § 58.1-3703).
When and How to File
Business furniture and fixtures, machinery and tools, and computer equipment that are located in Fairfax County, the towns of Herndon, Vienna or Clifton as of January 1 each year must be declared on county tax forms. The filing deadline is May 1. Late filing penalties may be assessed for renewals submitted after May 1. If the filing deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or county holiday, the deadline is the following business day.
Businesses who filed with the Department of Tax Administration (DTA) in the previous year will receive an application form in the mail in January. First time applicants may download the Business Return of Tangible Personal Property and Machinery and Tools from our website.
In addition, business vehicles must also be reported. Business vehicles are assessed and taxed like any other vehicle in the county, except that they are not eligible to receive the state’s Personal Property Tax Relief Act subsidy that is available for personal use vehicles. Refer to our Understanding Vehicle Taxes page for more information about vehicle taxes.
Where to File
Mail your Business Tangible Personal Property Returns and supporting documentation by May 1 to:
County of Fairfax
Department of Tax Administration
PO Box 529
Southampton, PA 18966-0529
Tax Basis for Business Tangible Property
Tax on business tangible property (except vehicles) is not prorated. If the property is not in the county on January 1, then no taxes are owed for that year. Conversely, if the property is in the county as of January 1 but is disposed of during the year, then tax is still owed for the entire year. Assessed value of all business tangible property (except vehicles) is determined by a set percentage (based on the purchase year) of the original capitalized cost or the cost that would have been capitalized if the expense deduction in lieu of depreciation was elected under § 179 of the Internal Revenue Code. Original capitalized cost is the actual cost of the business tangible property before any allowance for depreciation. It includes all costs associated with putting an asset into use (such as sales tax, delivery and freight charges, installation, labor, etc.).
Most business vehicles are assessed based on the January edition of the J.D. Power Associates Valuation Services Used Car Guide. For trucks with a gross weight of over 14,000 pounds, the value is determined by the percentage of cost and the year it was purchased. Taxicabs are valued at 50% of the average loan value. The vehicle tax is prorated for the portion of the year that the vehicle is located in the County.