What personal property is taxable?

Learn what summarizes personal property that must be listed on a Form of List. The type of business determines which assets will be taxed locally:

  • Individuals (Sole Proprietorship and Partnerships)
    1. Business furniture and furnishings, i.e. desks, tables, chairs, file cabinets, accessories, etc.
    2. Business machinery and equipment, i.e. computers, monitors, printers, fax machines, copiers, compressors, power tools, landscaping equipment, ovens, food processing equipment and machinery, examination tables, x-ray equipment, etc.
    3. Business inventory, the dollar amount of "stock in trade" that the business carries on January 1. This inventory amount is usually included on the federal income tax form.
  • Business Corporations
    To be considered a corporation, the business must be included in the Massachusetts Domestic and Foreign Corporations Book compiled by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Business corporations are taxable on poles, underground conduits, wires, and pipes. They are also taxable on all machinery used in the conduct of business except:
    1. Machines that are stock in trade. Example: Inventory for sale or lease such as copy machines from a copy machine distributor would be considered exempt.
    2. Machines used directly in the dry cleaning or laundering process. Example: A dry cleaning machine owned by a dry cleaner would not be taxable because it is directly involved in the cleaning process.
    3. Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment used by an incorporated business would not be taxable.
    4. Machinery used directly in the purchasing, selling, accounting, or administrative function of the business. Example: Vending machines or point-of-sale equipment is not taxable. A computer used by a bookkeeper or accounting department of a corporation for payroll would be exempt, however, a computer used to do a client's taxes would be taxable.

Note: Machinery used to provide a service or produce a product for sale or to generate income is taxable. Example: A computer and printer used by a real estate company to generate and distribute information to a prospective client would be taxable.

Show All Answers

1. What is personal property?
2. What is Second Home Personal Property and why am I receiving this bill?
3. Who must file a return?
4. Where and when must my return be filed?
5. Can I get an extension of the filing deadline?
6. What is the penalty for failure to file or for filing late?
7. What is the return used for and who has access to it?
8. What personal property is taxable?
9. What are manufacturing corporations/public utilities?
10. How do I appeal personal property tax?