It’s never too early to start planning for the next tax season. Why? California law will prescribe a yearly tax on your organization based on property as it exists at 12:01 a.m. on January 1st. All entities, unless granted an exemption by the County Assessor’s Office, are required to file the annual property tax form “Form 571-L Business Property Statement” with the County Assessor’s Office. This form is due every year on April 1st but is still considered to be timely filed if sent by May 7. On the Form 571-L, entities are required to declare all business property owned as of January 1. Examples of business property include supplies, equipment, buildings, building improvements, etc.
Nonprofits are required to file the Form 571-L until the Assessor’s Office has specifically granted them an exemption. In order to qualify for an exemption from the Assessor’s Office, the entity must submit the appropriate documents to the assessor’s office (i.e. exemption claim form, articles of incorporation, tax letter designating the organization’s non-profit status, etc). This is a one-time process to be granted with the exemption.
Once the assessor determines that the nonprofit organization is a qualifying religious, church and/or welfare organization and is eligible for an exemption, there is a simplified annual filing process in which the entity will be assessed with a zero tax bill. The annual filing due date for this type of filing is February 15th. If you have any questions you can call the Transfer Exemption department of the Assessor’s office at (805) 781-5643.
Speak and Be Spoke(n)!
So, tell us! Do you have any tips to share with your fellow nonprofits regarding how to file for property tax requirements?