Forced Assessment

According to TCA 67-5-903(b), it is the duty of a taxpayer to list in full on a schedule, all tangible personal property “used, or held for use, in the taxpayer’s business or profession”, including such other related information required by the Assessor. The taxpayer is required to place a correct value on the tangible personal property, sign the schedule and return it to the Assessor on or before March 1 of each year.

TCA 67-5-903(c) states that a taxpayer who “fails, refuses or neglects to complete, sign and file such a schedule “, as provided in subsection (b) shall be deemed to have waived objections to the forced assessment as determined by the Assessor, subject only to the remedies provided in subsection (d). The State Board of Equalization rules and regulations define a forced assessment as “any assessment made on personal property when the taxpayer has failed to file a personal property schedule with the Assessor for the current year, whether or not the assessment is the same as the previous year.” In determining a forced assessment, the Assessor shall consider available evidence indicative of the fair market value of assessable property under TCA 67-5-903 and shall give notice of the assessment to the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s agent by United States mail, at least five calendar days before the County Board of Equalization commences its annual session.

Subsection (d) provides the remedies of a taxpayer against whom a forced assessment is made are as follows:

  1. A taxpayer may appeal to the County Board of Equalization pursuant to section 67-5-1407, presenting a completed schedule as otherwise provided in TCA 67-5-903;
  2. If the deadline to appeal to the County Board of Equalization has expired, the taxpayer may ask the Assessor to mitigate the forced assessment as long as the failure to file the schedule or timely appeal to the County Board of Equalization was not the result of gross negligence or willful disregard of the law. Mitigation must be requested within the same deadline as provided for amendment of a schedule pursuant to TCA 67-5-903(e);
  3. The Assessor may correct a forced assessment using the procedure provided and subject to the deadlines provided in TCA 67-5-509, if the Assessor determines that the taxpayer was not in business as of the assessment date for the year at issue AND upon determining that “the taxpayer did not lease or own tangible personal property used or held for use in a business as of the assessment date of the year at issue.” The deadline by which an owner must request the forced assessment correction under this subsection is prior to March 1 of the 2nd year following the disputed forced assessment year.