Personalty taxes are levied on business furnishings and equipment that you report to the Shelby County Assessor each year.
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Anyone in business on January 1 of the tax year is responsible for paying taxes for that entire year, even if operations ceased prior to December 31. If a business is no longer operating in Shelby County, contact the County Clerk’s Office at (901) 222-3000 to ensure that the business license (for those businesses requiring one) has been canceled. Also, advise the County Assessor at (901) 222-7002, as to the disposition of the equipment, so your account can be removed from the next year's tax roll.
If there is a tax on the roll for a year in which you did no business, the Trustee needs to review the tax liability. To do so, we must have documentation which will substantiate your claim. Documents such as a business license finalized in the year the business closed, proof of sale, electric meter cutoff date, tax returns, and other such documents are required for our review.
The law requires a purchaser of a business to check for unpaid personal property taxes of the business. Any taxpayer who sells or terminates a business must notify the Assessor and pay all outstanding personal property taxes within 15 days of the sale or termination. The buyer must withhold sufficient funds from the purchase price to pay the tax liability, retaining those funds until the seller produces a certificate of compliance from the Assessor and receipts from the Trustee for the payment of all taxes. If the buyer does not withhold this amount, the buyer becomes personally liable for these unpaid taxes.