Mandatory audit. By law, the top 75% owners of business personal property in each county in California are audited every four years. This is a great opportunity to correct any over assessment. The data request from the assessing agencies is typically quite extensive. It is imperative that the data to be submitted is prescreened to ensure relevance to the assessor’s discharge of official duties. If a deficiency is found in a particular year, a personal property appeal can extend to the value of real property, if personal property is assessed together with real property on the secured tax roll.
Personal Property Appeals are very important for several reasons. First, if a mandatory audit finds no deficiencies, the taxpayer has no option of appealing the audit even if he believes there is over assessment. Second, a personal property appeal has to be resolved within a two-year statute of limitation instead of the four-year mandatory audit cycle. Finally, a personal property appeal as the result of an audit can not only reach as far back as four years but it also can include real property that was not previously appealed.