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FAQs


Commercial - FAQs regarding income and expense reporting forms


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Forms


Livestock

Livestock Reporting Form


Mobile/Manufactured Homes Forms

AB-38 - Ownership Change Request for a Pre-1977 Mobile Home
 


 

Personal Property Reporting Forms

Personal Property Reporting Form


Agricultural Lands Classification Forms

AB-3 - Agricultural Classification of Lands Application

 

Income and Expense Reporting Forms

AR - Apartment Rental Income and Expense Reporting Form
MW - Mini-Warehouse Income and Expense Reporting Form
MH - Mobile Home/RV Park Income and Expense Reporting Form
MO - Motel Income and Expense Reporting Form
MU - Multiuse Income and Expense Reporting Form
NH - Nursing Home Income and Expense Reporting Form
SF - Square Foot Rental (Office, Retail, Warehouse and Restaurant) Income and Expense Reporting Form

 


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Livestock


Montana law requires all livestock owners to report by March 1 of each year the number of livestock owned as of February 1 and pay the per capita fee on the livestock reported by May 31 of each year. (15-24-903 & 15-24-921, MCA)

The type of livestock you need to report includes:

• Bees and poultry (chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and other domestic birds raised as food or to produce feathers).

• Swine. (Report all swine three months of age and older.)

• Horses, mules, and asses (ponies, donkeys, burros); cattle (cows, bulls, yearlings); domestic bison, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, ratities (ostriches, rheas, emus) and alternative livestock (privately owned caribou, mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, moose, antelope, mountain sheep, mountain goats indigenous to Montana). (Report all livestock in this category nine months of age or older.)


Even if you own just one horse and a few chickens, you still need to report. If you reported last year but no longer own livestock, you still need to submit a reporting form to inform us that your livestock count is zero. The reporting form is due March 1.

There are two ways to report livestock and pay per capita fees.

Update! Livestock per capita fee bills will be mailed the first week of May 2017. Payment is due May 31, 2017. If a livestock owner already paid their 2017 fees when they reported their livestock, they will not receive a bill.
 

Still have 2016 livestock per capita fees outstanding? You can pay previous year per capita fees by mailing your payment to the address shown below. Make sure to include your livestock customer id and payment year on your check.

Online at ReportYourLivestock.mt.gov 

• Log into ePass.

• Report your livestock and pay per capita fees.


Mail completed livestock reporting form and payment to:

Montana Department of Revenue
PO Box 6169
Helena, MT 59604-6169

 



The Department of Revenue mailed 2017 livestock reporting forms on January 9 to approximately 21,000 livestock owners that reported in 2016. If you are a new livestock owner in the state of Montana or own livestock but have never reported, report online or mail in a livestock reporting form to the address shown above. Livestock owners can also pick up a reporting form in their local county Department of Revenue office. Make sure to report by March 1 and if you choose to not pay your per capita fees online, your livestock per capita fee bill will be mailed in early May with payment due May 31.

The Board of Livestock annually sets the livestock per capita fee rates. The Department of Revenue collects livestock numbers and per capita fees on behalf of the Department of Livestock.


Per capita fees fund Department of Livestock programs that monitor animal health, monitor and restrict livestock imports, track animal movements, prevent and investigate livestock theft, and manage predators.


Some counties have a separate fee to fund predatory animal control (PAC) for cattle and sheep at the local government level. The cattle and sheep head counts collected by the Department of Revenue for per capita fees are also used by the local county’s Treasurer’s Office for PAC fee collection on personal property or real property tax bills.


Questions? Call (406) 444-6900.


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Forest Land


The State of Montana has approximately 14.6 million privately owned forest acres which make up class ten property. Class ten property is valued every six years.
 

In accordance with 15-44-102, MCA, parcels receive forest classification based on ownership, timber acreage size, and timber productivity of the land.
 

The basic criteria for forest classification is:
 

-Contiguous timber acreage of 15 acres or greater.

-Timber acreage under one ownership.

-Timber productivity rating of at least 100 board feet per acre annual increment. (Timber productivity is determined by the University of Montana, College of Forestry and Conservation)

The basic formula for forest land valuation is: V=I/R where:
 

- V is the per acre forest productivity value

- I is the per acre net income

- R is the capitalization rate
 

Net income is determined by the formula: I= (M x SV) +AI-C where:
 

- I is the per acre net income  

- M is the mean annual net wood production    

- SV is the stumpage value

- AI is the per acre agriculture related income

- C is the per unit cost of the forest product produced

            


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Agricultural land, non-qualified agricultural land and nonproductive patented mining claims


The State of Montana has more than 50 million privately owned agricultural acres. Class three property includes agricultural land, non-qualified agricultural land and nonproductive patented mining claims. Theses properties are valued every two years.
 

Parcels may receive agricultural classification based on ownership, parcel size, and agricultural use (15-7-202, MCA). Below are the basic criteria for agricultural classification:
 

- Contiguous parcels of land 160 acres or greater and under one ownership are classified as agricultural land provided the land is not devoted to a residential, commercial or industrial use. 
 

- Contiguous parcels of land less than 160 acres must apply for agricultural classification. The parcels must be under one ownership and used in an agricultural manner. The application must provide sufficient proof that the land is capable of producing a minimum of $1,500 in agricultural annual gross income from livestock, poultry, or crops. A few examples of specialty and unique crops include honey bees, orchards, vineyards, gardens or produce farms.
 

- Provisional agriculutural status for specialty crops was removed from Administrative Rule effective January 1, 2017. (ARM 42.20.683)
 

To apply for agricultural classification, the Agricultural Lands Classification Application ( Form AB-3) must be filled out and returned to the local Department of Revenue office by the first Monday in June or within 30 days after receiving an assessment notice from the department, whichever is later. 
 

Agricultural land classification identifies the agricultural use. The productive capacity of each agricultural acre is based on the NRCS soil survey. Agricultural land is identified as one of the following classifications:
 

- Grazing land is land used for agricultural livestock grazing. Productivity is expressed in animal unit months per acre (aum/ac). Grazing land includes all lands that are used for grazing, land not hayed a majority of the time and irrigated grazing land.

 

- Tillable irrigated land is all hay land and cropland that is irrigated a majority of the time (2 out of 3 years, 3 out of 5 years, etc.). Productivity is expressed as tons of alfalfa hay per acre.
 

- Non-irrigated continuously cropped hay land is land which produces hay a majority of years. Productivity is expressed as tons of hay per acre.
 

- Non-irrigated summer fallow farm land is the dry land farming found in the majority of Montana. Productivity is expressed as bushels of spring wheat per acre.
 

- Non-irrigated continuously cropped farm land is located primarily in northwestern Montana. Crops are grown 3 out of 4 years. This must be an accepted practice for the area. Productivity is expressed as bushels of spring wheat per acre.
 

The basic agricultural land valuation formula found in 15-7-201, MCA is V = I/R where:

V is the per acre land value
I is the per acre net income
R is the capitalization rate
 

Land productivity per acre and the base commodity price determine property gross income. Only three commodity prices are used in the calculation of property values. Those base crops are spring wheat, alfalfa hay and the private grazing fee. Net income is the gross income minus the associated agricultural costs. Net income is determined using the landlord’s crop share percentage of income. Net income of irrigated properties also has the costs to deliver water to the crop deducted from the gross income. Net Income divided by the statutorily set capitalization rate of 6.4% provides the land value.


Non-qualified agricultural land

Parcels of land containing 20 acres or more but less than 160 acres which do not meet the criteria of agricultural land are considered non-qualified agricultural land. Non-qualified parcels are valued the same as grazing land with statewide average productivity. Non-qualified agricultural land is taxed at seven times the agricultural land tax rate.


Nonproductive patented mining claims

Parcels classified as non-productive patented mining claims are lands purchased from the federal government for the sole purpose of developing a mining operation. To receive this classification the land must be non-fertile, i.e., incapable of supporting animals or producing plant matter. The parcel cannot be used for recreational, residential, commercial, industrial, forest or agricultural use. Non-productive patented mining claim parcels are valued as agricultural grazing land. To apply for mining claim classification, the Nonproductive, Patented Mining Claim Application ( Form AB-13) must be filled out and returned to the local Department of Revenue office by the first Monday in June of the current tax year or within 30 days after the date on the assessment notice, whichever is later. Please refer to 15-6-133, MCA and ARM 42.20, subchapter 3 (42.20.301 through 42.20.307), for the complete text of the law governing these mining claims.


Application Forms

Application forms are also available at your local Department of Revenue office. Complete list of addresses and phone numbers for the department’s 56 local offices.


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Commercial


Commercial property is real estate that generally includes income-producing property, such as office buildings, restaurants, shopping centers, hotels, industrial parks, warehouses, and factories. Commercial properties can also include property that is not otherwise considered residential, agricultural or industrial.
 

The department annually requests income and expense data from Montana commercial business owners during the income tax filing season, from January 1 through April 15. The department collectively uses the information to determine fair and equitable values for commercial properties across the state. We do not use the information on an individual property basis but in conjunction with other similar businesses to determine what the typical income and expenses for specific property types are. 
 

Below are the income and expense reporting forms. We ask commercial business owners to fill out a separate form for each commercial property they own and return each form to their local Department of Revenue office by April 15. Click  here for a complete list of the department's 56 local offices.
 

AR - Apartment Rental Income and Expense Reporting Form
MW - Mini-Warehouse Income and Expense Reporting Form
MH - Mobile Home/RV Park Income and Expense Reporting Form
MO - Motel Income and Expense Reporting Form
MU - Multiuse Income and Expense Reporting Form
NH - Nursing Home Income and Expense Reporting Form
SF - Square Foot Rental (Office, Retail, Warehouse and Restaurant) Income and Expense Reporting Form
 

Income and Expense Reporting Form FAQs


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Mobile/Manufactured Homes


Below are some commonly used terms and definitions related to mobile homes, manufactured homes and modular homes.
 

Mobile home refers to housing known as trailers, housetrailers, or trailer coaches that exceed 8 feet wide or 45 feet in length and are designed to be moved by an independent power source connected to the home. Any trailer, house trailer, or trailer coach smaller than these dimensions is licensed like a vehicle and not taxed as personal property (15-24-201, MCA). 
 

Manufactured home refers to a residential dwelling built in a factory in accordance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Code and the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards which went into effect on June 15, 1976. A home constructed in 1976 or before is considered a mobile home and was not constructed by UBC standards, (15-24-201, MCA). A manufactured home has support beam/undercarriage units that are an integral part of the structure and should not be removed.

Modular home refers to a residential dwelling built in a factory in accordance with the Uniform Building Codes (UBC). These structures meet state building codes and have support beams/undercarriages necessary for transportation but are not an integral part of the structure and can be removed.

Perimeter foundation refers the supporting structure, running the total length of all exterior walls of the manufactured home, which transmits the load of the home resting upon it to the earth.

Permanent foundation (for taxation purposes) refers to concrete, concrete block or wood pier, any of which rests on embedded concrete or concrete block footings. Foundation for this purpose does not include mud sill, pier & post, wood blocks, concrete block, or other types of temporary support that rests on the ground.
 

Running gear means axles, tires, wheels, and hitch.


Ownership Transfers
 

Ownership transfers of  manufactured homes (1977 and newer) require a title from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Department of Justice maintains all transferring regulations. 
 

Ownership transfers of  mobile homes (1976 and older) requires a completed Department of Revenue's Pre-1977 Mobile Home Ownership Change form (Form AB-38). The form must be filled out and returned to the local Department of Revenue office where the mobile home is located. A notarized signature on the AB-38 form is required unless a notarized bill of sale or a signed-off title contract for purchase is attached to the form. All delinquent and current taxes must be paid before an ownership transfer request will be processed (15-24-211, MCA). If you have any questions, please contact the local Department of Revenue office where the property is located. Click here for a complete list of the department's 56 local offices.


Moving Declarations

A mobile/manufactured home moving declaration (Form AB-6) is required before the home can be moved on any public road. AB-6 forms are available in any county treasurer's office. All delinquent and/or current property taxes for the home must be paid at the same time the moving declaration is purchased (15-24-206, MCA).


Classification Changes

Mobile and manufactured homes can be reclassified as real property if:
 

- the running gear is removed
- the home is attached to a permanent foundation that feasibly cannot be moved
- the home is on land owned or being purchased by the owner of the home. If the land is owned by another person, the homeowner has the permission of the landowner to place his home on the land.

 

The permanent foundation types consist of concrete, concrete block or wood perimeter foundation resting on a concrete or concrete block footing. The foundation has concrete stringers with footings or concrete columns with attachment points. The home is anchored, permanently blocked and skirted.
 


Documentation Required for Classification Changes

A copy of the finalized statement (second recording) of intent (form MV-72) must be provided to the Department of Revenue when formally requesting a classification change of a mobile or manufactured home to real property. The statement of intent (form MV-72) must be a copy of the finalized form that was filed with the Clerk and Recorder's Office.
 

The statement of intent (form MV-72) should include the following information:
 

- manufactured home owner name and address

- real property owner name and address

- real property legal description

- permission from land owner to permanently attach mobile or manufactured home to land (if ownership of mobile or manufactured home and land are held separately)

- complete mobile or manufactured home description

- signature of owner


If you have any questions, please contact the local Department of Revenue office where the property is located. Click  here for a complete list of the department's 56 local offices.

 


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Residential


Residential property consists of single-family residences, including trailers, manufactured homes, or mobile homes and rental multifamily dwelling units.

Residential property is valued once in every two-year appraisal cycle at its 100% market value, which is the value at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller when both have reasonable knowledge of relevant facts and neither is under any compulsion to buy or sell.


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Personal Property


Business & Industrial Equipment owners are able to file their personal property reporting form online through the Department of Revenue’s TransAction Portal (TAP). 


The department mailed 2017 personal property reporting forms to business owners on January 3, 2017. Business & industrial taxpayers have until March 1, annually, to submit their personal property reporting forms electronically through TAP or by mailing/delivering the forms to the department. For reporting forms not received by the March 1 deadline, the department assesses a penalty equal to 20% of the depreciated personal property value to the personal property records.

 

New business and industrial property owners need to submit a written report the first time you report your personal property. A personal property reporting form should be completed and returned to the local Department of Revenue office where the personal property is located. Complete list of addresses and phone numbers for the department's 56 local offices.

 

A reporting form must be submitted to the department even if there were no changes to the personal property since the previous tax year,  or if the business closed or was sold.

 

Livestock reporting is no longer completed on the personal property reporting form. Livestock reporting forms were mailed January 11, 2017 to livestock owners that reported livestock in 2016. Livestock owners have the option to report livestock and pay per capita fees online at  ReportYourLivestock.mt.gov. Montana law requires all livestock owners to report by March 1 of each year the number of livestock owned as of February 1. Livestock per capita fee payments are due May 31.


TAP Instructions
 

Signing into the TAP system to electronically file the reporting forms is easy. Click on the personal property reporting button below. This will bring you to the TAP page. Then, click the blue Sign up Now! button and select an account type (either personal property reporting or industrial property reporting) and enter their Montana Account ID. The taxpayers Account ID can be found on the first page of the reporting form mailed to business and industrial equipment owners. The final step of the sign-In process is to enter their FEIN or SSN and provide the required profile information. Within 5-10 minutes, an authorization code will be emailed to them and they can begin completing their reporting forms electronically.

 

If a taxpayer reported personal property information to the department in the previous tax year, this information will be pre-populated in the online form in TAP. Taxpayers will be able to easily verify their existing information and make any updates, add new property, or delete property that is no longer in service.

 

If a business or industrial personal property owner already has a TAP account, they simply need to login to that account, and add a business or industrial personal property account to the accounts they already have. Tax preparers and other third party preparers, authorized by the taxpayer, can also access their clients account to complete the reporting requirements.
 

 

Personal Property Reporting

 

 

Tutorial Videos

Note: Although the videos may look slightly different due to the recent upgrade of a new TAP version, the information provided is still correct. Further, a new version of the video is currently being worked on.  

 

Personal Property Reporting Tutorial Video
Industrial Property Reporting Tutorial Video
Import/Export Spreadsheet Tutorial Video

 


Personal Property Overview

Personal property includes business equipment, mining and manufacturing machinery, agricultural implements and equipment, furniture, fixtures and all other property not included in any other class of property. Equipment that is depreciated as a business asset for income tax purposes is taxable for property tax purposes. Property that is “depreciated out”’ for income tax purposes remains taxable for property tax purposes.
 

For a detailed list of the types of equipment to report, click on the equipment categories below.

- Furniture, Fixtures and Miscellaneous Equipment

- Heavy Equipment

- Manufacturing and Mining Equipment

- Farm and Ranch Equipment

- Oil and Gas Equipment
 

Some terms and definitions commonly used in the personal property assessment process are provided below.
 

Assessment Date - Personal property that an individual or business owns, possesses or controls at midnight on January 1 is taxable for that year.
 

Assessment Notice and Tax Billing – Property assessment is a state function performed by Department of Revenue, Property Assessment Division staff. Tax billing and collection is a county function performed by elected county treasurers.
 

Reporting Deadline – March 1 is the deadline for taxpayers whose aggregate personal property value is greater than the exemption threshold, as determined by the department, to report the installed costs of all personal property to the department. If the department determines that a taxpayer’s statewide aggregate market value of personal property is below the exemption threshold, the property is exempt from taxation, in which case, the taxpayer will not receive an assessment notice or a personal property tax bill. If a taxpayer qualifies for the exemption and then acquires new business equipment or expands their business in subsequent years, the law requires the taxpayer to report the changes to his or her local Department of Revenue office by telephone or in writing.
 

Department personnel may visit the business, agricultural operation or field site to ensure accurate reporting and to answer any questions regarding the valuation and taxation process. For further information, please refer to  15-6-138, MCA, for the complete text of the law governing class eight personal property assessment.
 

Non-reporting / late reporting penalty – The department assesses a penalty equal to 20% of the depreciated personal property value to personal property records for which a completed reporting form has not been returned to the department by the deadline.
 

Valuation method – Personal property depreciation tables for each category of personal property are calculated annually based on the Producer Price Index from the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Farm machinery and heavy equipment are valued from nationally recognized guides whenever possible. When that information is unavailable, a percent good factor is applied to the FOB or acquired cost. The percent good factors are calculated annually based on the values in the nationally recognized guides.
 

Current Year Depreciation Schedules
 

Detailed descriptions of the valuation methods can be found in chapter 42.21 of the Administrative Rules of Montana.
 

Personal property tax calculation example:

 
Acquired cost of equipment   $75,000
Percent good based on the year new from the appropriate schedule- 75% in this example x  
Market value   $56,250
Current tax rate - 1.5% in this example x  
Taxable value   $844
Mill levy in the district where the property is located - 0.500 or 500 mills in this example x  
Tax   $422


 


Aggregation, Exemption and Tax Rate Adjustment Threshold
 

Fact sheet explaining Montana's personal property assessment calculations.
 

In an effort to reduce the tax burden on businesses, Montana law exempts a portion of a taxpayer’s class eight personal property value. Additionally, a lower tax rate is applied to the portion of value that is under a second threshold.
 

The first $100,000 of taxable market value is exempt. This is the exemption threshold.A lower tax rate is applied to the next $6 million of taxable market value. This is the tax rate adjustment threshold (TRAT).  
 

Personal property assessment is based on statewide aggregate value, that is, the combined value from all of a taxpayer’s locations throughout the state. Values are aggregated by taxpayer ID.
 

The department makes an effort to identify the parent company. A parent company is one that has an ownership interest of 50% or more in another entity.[1]  If a parent company is been identified, values are aggregated by the parent company’s taxpayer ID.
 

Class eight property includes most business equipment.

 

Market value of class eight property is the depreciated value determined as described in Montana law and administrative rules.

 

Taxable market value is the total market value minus any exempt market value (total market value – exempt market value = taxable market value).

 

Aggregate market value is the total market value of class eight property that a person or entity owns at all locations, statewide. The amount of any penalty on a taxpayer’s property assessment record(s) is not included when determining the taxpayer’s aggregate market value.
 

Aggregate taxable market value is the total market value of class eight property that a person or entity owns at all locations, statewide minus the exempt class eight market value (aggregate market value – exempt market value = aggregate taxable market value).

 

 


Migratory and Special Mobile Equipment

Migratory and special mobile equipment fact sheet.
 

Special mobile permits - Heavy equipment that occasionally moves on, over or across the state highways requires a $5 special mobile permit. The department calculates the taxable value of special mobile equipment because the property taxes must be paid to the county treasurer at the time the permit is acquired. You must provide proof of tax payment to the department to avoid double assessment.
 

Migratory personal property - Personal property brought into Montana any time during the year is subject to the property tax. The property tax is prorated based upon the date the property enters the state. Click here  to view the proration chart.
 

Property tax refund application - Migratory property that is subsequently removed from the state during the same calendar year may be eligible for a prorated property tax refund. You can obtain applications from the local Department of Revenue office.You must submit the application to the county commissioners of the county in which the property was assessed and where the personal property tax was paid.
 


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Property Classifications


The legislature has determined 14 different classes of property. Current statute allows each class of property to be valuated differently, but requires all properties within each class to be valuated the same.

The table below shows the type of property, the valuation standard and the valuation cycle for each class of property. Note that all classes of property are revaluated annually except Class 3 and 4 which are revaluated on a two-year cycle and class 10 on a six-year cycle.

Class Description Valuation Standard Valuation Cycle

Class 1

Net proceeds of mines

Net proceeds

Annual

Class 2

Gross proceeds of metal mines

Gross proceeds

Annual

Class 3

Agricultural land

Productivity value

2 Year

Class 4

Residential, commercial, and industrial (land and improvements)

Market value

2 Year

Class 5

Pollution control equipment, independent and rural electric and telephone cooperatives, new and expanding industry, electrolytic reduction facilities, research and development firms, and gasohol production property

Market value

Annual

Class 7

Non-centrally assessed utilities

Market value

Annual

Class 8

Business Equipment

Market value

Annual

Class 9

Pipelines and non-electric generating property of electric utilities

Market value

Annual

Class 10

Forest land

Productivity value

6 Year

Class 12

Airlines and railroads

Market value

Annual

Class 13

Telecommunication utilities, and electric generation property of electric utilities

Market value

Annual

Class 14

Renewable energy production and transmission property

Market value

Annual

Class 15

Carbon dioxide and liquid pipeline property

Market value

Annual

Class 16

High voltage DC converter property

Market value

Annual

 


2017 Class Codes - listed by tax class and identifies taxable percent.

 


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Overview


Whether your property is agricultural land, a commercial building or a mobile home, please click on the appropriate property type tab shown above for more detailed information on a specific property type.

Click on the property classifications tab for information on how the property types fit into the fourteen different classes' of property that have been determined by the legislature.