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FAQs - Business Personal Property Video
This video has been created to provide a better understanding of How to fill out a BPP Rendition form
FAQs - Business Personal Property
What is Business Personal Property?
Business personal property is composed of Fixed assets and Inventory. Business personal property includes, but is not limited to, furniture, fixtures, equipment, tools, machinery, computers, copiers, motor vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, raw materials, goods in process, finished goods and/or those awaiting sale or distribution, and inventory held for sale on consignment. Please note: If you use your own personal tools, machinery, equipment, vehicles or any other item, gadget or thing to produce a product or provide a service and receive income, those items are included in the appraisal assessment.
What is rendition for Business Personal Property?
A rendition is a property owner's written report to the Travis Central Appraisal District. The form provides the appraisal district with the description, location, cost and acquisition dates for personal property that you own. The appraisal district uses the information to help estimate the market value of your property for taxation purposes. The forms are available on our website.
General Rendition Information
Percent Good Depreciation Schedule
The Texas Property Tax Code does not require Appraisal Districts to mail out renditions. TCAD does this as a service, but it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to complete and submit a rendition each year.
What must the rendition statement contain?
Property owner's name and address
Description of the property by type or category (fixed assets)
Description and quantity of each type of inventory
Property's physical location or taxable situs
Property owner's option of providing either a "good" faith estimate of market value or historical cost new and year of acquisition of individual items
Who must file a rendition report?
A person who owns tangible personal property used for the production of income that the person owns or manages and controls as a fiduciary on January 1.
Do I have to file a Rendition Form for my business?
Yes, Renditions are due April 15. A penalty of 10% of the tax liability will be imposed for failure to file a timely rendition.
My business has an aggregate value less than $20,000. Must I complete all of this complicated form?
If the total fair market value of your business assets, including any vehicles, inventory, supplies, are less than $20,000, you may check the under $20,000 box. You have two options.
Option 1 is to fill out Schedule A and /or D.
Option 2 is to fill out Schedules C and E and where applicable B, D and F.
You are not required to provide a good faith estimate or historical cost and year acquired in Schedule A but keep in mind that under $20,000 is anywhere from 0 to $19,999.
Section 22.01(f) of the Texas Property Tax Code states:
"Notwithstanding Subsections (a) and (b), a rendition statement of a person who owns tangible personal property used for the production of income located in the appraisal district that, in the owner's opinion, has an aggregate value of less than $20,000 is required to contain only:
1. the name and address of the property owner;
2. a general description of the property by type or category; and
3. the physical location or taxable situs of the property."
What types of business personal property (BPP) must be rendered?
Business owners are required by State law to render personal property that is used in a business and/or used to produce income. This property includes furniture and fixtures, equipment, machinery, computers, inventory held for sale or rental, raw materials, finished goods, and work in process. You are not required to render intangible personal property (property that may be owned but does not have a physical form) such as cash, accounts receivable, goodwill, application computer software, and other similar items. If your organization has previously qualified for an exemption that applies to personal property, for example, a religious or charitable organization exemption, you are not required to render your personal property.
Are there any exceptions to this reporting requirement?
Exempt property does not have to be rendered, unless it becomes taxable. For property that in the owner's opinion has an aggregate value of less than $20,000, the owner may file a simplified statement containing only the owner's name and address, general description of the property by type of category, and the physical location or taxable situs of the property. Properties regulated by the Texas Public Utility Commission, Railroad Commission, Federal Surface Transportation Board or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are already subject to the reporting requirements. These reports along with information sufficient to allocate value to appropriate tax units may suffice for meeting the new requirements.
What if I move or sell my business during the year?
The tax liability on business personal property is determined as of January 1 of each tax year. Therefore the property is taxed according to its location and ownership as of January 1.
What if I close my business during the year, will my taxes be prorated?
No, the taxes will be assessed for the entire year.
If I purchase an existing business, could I be responsible for back taxes?
Yes, a tax certificate should be requested for all property transactions to avoid assuming delinquent tax liability. Contact the tax office to obtain a tax certificate for the seller's account.
If I own an aircraft, is this taxable property?
If the aircraft is held in a business name, or entity, then it is considered a business asset. If any cost of operation, depreciation, or hanger fees are used or charged to a business, then you must report the aircraft as business personal property. The form is available on our website.
If I own a boat, is this taxable property?
If the boat is held in a business name, or entity, then it is considered a business asset. If any cost of operation, depreciation, slip or storage fees are used or charged to a business, then you must report the boat as business personal property. The form is available on our website.
Is leased equipment taxable?
Yes, it is taxable to the owner of the property as of January 1 of the tax year. Operational leases of equipment or vehicles are reported on Schedule D. Note: If the lease is a capital lease, you may be responsible for reporting the asset. If you take depreciation on your federal tax return, then you must report the asset in either Schedule A or Schedule E unless your lease contract states that the asset will be reported by the lessor (Lease Company).
Is my business taxable if I operate it from my home?
Yes, all business assets, regardless of location, are taxable.
How do I determine Original Cost?
To determine original cost, refer to your accounting records, such as original journal entries and account ledgers. Use original purchase documents, such as invoices or purchase orders to determine the original cost of the asset. Add all costs attributed to getting the asset functioning, such as freight and set-up cost.
What is Inventory? What does that include?
Merchandise (goods in the hands of a wholesaler or retailer that is ready for sale), raw materials, finished goods and work in process. Inventory should be reported at your cost.
What kind of Supplies should be reported?
Supplies are typically items that are expensed in your business throughout the year such as office supplies, business cards, shop supplies, etc. You will need to provide the actual or estimated cost supplies that were on hand as of January 1.
May I use my bookkeeping records as my rendition?
Yes. Attach these records to the rendition, sign and date it and then return it to our office. Include asset listings with the date of acquisition and original cost. All assets owned by the business must be rendered.
If all my business personal property has already been depreciated out according to Federal Income Tax Laws, is my business still taxable? Yes, If your business personal property is still in use and used to generate income, your business personal property is taxable.
What if I don't have business assets to report?
All businesses have some taxable assets, from desks and chairs, a computer, supplies, even small ones.
What happens if I do not file a rendition, or file it late?
If you do not file a rendition, the appraised value of your property will be based on an appraiser's estimate using CAPPA software (Computer Assisted Personal Property Appraisal) and comparable business types. In addition, if you fail to file your rendition before the deadline or you do not file it at all, a penalty equal to 10% of the amount of taxes ultimately imposed on the property will be levied against you. There is also a 50% penalty if a court finds you engaged in fraud or other actions with the intent to evade taxes. If you fail to file a rendition and subsequently file a protest, you bear the burden of proof at the Appraisal Review Board hearing.
If I cannot file the rendition on time, what should I do?
The law provides for an extension of time to file a rendition if the taxpayer makes the request in writing on or prior to April 15th. An Extension form is available on our website.
Extension Request Form
You may download the Extension form, fill out in its entirety, sign and date or you may send us a request on your letterhead stating: "Please grant me an extension until May 15th for filing my Business Personal Property Rendition." You may mail your request to the Travis Central Appraisal District, P.O. Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012, and fax to (512) 834-1565 or; email your request to the Business Personal Property department Email Rendition. Your request must be received on or before April 15th of the current year. The extension is automatic when requested in writing by April 15.
If I cannot file by the extension deadline, what should I do?
You should file your rendition as soon as possible. We will process your rendition prior to mailing notices if possible; however you should be prepared to file a protest, if necessary.
Which forms will I need to file?
Depending on the type of property you are rendering, the Travis Central Appraisal District provides several types of renditions. The forms are available on our website in the Business Personal Property section of our forms page. www.traviscad.org/forms.html
When must the rendition be filed?
The last day to file your rendition is April 15 annually. If you mail your rendition, it must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before April 15. You may hand deliver your rendition to our office on or prior to April 15th. You may also fax or e-mail your rendition on or prior to April 15th.
Where must the rendition be filed?
Renditions for property located in the Travis Central Appraisal District's jurisdiction must be filed with the Appraisal District office. Renditions may be faxed, mailed, hand-delivered, or emailed to the addresses given below:
Fax: (512) 834-1565
If faxed, be sure to set your machine to confirm receipt. We are unable to confirm receipt.
Mail: P.O. Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012
If mailed it must be post marked by April 15.
Hand-deliver: 8314 Cross Park Dr., Austin, TX 78754
What will the appraisal district do with my rendition?
Your rendition will be analyzed; along with other information we collect on similar businesses, to develop an estimate of value for your property.
Is my information confidential?
Yes, information contained in a rendition cannot be disclosed to third parties except in very limited circumstances. In addition, the Texas Property Tax Code specifically provides that any estimate of value you provide is not admissible in proceedings other than a protest to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) or court proceedings related to penalties for failure to render. The final value we place on your property is public information, but your rendition is not. The Legislature did not change the statutes governing confidentiality of rendition statements and supporting statements. SB 340 does not prohibit a chief appraiser from using the rendition and supporting statements as a part of the evidence presented in a protest before the Appraisal Review Board. In this case, it does become a part of the public record.
Does a non-profit organization automatically receive a property tax exemption for Business Personal Property owned by the organization? No, often organizations mistakenly believe they are entitled to a property tax exemption because they have received a federal income tax exemption under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or an exemption from State sales taxes. The constitution requirements for property tax exemptions are different than the provisions covering income and sales taxes. A non-profit organization may qualify for a total exemption from property taxes, but they must apply for the exemption by April 30.
What if the Appraisal District values my property higher than what I rendered?
You will receive a Notice of Appraised Value sometime between April and early June. If you disagree with the value placed on your property by the Appraisal District, you may wish to file a protest with the Appraisal Review Board. The protest must be filed by the deadline date indicated on the Notice. Once a timely protest is received, you will be scheduled for a hearing before the Appraisal Review Board. At your Appraisal Review Board hearing, you will be asked to provide documentation.
What if it is determined that some property was omitted from taxation in past years? Normally, if it is determined that some property was not in the tax roll in the past, the chief appraiser has the obligation to add it to the appraisal roll as omitted property. The chief appraiser may add omitted business personal property for the current year and the two previous years.
May I request a copy of Renditions from prior years on file?
A request can be made by the owner, an employee authorized by the owner or the person who filed the rendition (CPA, tax agent, etc.). The request must be made to the attention of Personal Property Admin Assistant. The request may be faxed, mailed, or Email BPP. If emailed, we would require an image of the letter with the title and a signature.
How do I file for my Mixed Use Motor Vehicle Exemption?
The form is available on our website. Vehicle Exemption Application Form deadline is April 30. This exemption applies to one motor vehicle an individual owned on January 1. The exemption applies to a vehicle used in the course of your occupation or profession that is also used for personal activities that do not involve the production of income. This exemption does not apply to motor vehicles used to transport passengers for hire, such as but not limited to, a taxi, bus, van, or limousine. Once the exemption is granted, you do not need to reapply annually unless the Chief Appraiser requires you to do so, or if you want the exemption to apply to a different vehicle not listed on the original application. You must notify the Chief Appraiser in writing before April 30 if and when your right to this exemption ends.
The following definitions apply to this exemption:
1. An individual means one person or owner, as in a sole proprietor (not a partner, corporation, or cooperative).
2. Motor vehicle means a passenger car or light truck.
3. Passenger car means a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, golf cart, taxi, bus or limousine designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons.
4. Light truck means a commercial motor vehicle that has a manufacturer's rated carrying capacity of one ton or less
What is a Freeport Exemption for Business Personal Property?
Items in your inventory that (1) are or will be forwarded out of Texas within 175 days of the date you acquire them or bring them
into Texas and (2) are in Texas for assembling, storing, manufacturing, repair, maintenance, processing or fabricating purposes and shipped out of Texas are Freeport goods. An application for this exemption must be filed with the appraisal district by April 30 each year. Copies of this application with instructions and supplemental forms are available on our website.
Freeport and Goods in Transit Taxing Entity Listing
How do I file for a Pollution Control Exemption for Business Personal Property?
A person is entitled to an exemption from taxation of all or part of real and personal property that the person owns and that is used wholly or partly as a facility, device, or method for the control of air, water, or land pollution if it qualifies on January 1. A person seeking an exemption under this section shall provide to the chief appraiser an exemption application on or before April 30 and a copy of the letter issued by the executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under Subsection (d) determining that the facility, device, or method is used wholly or partly as pollution control property. A person seeking this exemption must render the pollution control property when filing a timely rendition. The form is available on our website. Pollution Control Application
If I lease a vehicle that I use for personal purposes, do I have to pay property taxes on the vehicle to my leasing company?
That is a question for your lease company. The leasing company is required to report all the vehicles that they own that are located in Travis County as their business personal property assets. The lease company may require the lessee to reimburse the lease company for the business personal properties taxes assessed on the leased vehicle (check the tax clause in your lease agreement).
The leasing company may receive an exemption from all taxing entities other than the City of Austin if the lessee (an individual) files an affidavit of personal use with their leasing company prior to April 30. The form is available on our website. Lessee's Affidavit of Primary Non Income Producing Vehicle Use The affidavit is to be filed with the lease company; do not send the affidavit to the Travis Central Appraisal District. If you do not file the affidavit or you file it late, your leasing company will not receive an exemption on the vehicle you are leasing and they may pass that tax on to you.
If I have more questions, may I speak to my appraiser?
Yes, if the customer support representative is unable to help you, they will send a message to the appraiser who is handling your account. We need to have the account number (Property ID) or business name to identify which appraiser is handling your account. The appraisers may be in the field or conducting meetings or hearings. You may need to leave a message in their voicemail; please leave your name, telephone number, account number, business name and brief reason for the call. In most cases, you will be contacted within 3 business days.