HOME > FAQ
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Marya Crigler, RPA
Monday, Wed, and Friday 7:45 am to 4:45 pm
Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 am to 4:45 pm
850 East Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78752
PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714
We have discontinued accepting fax communications due to poor quality images, unreliability, and the cost of supplies. We accept US mail, Email and hand delivery.
Texas property taxes are ad valorem taxes, Latin for “according to value”. Appraisal districts are charged with determining value for the purpose of taxation by the taxing entities. The taxes collected are used to provide local services such as schools, roads, hospitals and services like fire and police.
Each Texas county is served by an appraisal district that determines the value of all of the county’s real and personal property. Generally, a local government that collects property taxes, such as a county, city and school district, is a member of the appraisal district.
Taxing entities are the local government entities such as cities, hospital districts, junior colleges, and municipal utility districts. Taxing entities provide services to the taxpayers they service such as schools, roads, police, fire, and other services taxpayers expect.
The taxing entities set the tax rate which determines how much property tax each property owner pays. .
The Tax Assessor-Collector’s office is responsible for collection and distribution of tax revenue to the entities.
Property is taxed by the authority of the Texas Constitution. The Constitution sets forth five basic principles for property taxes in Texas.
- Taxes must be equal and uniform. No single property or type of property should pay more than its fair share.
- Property must be appraised on its current market value meaning the price that it would sell for on the open market when both the buyer and seller seek the best price and neither is under pressure to buy or sell.
- Each property in a county must have a single appraised value. This is guaranteed by the use of the county appraisal districts.
- All property is taxable unless federal or state law exempts it from the tax.
- Property owners have a right to reasonable notice of increases in their appraised property value.
More information on the Texas Property Tax Code may be found on the Comptroller’s website.
Taxes are due when you receive your tax statement around October 1st. You have until January 31st of the following year to pay your taxes at the Tax Collector’s Office.
Penalty and interest charges begin accumulating on most unpaid tax bills on February 1st..
Penalty and interest charges will be added to your original tax obligation; you will receive delinquent tax notices; you may be sued; and you may face problems in selling your property.
Contact the tax office. You may have the option to set up an installment plan. In some cases you may request a deferral.
If your property boundaries span more than one county you will receive appraisal notices from each county’s appraisal district.
I have applied for a tax deferral. How will I know for which tax year my deferral will be processed?
TCAD process the deferral request and sends the information to the Tax Assessor’s Office. You may contact the tax office with any concerns or questions you may have.
I did not receive my tax payment card from the tax office showing that I paid my taxes. How can I get the card?
Call the Tax Office at: 512-854-9473
Call the tax office at: 512-854-9473
Situs is the physical location address of the property.
The general homestead exemption is provided by State law for owner-occupied residential properties. The exemption removes a portion of your value from taxation providing a lower tax amount for the homestead property.
There are several partial and absolute exemptions available. Some of these exemptions include General Residential Homestead, Over 65, Over 65 Surviving Spouse, Disability Homestead, Disabled Veterans, Charitable, Religious, Freeport and Pollution Control. Additional information can be found on the Forms page of our website under Exemptions or by contacting Customer Services at (512) 834-9138.
In order to qualify for this exemption the property must be your primary residence and you must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1st of that tax year. You may not claim another homestead on another piece of property. You must submit a copy of your driver’s license or State ID issued by the Texas Dept. of Public Safety with your application. The address on the identification presented MUST match the address of the property you are for which you are requesting the homestead exemption.
You may apply at the Travis Central Appraisal District between January 1st and April 30th of the tax year. You may file for late HS exemption up to one year after the date which the taxes become delinquent. The homestead exemption form is available on the Forms section of our website or you may file the form online using the Online Homestead Application.
To qualify for a homestead exemption you must own and occupy the property on or before January 1st of the year for which you are applying. You may submit the form now and the homestead will be applied to the year in which you qualify.
No, you do not have to reapply unless the chief appraiser requests a new application in writing or you move to a new residence.
Yes, a new application is required when a property owner’s residence homestead is changed.
State law allows you to claim the portion of your land that you maintain for residential purposes but this amount may not exceed 20 acres. Generally, one acre or less is maintained for homestead purposes.
Yes, please include a copy of your title to the mobile home or a verified copy of your purchase contract along with the exemption form.
There is no fee to file and you do not have to hire anyone to file for you. It is not necessary for homeowners to pay anyone to file for a homestead exemption or to obtain a refund for the late filing of a homestead or senior citizen exemption. Homestead exemption forms are available on the Forms section of our website under Exemptions or you can request that an application be mailed to you by contacting Customer Service at (512) 834-9138. The applications must be returned to the appraisal district and may be returned by the following methods:
- File online using the eServices portal — click here to start your application now
- Hand deliver to: 850 East Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78752
- Mail – PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714
Texas has two distinct laws for designating a homestead. The Texas Tax Code offers homeowners a way to apply for homestead exemptions to reduce local property taxes. The Texas Property Code allows homeowners to designate their homesteads to protect them from a forced sale to satisfy creditors. This law does not, however, protect the homeowner from tax foreclosure sales of his or her home for delinquent taxes. For more information on homestead designation as provided by the Texas Property Code please visit the Office of Attorney General’s website at http://www.oag.state.tx.us.
If my driver’s license does not match the property address, will you accept a passport/temporary/CHL?
No, per the Texas Property Tax Code the district cannot accept a passport or Concealed Handgun License (CHL). A Texas Drivers License or a DPS ID displaying the property address are the only acceptable forms of identification that the appraisal district can use.
Does the rule that the driver’s license address must match the homestead address apply to everyone?
No, there are some exceptions:
- Police Officers, other law enforcement and judicial personnel do not have home address on driver’s license as provided for by the Transportation Code 521.121(c) or 521.1211. These individuals must attach a copy of the application to the Texas Department of Transportation for the license when submitting the exemption request.
- Victims of family violence protected by the Attorney General through the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP). When applying for an exemption please present the exemption form in person to customer service along with the ACP card issued by the Attorney General.
- Homeowner living in a facility for reasons of health, infirmity or aging.
- Active duty members of the armed services or his or her spouse. Attach a copy of the military identification card and a copy of a utility bill for the property subject to the claimed exemption in the name of the military member or spouse.
- No other exceptions will be considered by the chief appraiser
Will the appraisal district accept a notarized certificate of occupancy as proof of residence for the homestead exemption?
No, unfortunately due to high volume the district cannot verify when a homestead has been added. Homestead status is displayed on our website. Please check our website to verify the homestead has been added to your account at the appraisal district, usually within 4-6 weeks.
When are the Homestead Exemption, Over 65 (years old) Exemption, Disabled Person Exemption applications due?
Yes, unless the owners are married. If the owners are married then only one has to sign but we encourage both. All owners must include a copy of their Texas Driver License or State-issued ID Card with matching address.
You may file the form online using the EServices portal. You may also email the exemption. In order to email the exemption application you must print the form, sign it, and scan it as a PDF or it may have an electronic signature with an IP address attached before emailing it. You may e-mail exemption applications to CSinfo@tcadcentral.org.
Exemption forms typically take 4 – 6 weeks to process. Although you may see the information updated in as little as 2 weeks fully processing the information to affect tax liability may take up to 6 weeks.
No, you may only receive a homestead exemption on one property, your primary residence.
You are able to claim one homestead on your principal residence.
I own my own home and have a homestead exemption. I also own a home with my child would that home qualify for a homestead exemption?
The property you own with your child or any other person may qualify for a homestead exemption prorated according to his or her ownership in the property; if he or she has no other property with a homestead exemption. You will not qualify because you have a homestead for your primary residence.
Exemptions reflect the owner on January 1st. If you purchased a home after January 1st the exemption in place was for the previous owner. You must file an exemption application.
Exemptions can also be removed if the district sends a letter requesting reapplication. If an exemption or exemptions are removed the homeowner may reapply with appropriate supporting documentation. If the new application is submitted no later than one year after the taxes are due, the exemption will be effective in the original qualifying year. If the application is submitted more than one year after the taxes are due the exemption will apply to the current year and will not be effect for the prior year(s).
A homeowner is entitled to an exemption on his or her primary residence as provided for in the Texas Property Tax Code. If the homeowner has more than one homestead exemption the erroneous exemption will be removed, the Texas Property Tax Code requires that the district calculate the taxes owed for the last 5 years or period of time the erroneous exemption was in place.
You may file a late homestead exemption application if you file it no later than one year after the date the taxes become delinquent.
No, that is not true. If you are 65 or older your residence homestead qualifies for more exemptions which will result in greater tax savings. The amount of the exemptions that are granted by each taxing unit is subtracted from the market value of your residence and the taxes are calculated on that “lower value”. In addition, when you turn 65, you may receive a tax ceiling for your school taxes; that is, the school taxes on your residence cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home. The ceiling is set at the amount you pay in the year that you qualify for the aged 65 or older exemption.
If you significantly improve your home (other than ordinary repairs and maintenance), tax ceilings can go up. For example, if you add a room or garage to your home, your tax ceiling can rise. It will also change if you move to a new home.
You may apply at any time during the year you turn 65 years of age. You will receive the exemption for the full year.
The appraisal district will add the over 65 exemption automatically during the first quarter of the year; however, this is only possible if the district has the date of birth for the owner on the record. If you are unsure that the district has that information send a homestead exemption form requesting the over 65 exemption along with either a copy of the front side of your Texas driver’s license or Texas Identification card or a copy of your birth certificate.
You may not claim both an Over 65 and a disabled person’s exemption in the same tax year.
No, the person applying for the exemption must own the home.
To transfer the tax ceiling, you must qualify for an Over-65 or Disabled Person exemption at your previous residence and complete the Request to Cancel/Port Exemptions form. A current Homestead Exemption application must also be completed for the new residence. These forms can be printed from the Forms page of our website or call (512) 834-9138 and select option 4 for general questions. Attach current proof of age or the date your disability began. Acceptable proof of age includes either a copy of the front side of your Texas driver’s license or Texas Identification card or a copy of your birth certificate. Acceptable proof of disability includes a current statement from the Social Security Administration (1-800-772-1213) showing that you are disabled and the date on which your disability began, or a current letter of verification from your physician stating that you are disabled, the date your disability began, and you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful work for a period which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of one year or more. You can also use the Physician’s Statement available on the Forms page of our website.
Once the form has been processed, a certificate will be sent to the appropriate tax office for processing. If the tax rate has not been set for the current tax year, it will delay the processing of your transfer request. If the tax rate has been set, please allow 30-60 days for processing.
If the spouse qualifying for the over 65 exemption dies does the surviving spouse keep the over 65 exemption?
The surviving spouse qualifies for an extension of the Over 65 exemption if:
- The surviving spouse was 55 years of age or older on the date the qualifying spouse died
- The deceased spouse was receiving the age 65 or older exemptions on this residence homestead or would have applied and qualified for the exemption in the year of his or her death.
I am a surviving spouse of an owner who had been receiving a tax ceiling on school taxes. Am I eligible for any exemption benefits?
If a homeowner who has been receiving the tax ceiling on school taxes dies, the ceiling transfers to the surviving spouse, if the survivor is 55 or older and has ownership in the home. The survivor must apply to the appraisal district for the tax ceiling to transfer.
The law requires an annual application by April 30 for some types of exemptions, including property exempted from Taxation by Agreement (Property Tax Abatement), Historical and Archeological Sites, exemption of Freeport Goods, and exemption of Pollution Control property approved by the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ). Cemeteries, charitable organizations, youth development organizations, religious organizations, and non-profit private schools do not have to reapply for the exemption each year once the property tax exemption is granted, unless by written notice, the Chief Appraiser requests the property owner to file a new application. However, if their exempt property changes ownership or if their qualifications for exemption change, they must reapply.
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 Constitutional 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 by April 30 to the Travis Central Appraisal District for the exemption. Several exemption applications can be printed from the Forms page on this site.
Yes, a person who received an exemption that is not required to be claimed annually must notify the Appraisal District in writing before May 1 after the entitlement to the exemption ends. If you fail to do so and don’t pay your taxes in full, you will face a delinquent tax penalty, plus interest.
- Email: CSinfo@tcadcentral.org
- Hand deliver to: 850 East Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78752
- Mail: PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714
A person with a disability may qualify for exemptions if:
- Unable to engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability
- 55 years old and blind and cannot engage in your previous work because of blindness
If you receive disability benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program through the Social Security Administration you should qualify. Disability benefits from any other program may or may not qualify.
You may qualify for a property tax deduction if you are either:
- a veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces or
- the surviving spouse or child (under 18 years of age or unmarried) of a disabled veteran
You must be a Texas resident and must provide documentation from the Veteran’s Administration reflecting the percentage of the service-connected disability and the name of the surviving spouse. The disability rating must be at least 10%. You may also qualify for the 100% Disabled Veterans Residential Homestead exemption. You may call the Veterans Administration to request the documentation at: (512) 854-9340.
Notices of Appraised Value (NOAV) are mailed in April. A small number of notices may be sent at a later date. Virtually all notices will be mailed by mid-June.
If you have a tax agent or representative you will not receive the notice. The notice is mailed to the agent of record. Please contact your tax agent for a copy of the notice.
If your property value increased $1,000 or less, a notice of appraised value will not be mailed. Property values are available on the TCAD website after notices have been mailed. Please search for your property on the Property Search page.
The information is on the TCAD website. Please search for your property on the Property Search page of TCAD’s website.
No, call the City where the property is located or call 911 addressing if located in the City of Austin.
How do I search by property address? Why is there a “No Match” response when I enter the correct address?
Even a slight deviation from the format entered on the district records will prevent retrieval of the information, entering “Street” instead of “Str” for example. If you are uncertain as to how the property address should be entered, you should broaden your search by entering less information. If you are looking for 2004 Shadowcrest, enter shadow in the street name. The search will return all street names beginning with “Shadow”. We now offer an advanced search which is free of charge. Click on “Tips For A Faster Search” on our website for more information.
What do I do if the ownership on the district records does not reflect the current ownership of a property?
TCAD uses deed records recorded with the Travis County Clerk’s office to correct ownership information. Verify that your deed has been filed with the Travis County Clerk at (512) 854-9188. If after 90 days from the date of the closing the property, the appraisal records do not reflect the current ownership, please contact the Travis Central Appraisal District at (512) 834-9317.
In the case of multiple owners the first owner listed on the deed will be added to the district record followed by Et al, meaning “and others”.
If you purchased a property that will be split after January 1st, then the ownership will not be updated until the following calendar year.
In an effort to increase efficiencies and reduce cost to taxpayers, Travis CAD mailed a Notice of Appraised Value to either the owner OR to the owners Agent of Record. Notices are no longer mailed to BOTH owners and agents. If your property value increased less than $1,000, you will not receive a Notice of Appraised Value. Your current value information is now available on this website. Please search for your property on the Property Search page of TCAD’s website.
The chief appraiser sends out a detailed notice of appraised value to the owner of property annually. The notice of appraised value contains a description of your property, its value, the exemptions and an estimate of taxes that might be owed. Property value information is also available on the website Property Search, or by calling or visiting our offices.
Notices of Appraised Value (NOAV) are typically mailed out in April of each year. Values on the website are not updated until the notices have been mailed.
Your property’s “assessed” value is not the same as its “market” value. The market value of your property may increase or decrease by any amount year-to-year. If you have a residential homestead exemption on your property, the increase in your assessed value is limited from year-to-year to 10% so long as changes have not been made that add “new value” (such as an “addition”).
Per the Texas Property Tax Code “market value” is the only value permitted to be protested, through the Appraisal District. Assessed value is a statutory calculation based on the previous year’s assessed value and cannot be protested.
PROTESTING PROPERTY VALUE
You have 20 minutes to complete the form; after 20 minutes the system will not accept the information.
Hearings are conducted at either of the two Travis Central Appraisal District office locations: 850 E Anderson Lane or 8314 Cross Park Drive. The hearing letter you receive will have specific instructions regarding location of your hearing.
Property owners and/or their authorized tax agents that protested using the online eFile system(s) and requested evidence packets will have the evidence made available electronically on the eFile system(s) as time and law allow. Property owners and/or their authorized tax agents that did not use the online eFile system and made a written request to have evidence sent will receive the evidence by general mail as time and law allow. If you did not make a written request to have the evidence sent to you, you may inspect and/or make copies of the evidence at the appraisal districts office 14 days prior to your scheduled hearing during normal business hours by informing staff at the Customer Service department that you wish to inspect your evidence and providing them the account number(s) for the property protested. The evidence packets for ARB hearings are not the same as information requested under the Public Information Act.
The Appraisal Review Board (“ARB”) sets protest hearing schedules. You will receive by general mail a notice of protest hearing letter at least 15 days before the scheduled formal hearing date. Included with that letter will be a copy of Property Taxpayer’s Remedies (a publication of the State Comptroller’s Office), a copy of the ARB hearing procedures, and a statement that you have the right to inspect the information that the Appraisal District plans to introduce at your hearing
When I try to recover my username or password it says security question is ‘Not Available” what do I do?
Enter the appropriate information in the boxes provided and click the blue “Get Question” button.
A protest has been filed on the property and eFile is no longer an option.
Not automatically. If you wish to request an “evidence packet” you may request it when you file your protest. There is a check box for evidence on the protest form provided with your notice of appraised value. You may also send a written request to have evidence sent to you. The Appraisal District is typically able to deliver evidence in advance but is not mandated by law to do so. Mail – PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714. Please note that evidence packets contain confidential information and when processing requests for evidence the CAD will only release the evidence to the property owner or the owner’s authorized agent tax agent.
File as early as possible so that if there is a problem it can be resolved.
Log onto http://efile.traviscadonline.org/ and register.
The Appraisal Review Board is a group of private citizens authorized to resolve disputes between taxpayers and the appraisal district. ARB members are appointed by the Travis County Local Administrative District Judge. Although the ARB is funded by the Appraisal District, they are appointed by the Local Administrative District Judge. The ARB is a separate authoritative body. No employees or officers of the Appraisal District or the taxing units it serves may sit on the ARB. To qualify for service on the ARB, an individual must be a resident of the Appraisal District for at least two years prior to taking office. Any person who is a former member of the governing body or officer or employee of a taxing unit, or is a former director, officer, or employee of the Appraisal District is ineligible to serve. Also the person’s close relatives cannot work as professional tax agents or tax appraisers within the Appraisal District. ARB members also must comply with special conflict of interest laws.
The ARB determines taxpayer protests and taxing unit challenges. The ARB also determines if the Chief Appraiser has granted or denied exemptions and agricultural appraisals properly. The ARB begins protest hearings around June 1. The ARB establishes its own Procedures and Rules that govern its operations. For cost savings purposes, the ARB typically meets at the Appraisal District office.
Your protest will be heard by the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). The ARB is a group of citizens who are authorized to resolve disputes between Appraisal Districts and taxpayers. A hearing before the ARB is conducted very much like a court case, although less formal. The ARB sets its own procedures with guidelines from the State Comptroller’s Office. Generally, ARB panels are three-member panels, but may be more. Typically, after formal introduction of the parties and the property involved, the ARB will hear evidence from the property owner and the Appraisal District and make a judgment based on the evidence presented. Each party, the property owner and the Appraisal District appraiser, will have approximately 3-5 minutes to present their case and evidence at the hearing. Most ARB hearings take approximately 15 minutes and the property owner will know the ARB’s recommendation before they leave the hearing. After a recommendation is made by the ARB panel and subsequently approved by a quorum of the entire Board, a written Notice of Final Order is sent by certified mail to you or your agent. This decision is binding for the current tax year unless you file under binding arbitration, appeal to SOAH or appeal to District Court.
Your protest will be dismissed if you do not appear in person, through a valid Affidavit, by agent or by pre-scheduled telephone hearing. You may request that the ARB Chairperson reopen the hearing by sending a letter within 4 days of the dismissal citing the “good cause” reason for failure to appear.
By law, a copy of all evidence submitted to the ARB must be retained for public record; therefore paper is preferred. It is helpful to bring a copy of the evidence for each of the panel members, the TCAD Appraiser, and one for yourself. That would be five copies. You may bring evidence on a digital device with USB connectivity. No evidence presented by phone or Internet will be accepted.
Submit the request in writing documenting the “good cause reason” for the request to the ARB Chairman at PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012.
Bring your hearing letter, this will expedite the check in process. Also, bring any information that you want to present to support the value you think is correct. Bring 5 sets of the evidence to the formal hearing.
Under the law, the ARB has these specific duties:
-Determine protests initiated by property owners;
-Determine challenges initiated by taxing units;
-Correct clerical errors in the appraisal records and the appraisal rolls;
-Act on motions to correct appraisal rolls under section 25.25;
-Determine whether an exemption or a partial exemption is improperly granted and whether land is improperly granted appraisal as provided by Subchapter C, D, or E, Chapter 23.
-After it has completed substantially all protests, the ARB approves the appraisal records.
Examples of good cause are: active military duty, hospitalization or being under doctor’s care, death in the immediate family, Judicial or Legislative service or a pending court hearing, failure to receive administrative due process, other matters of good cause as determined by the ARB
Property owners may call Customer Service and ask to speak to an appraiser to ask questions about their property, how properties are appraised, the protest process, evidence and information they received, etc…. Property owners that file their protest using the online Efile system will typically receive the district evidence and an informal offer to settle the protest via the online Efile system. All property owners are entitled to protest and will be scheduled for a formal hearing before the Appraisal Review Board.
No, the appraisal district determines market value and has no control over the tax rates or resulting tax bill. For more information on tax rates visit www.TravisTaxes.com
Unfortunately, there will be no help available after office hours.
It is less formal but testimony is taken under oath. The proceedings are recorded and the documents presented at the hearing are saved and stored.
If you have access to your account you may check the email registered by clicking on profile then edit profile. If you don’t have access to the account you may call 512-834-9317and select option 4 for general questions and request that the Owner ID and PIN letter be mailed to you.
I tried to register for eFile but I get the response Owner Id and PIN already in use. What do I do?
You may recover by clicking “Forgot Login” and enter the information you received on the original letter with Owner ID and PIN.
I tried to register and received an error message saying “Email failed to send” during registration, at finish and apply, what should I do?
Please wait five minutes and try to register again.
No, if you have multiple accounts you cannot consolidate them at this time.
I mis-typed my email when I registered or do not have access to the Email account, how do I change my Email?
If you have access to your account you may change the email registered by clicking on profile then edit profile. If you don’t have access to the account you may call 512-834-9317and select option 4 for general questions and request that the Owner ID and PIN letter be mailed to you.
This response is an indication that the Owner ID has changed. Please request a new eFile Letter be sent with a new Owner ID and PIN by calling 512-834-9317. Select option 4 for general questions or email: email@example.com
Yes, you may need them in the future to recover your user name if you forget it, if you do not know what email you used or no longer have access to the Email address you may use the original information to access your account.
Yes, register the first property, click on profile then manage PINs, and insert the other Owner IDs and PINs.
Click on forgot password, and enter user name and security answer.
Click forgot user name, enter email address you registered with, the PIN and security answer.
You may call 512-834-9317and select option 4 for general questions and request that the Owner ID and PIN be mailed to you.
If eFile is not available you may call 512-834-9317and select option 4 for general questions or email: CSinfo@tcadcentral.org to determine who filed the protest.
Please check your “spam folder” or “Junk Email folder”. You should receive the confirmation within 24 hours. If you do not receive the confirmation within 24 hours call 512-834-9317and select option 4 for general questions or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please provide the property identification number (PID) and/or address, daytime phone number and a specific summary of the issue encountered.
You may write the information in a word processing program, copy and paste the information you wish to provide the district from in the appropriate field.
Per Section 41.461 of the Property Tax Code, the Chief Appraiser must make available for inspection and copy any information that TCAD intends to introduce at the ARB formal hearing at least 14 days before a hearing on a protest. This information can include but is not limited to, a list of sales used to value the property, a list of all property in the owner’s neighborhood, comparable sales grid, comparable equity grid, and an appraisal card.
I accepted the appraiser’s settlement offer but I have changed my mind. Can I have an Appraisal Review Board formal hearing?
No, once you accept the offer from the district your opportunity for appeal is closed for the year.
Approximately 15 minutes.
The affidavit and supporting documents must be received by the ARB before the scheduled hearing date. Delivering them to our office in person is best. If you mail them, it is a good idea to send them return receipt requested. Be sure to mail them in plenty of time and be sure the address is correct. The affidavit must state that you swear or affirm that the information it contains is true, and sworn to before someone authorized to verify the Affidavit . Be sure to clearly place in the affidavit or a cover letter, the property owner’s name, address, account number, property description, and the date and time of the hearing.
You will receive a copy of the Texas Comptrollers Property Taxpayer Remedies pamphlet with your notice of protest hearing letter. This pamphlet offers advice on how to prepare for an ARB hearing. In addition, you will receive a copy of the ARB Formal Hearing Procedures which will explain the procedures to be used in a hearing. The appraisal district website is one resource you may use in preparing for your hearing.
You must eFile your protest by your protest deadline, generally on or before May 15th or no later than 30 days after the Appraisal District mails a Notice of Appraised Value to you, whichever is later. The district has a short video that will take you through the eFile protest process at: http://www.traviscad.org/protests
The deadline to file a protest was changed by the Texas legislature to May 15th. You must notify the district in writing on or before May 15th that you wish to protest your property value or no later than 30 days after the Appraisal District mails a Notice of Appraised Value to you, whichever is later. However if the protest deadline falls on a weekend or holiday then the protest deadline is the first business day after that date. The deadline to file a written protest for the 2019 Tax Year is May 15th. It is very important to file the protest on time. If you mail your protest, please mail it to the address listed on your Notice of Appraised Value or mail to PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012. It must also bear a post office cancellation mark by midnight May 15th. The Texas Comptroller provides a form to submit the protest, form 50-132; however you do not have to use the form. If you do not use the form be sure to include the owners name, address and Property Identification Number, and the basis of your protest. Submit your protest by: Mail – PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714, Email – email@example.com , or Hand delivery to – 850 East Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78752.
You have four choices: 1) You can appear in person at your scheduled hearing before the ARB. Make sure that you read your Hearing Notification carefully for the correct date and time of your scheduled hearing. Please arrive at least ten minutes before your scheduled hearing to check in; 2) you can appoint someone else to appear for you; 3) you can file an affidavit (not just a letter) stating your facts and presentation by mail; or 4) You can arrange a hearing by phone in advance.
Yes. If the person you are authorizing is not a co-owner listed on the deed and is a licensed property tax consultant (also called an agent), you must provide written authorization on the Comptroller’s mandated Authorization of Agent form. It must be , signed by you, the property owner, naming the person to represent you. The person you select should be able to discuss the property from personal knowledge and should file the form as soon as possible. At the very least, the person must bring the appropriate form to the ARB hearing.
If the person you wish to represent you is not a licensed property tax consultant, there must be some legal authorization that allows the person to speak on your behalf (power of attorney or licensed attorney). Similarly, the person you select should be able to discuss the property from personal knowledge.
You may bring someone with you to the hearing that can speak during the hearing. However in this circumstance you must be present to identify on the record that the person is speaking on your behalf.
You may reschedule your formal hearing with the ARB one time without cause. As provided by Tax Code Section 41.45(e) a subsequent request for rescheduling will need to be for good cause.
Yes, the evidence must be saved to a device that can be accessed by the district in advance of your hearing and printed. The preferred device is a device that can be accessed via a USB port.
Taxpayers may also purchase a copy of our GIS shape file that include all of Travis County. You must have GIS or ESRI to use the GIS shape file. This information can be put onto a CD or transferred to an FTP site. The cost is $25.
Per Section 22.27 of the Texas Property Tax Code, the Appraisal District is prohibited from disclosing sales information gathered from a private source. Taxpayers who have protested his or her property value are entitled to the sales used to value his or her property but no other sales information.
Yes, an electronic copy of the entire appraisal roll data is made available free of charge on the appraisal district website https://www.traviscad.org/reports-request/. Upon a request the Appraisal District can provide PDF copies of the appraisal roll by property type, subdivision, zip code, and several other predefined criteria. The cost for PDF appraisal rolls are $5. Please contact the Records Coordinator for a list of predefined criteria. Additional criteria for PDF creation may be requested but will incur programming and manipulation charges.
Yes, most maps are available on our website. If you need paper copies, they may be purchased in our Customer Service department.
All taxpayer formal hearings are scheduled and notice of the scheduled date and time is mailed 15 days prior to the formal hearing date.
Yes, at least 48 hours prior to the formal hearing notify the district and the district will arrange for an American Sign Language interpreter. Please send the request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Informal meetings are offered on a first come, first served basis. Wait time for an informal meeting with a TCAD appraiser will vary depending on the number of people in the queue line ahead of you. When you sign into the queue system, you will be shown an estimated wait time for your meeting. You will also receive text message updates to keep you informed of when a TCAD appraiser will be available.
Informal meetings are being offered during normal business hours.
If I have to leave the queue line for my informal meeting, do I just lose my spot in line or do I lose my chance at having a meeting?
If you have to leave the queue line for any reason, you will lose your spot in line. A property is eligible for an informal meeting as long as a protest has been filed on the property and the owner/agent has not already met with a TCAD appraiser to discuss it. As long as you have not had an informal meeting, you can re-enter the queue at any time.
You will receive a text message when you reach the front of the queue line and a TCAD appraiser will call you for your meeting. If the appraiser is unable to reach you, they will try calling you a second time a short while later. If they are still unable to reach you, you will be removed from the queue line. In order to get an informal meeting, you will need to place yourself in the queue line again.
Property owners are eligible to get in line online if they have filed a protest on their property, it has been processed, and they have not already discussed their protest with a TCAD appraiser. When you get in line online, a TCAD appraiser will review your eligibility. You will receive a text message letting you know if you are not eligible for an informal meeting and are being dropped from the queue.
Value changes may occur for several reasons. Often sales information may indicate the current appraised value is lower/higher than fair market. Also, corrections to appraisal records may affect value, such as, change in square footage, a pool not previously accounted for, or a correction of a property characteristic.
In order to produce accurate appraisals on all property within Travis County, we must visit them periodically to ensure that the data used in making the appraisal is still correct. For instance, the appraisal district could have received a copy of a building permit indicating that a room was being added and an appraiser may inspect the property to ensure the property characteristics are correct.
In appraisal, the term “improvement” is a building, structure, fixture, or fence erected on or affixed to land; or a transportable structure that is designed to be occupied for residential or business purposes, whether or not it is affixed to land, if the owner of the structure owns the land on which it is located, unless the structure is unoccupied and held for sale or normally is located at a particular place only temporarily.
Fair market value means the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if: Exposed for sale in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser. Both the seller and the purchaser know all of the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable restrictions on its use. Both the seller and the purchaser seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other.
If I buy a foreclosed property, and I bring in my closing statement, will the appraisal district’s market value be reduced to the purchase price?
If the foreclosed property was given an adequate exposure to the market, there was no attractive financing associated with it, the closing and repair costs were typical, and the sale is representative of its neighborhood, then it will. If the price it sold for is not consistent with the marketplace of a property with similar quality and condition, it will not.
A rendition is a statement, listing taxable property, and the name and address of the owner. The statement should also contain the owner’s estimate of the property’s value. The deadline for filing a rendition is on or before April 1st. This year April 1st is on Sunday moving the deadline to April 2nd. Be sure to identify your property and attach any documentation that you may have such as closing statements, appraisals or sales of similar properties in your neighborhood.
In general, the assessed home value for a homeowner who qualifies his homestead for exemption in the preceding and current year may not increase more than 10 percent per year.
The Property Tax Code sets a limit on the value of a residence homestead, stating that its value for a tax year may not exceed the lesser of the market value of the property; or, The sum of: 10 percent of the value of the property for last year; The value of the property for the last year in which the property was appraised; and The market value of all new improvements to the property, excluding a replacement structure for one that was rendered uninhabitable or unusable by casualty or by mold or water damage. The appraisal limitation first applies in the year after the homeowner qualifies for the homestead exemption.
It will be added to the tax roll at the percentage of completion as of January 1st.
The house is measured, classified, and depreciated due to its condition and age. It is valued based on the sales of similar properties.
Yes, but the increase in the fair market value may override the age depreciation.
Yes, age, size, condition and quality of construction are all taken into consideration.
No, they are based on 100% of the fair market value of your property.
Yes, someone has reviewed your property, but it may not have been this year.
Improvement on your notice means any structure that is attached to the land. A house is an improvement to the land.
The district first collects detailed descriptions of each taxable property in the district. It then classifies properties according to a variety of factors such as size, use and construction type. Using comparable sales, income and/or cost data, TCAD appraisers apply generally accepted appraisal techniques to derive a value for your property.
TCAD typically uses sales from the previous 12 months and the 2 months after the appraisal date of January 1st of each year. TCAD may use a later beginning date if enough sales are available to value properties in a neighborhood or go back further in time (up to two years) if sales are not sufficient.
The appraisal district may use three common methods to value property: market, cost and income approach.
Market – What are properties similar to this property selling for?
Cost – How much would it cost to replace the property with one of equal utility?
Income – What would an investor pay in anticipation of future income from the property?
BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY
Email to: email@example.com
A rendition is a form that provides the appraisal district with the description, location, cost and acquisition dates for business personal property that you own. The appraisal district uses the information to help estimate the market value of your property for taxation purposes. You may email completed renditions to: Rendition@tcadcentral.org.
Renditions must be filed by both owners of tangible personal property that is used for the production of income and owners of tangible personal property on which an exemption has been cancelled or denied.
No, if you were in business January 1st you owe taxes for the year.
Business owners are required by State law to render business personal property that is used in a business 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 progress. You are not required to render intangible personal property (property that can be owned but does not have a physical form) such as cash, accounts receivable, goodwill, application computer software, and 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 the exempt property.
The forms are available on the district website on the Forms page or at the TCAD office.
The last day to file your rendition is April 15th. If April 15th falls on a weekend, the rendition deadline is the next business day.
You will not receive a notification if you want to be sure your rendition is received send the document certified.
We cannot give you specific directions for completing your rendition. If you are unsure of what to include you may attach a list of assets, purchase price and year of purchase to your rendition. Step-by-step information is available on our website including a video at: www.traviscad.org/videos/
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.
On the first page of the rendition, Step 3, affirm that the prior year rendition correct, or complete and accurate.
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.
Your rendition will be analyzed along with other information we collect on similar businesses, to develop an estimate of value for your property.
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.
The law provides for an extension of time to file a rendition. In order to receive the extension, you must submit the request to the Travis Central Appraisal District in writing or by email before the April 15th rendition filing deadline. With the receipt of a timely extension request, the rendition filing deadline will be extended to May 15thst.
If you do not file a rendition, the appraised value of your property will be based on an appraiser’s estimate using 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.
Your request for penalty waiver has not been approved. Possible reasons for the denial are that you were granted a waiver in a previous year or you did not attach a rendition to the waiver request.
Is sales tax included in the sales price of heavy equipment or in the monthly lease or rental payment, as applicable?
Yes, the sales price includes the sales tax. The sales price of heavy equipment is defined in Section 23.1241(a)(7), Tax Code, as “total amount of money paid or to be paid to a dealer for the purchase of an item of heavy equipment” or “for a lease or rental with an option to purchase, the total amount of the lease or rental payments plus any final consideration, excluding interest.” The sales price includes the sales tax since it is part of the “money paid or to be paid to a dealer” for the purchase of the heavy equipment.
Can previous lease and rental payments be deducted from the cost of a piece of heavy equipment being sold?
Yes, interest payment can be deducted. Section 23.1241(a)(7) states that the sales price is the “total amount of the lease or rental payments plus any final consideration, excluding interest.” For purposes of the annual declaration used to determine the property tax on the market value of a dealer’s inventory, Section 23.1241(b-1) provides that the sales price of an item of heavy equipment that is sold during the preceding year is considered to be the sum of the sales price for the item plus the total lease and rental payments received for the item in the preceding tax year.
Should the cost of warranties in the sales price of heavy equipment be included before applying the unit property tax?
It depends on how the transaction is written. If the cost of warranties is set up as a separate transaction, then it is not part of the sales price of the heavy equipment. If, however, the cost of warranty is part of the single transaction in the purchase of the heavy equipment, then that cost is included as part of the sales price since it is part of the “money paid or to be paid to a dealer” for the purchase of the heavy equipment.
Is anyone who sells, leases or rents heavy equipment a dealer? Or must the person be “engaged in the business in this state of selling, leasing or renting heavy equipment”?
Section 23.1241(a)(1) defines “dealer” as a “person engaged in the business in this state of selling, leasing, or renting heavy equipment.” Note: An appraisal district can check to see if the person has a Texas sales tax permit. A dealer engaged in business in Texas that sells or leases heavy equipment must be permitted to collect state and local sales tax since these are taxable transactions for sales tax purposes.
Yes, a heavy equipment dealer is required to render all tangible personal property used for the production of income, as required by Section 22.01, Tax Code. See also Section 23.1241(d) that addresses personal property held by a dealer and a dealer who sells predominately to other dealers. The more difficult question here is not whether they are required to render, but whether they are required to render the inventory that is otherwise appraised under Section 23.1241. It seems that chief appraisers have not been requiring those dealers to render their inventory, but have been considering the declaration they are required to file to meet the rendition requirement. Nonetheless, there is nothing specific in the Tax Code which exempts inventory owners from the rendition requirements.
The dealer’s inventory value is based on the total sales and leases/rentals for the preceding tax year. Those will be reported on the Dealer’s Heavy Equipment Inventory Declaration. The form provides that the dealer who was not in business for the entire 12 month period reports the months in business. For each month, the Dealer’s Heavy Equipment Inventory Tax Statement will list each sale, lease or rental during that month. For these sales, leases and rentals, the dealer will report the unit property tax for that heavy equipment.
Can excess funds in the escrow account after all property taxes have been paid to the appropriate taxing units be carried over to the next tax year?
No, excess funds are carried over to the next tax year. Section 23.1242(j) provides that no later than February 15, the tax collector “shall distribute to each appropriate taxing unit … all funds collected under authority of this section and held in escrow ….” In other words, funds deposited during the calendar year are used to pay the heavy equipment dealer’s tax bill on the dealer’s inventory; the tax collector distributes the deposited funds to the taxing units on or before January 31 of the following year and then any remaining in the account by February 15. No funds are carried forward to pay the next year’s tax bill. Current law allows a heavy equipment dealer to apply for a refund of prepaid taxes on a sale that is a fleet transaction (sale of five or more items of heavy equipment in one calendar year). This is the only provision for returning money in an escrow account to a heavy equipment dealer.
Do the exclusions for fleet transactions, sales to dealers, and subsequent sales apply to leases and rentals?
No, these exclusions all deal with sales of heavy equipment; therefore, they do not apply to leases and rentals. Please note that the definition of “subsequent sale” includes: “The term does not include a rental or lease with an unexercised purchase option or without a purchase option.” Leased or rented equipment in which the lessee/renter has exercised a purchase option changes that leased/rented equipment to a sale.
If the same auction house is used by a company to sell all of its used equipment, is this considered a fleet sale?
If the dealer is selling the used equipment to the auction company and sells five or more items in one calendar year, then the dealer reports those sales as “fleet transactions.” The auction company reports its sales as a dealer selling heavy equipment. In some cases, however, an auction company is not taking ownership of the heavy equipment but is handling the sales transaction for the dealer. So, the final answer will depend on the arrangements between the dealer and the auction company.
Section 23.1241(a)(6) defines “heavy equipment” as “any item of equipment that is self-propelled, self-powered, or pull-type equipment, including farm equipment or a diesel engine, that weighs at least, 500 pounds and is intended to be used for agricultural, construction, industrial, maritime, mining, or forestry uses.” It does not include a motor vehicle required to be titled or registered.
Yes, the heavy equipment and attachments are sold or rented as one transaction with a total sales price. If a dealer sells an attachment as a separate transaction and that attachment does not meet the definition of heavy equipment, then it is not part of the dealer’s heavy equipment inventory. The part may be part of the dealer’s other personal property inventory. Some dealers have parts departments that the dealer renders and the appraisal district appraises as regular inventory under Tax Code Section 23.12.
Does the requirement that “the owner of the equipment shall state the amount of the unit property tax assigned as a separate line item on an invoice” apply to sales?
Changes to Section 23.1241(b) include this new sentence: “The owner of the equipment shall state the amount of the unit property tax assigned as a separate line item on an invoice.” The paragraph in which this new sentence is found addresses both sales and lease/rental transactions. This line item should appear on all invoices.
Is a dealer who does not owe property tax because the dealer was not in business on Jan. 1 prohibited from assigning a unit property tax apply only to sales or to sales, leases and rentals?
Section 23.1242(g) addresses a dealer who owes no heavy equipment inventory tax for the current year because the dealer was not in business on January 1. The dealer files the monthly statements each month that the dealer is in business. Section 23.1242(g)(2) states that the dealer may not assign a unit property tax to an item of heavy equipment sold by the dealer or remit money with the statement. It appears that the Legislature failed to correct the language in this subsection to reflect changes to include leases or rentals. An exception is Section 23.1242(k) that addresses a person who acquires another dealer’s business and has a contract to pay the selling dealer’s inventory taxes.
LAND & AGRICULTURE VALUATIONS
An Agriculture Exemption is not an Exemption but rather a Special Valuation. If a portion or all of a property is deemed eligible to receive an Agricultural Valuation, that property will receive a Production Value along with its Market Value.
The tax savings that a property receives depends on the current Market Value of the property and what type of Ag Valuation you are requesting. Native Pasture areas can have a lower Ag valuation than Dry Crop areas and generally both are lower than the market value that the taxes would normally be based on.
You may apply for Ag Valuation between Jan 1st and April 30th of the year in which you are seeking the Ag Valuation.
Cropland values are based on a five year average of typical income minus typical expenses using a share lease method. Pastureland values are based on typical income minus typical expenses using a cash lease method.
Agricultural use includes but is not limited to the following activities: cultivating the soil, producing crops for human food, animal feed, or planting seed for the production of fibers; floriculture, viticulture, and horticulture; raising or keeping livestock; raising or keeping exotic animals for the production of human food or of fiber, leather, pelts, or other tangible products having a commercial value; planting cover crops or leaving land idle for the purposes of participating in a governmental program, provided the land is not used for residential purposes or a purpose inconsistent with agricultural use; and planting of cover crops or leaving land idle in conjunction with normal crop or livestock rotation procedure, and raising or keeping bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value.
The number of acres needed depends on the agricultural activity of the property. For example, the bee keeping requirement is a minimum of 5 acres and cannot exceed 20 acres. Five acres may be sufficient for intensive farming uses. Travis County has a minimum requirement of 4 animals units for grazing land which would require a minimum of 12 acres on the East side of IH 35 and 20 acres on the West side. The minimum of 12 acres on the East side of IH 35 and 20 acres on the West side also applies to land used for dryland and irrigated farming and hay production.
The minimum requirement for grazing stock is 4 animal units. A grazing livestock animal unit equals; 1 mature cow; 2 five-hundred pound calves; 6 sheep; 7 goats, or 1 mature horse. If you only had cows, you would need a total of 4 mature ones. If you only had goats, you would need twenty-eight. A combination such as 2 cows, and 12 sheep would be four animal units. Another example is 1 cow, 2 calves, 6 sheep and 7 goats which would be equal to the required number of 4 animal units.
An Ag Rollback Tax is an additional Tax that is imposed when a property owner ceases to use the property for qualified Agricultural purposes and changes the use to any other purpose excluding building a house for a personal homestead. The Rollback Tax recoups the tax the owner would have paid if his or her land had been taxed at Market Value for the years covered in the Rollback (generally five years).
Will I receive an Ag Rollback Tax if I buy a property with Ag Valuation, build a house, and stop using the property for agriculture?
No, the owner will not receive an Ag Rollback Tax if he or she intends to homestead that property (up to 20 acres) and maintains that homestead for 5 years.
In order to receive Wildlife Valuation the property must currently be under Ag Valuation and a new 1-d-1 Ag Application must be timely filed along with a 5 year Wildlife Management Plan provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.
REQUEST FOR CONFIDENTIALITY
Texas Tax Code §25.025 permits certain persons to request that the appraisal district restrict from public access any information in the appraisal district records required by §25.02 that could be used to identify their home addresses.
The State Comptroller of Public Accounts prescribes the form on which these confidentiality requests may be made. Copies of the form 50-284 are available at on the Comptroller’s website or from the district’s website: Request for Confidentiality
I am not in one of the protected categories on form 50-284 able to claim confidential status under the Texas Tax Code §25.025. How can I require the appraisal district to keep my information be confidential?
If you are not eligible for confidentiality under Texas Tax Code §25.025 there is no other recourse to request confidentiality.