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FAQ's - Business Personal Property

• How do I file for my Mixed Use Motor Vehicle Exemption?  [Read more...]

Please verify that CAD has a Business Personal Property account that includes your vehicle. If you do not know, please contact the BPP Department at 956-399-9322 to determine what your account is.

This exemption applies to one motor vehicle an individual owned on January 1. The exemption will only apply to a vehicle used in the course of their occupation or profession and 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.

You must file the application between January 1st and April 30th for 2009 and future years. The application is available on this website under Forms/BPP Forms/Exemptions.

In order to grant the application, we must receive a copy of the current vehicle registration along with your application. Without the current vehicle registration, the exemption will be denied.

If the exemption is granted, you do not need to reapply annually, but you must reapply if the Chief Appraiser requires you to do so, or if you want the exemption to apply to a different vehicle not listed in this 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:

An individual is considered to be one person or owner, as in a sole proprietor (not a partner, corporation, or cooperative).

Motor vehicle means a passenger car or light truck.

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.

Light truck means a commercial motor vehicle that has a manufacturer's rated carrying capacity of one ton or less

• What is rendition for Business Personal Property?  [Read more...]

A rendition is simply a form that 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.

• What must the rendition statement contain?  [Read more...]

  • Property owner's name and address
  • Description of the property by type or category
  • 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?  [Read more...]

A person who owns tangible personal property used for the production of income, or who manages or controls such property as an authorized agent, must file a report annually.

• Do I have to file a Rendition Form for my business?  [Read more...]

Yes. If you don't file, the account will be subject to a 10% penalty. The 10% penalty is 10% on the total tax paid to each taxing entity. The deadline to file is April 15. The owner can request for an extension until May 1. The request must be made by April 15. The deadline for Freeport Application is April 30 with no extensions granted. The Freeport Application can be filed up to midnight the day before the appraisal review board approves the appraisal records for the year. If filed after April 30 it is subject to a penalty equal to the 10% of the tax savings resulting from the Freeport exemption. The Special Inventory Declaration Forms need to be filed by February 1.

• What types of property must be rendered?  [Read more...]

For taxation purposes, there are two basic types of property: real property (land, buildings, and other items attached to land) and personal property (property that can be owned and is not permanently attached to the land or building such as inventory, furniture, fixtures, equipment and machinery). Business owners are required by State law to render 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 process. 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 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 the exempt property.

• Which forms will I need to file?  [Read more...]

Depending on the type of property you are rendering, the Cameron Appraisal District provides several types of renditions. The CAD mails the appropriate forms to all existing businesses each year. The forms are also available on the Personal Property Forms and Downloads page.

• When must the rendition be filed?  [Read more...]

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. If you hand deliver it or use a private delivery service such as Federal Express, it must be physically received in our office before close of business on April 15.

• Where must the rendition be filed?  [Read more...]

Renditions for property located in the Cameron Appraisal District's jurisdiction must be filed with the Appraisal District office. The mailing address for the general rendition is Cameron Appraisal District, Business Personal Property Division, P.O. Box 1010, San Benito, TX 78586. The physical street address of the office is 2021 Amistad Dr., San Benito, TX 78586.

• Can the rendition be faxed or electronically submitted?  [Read more...]

Renditions can be mailed, faxed, or emailed. If mailed it must be post marked by April 15th.

• What will the appraisal district do with my rendition?  [Read more...]

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?  [Read more...]

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.

• How do I fill out the general and online CAD rendition form?  [Read more...]

The following information applies to the preprinted form the CAD mails out and the form that can be downloaded from our website:

Mailing address and physical location of the property

The top of the preprinted form lists your company's name, DBA, and mailing address. It also gives the physical address of the property in the upper right hand corner. If any of this information is incorrect, or if you have a blank form, correct or provide the requested information. The physical address applies to the January 1 location of your business. If you moved after January 1, the physical address will not change until the following year. However, you should be certain that we have your current mailing address at all times.

Owner signature, phone number, and notary

In order for a rendition to be valid, it must be signed. We will return unsigned renditions for a signature. A rendition signature only needs to be notarized if the individual signing the form is the authorized agent, and not the owner or officer of the company. Please provide a phone number in case we have questions about information provided on the form.

Business closed, sold, or moved

This status information about your business is very important, since it may change who is responsible for the taxes or what tax entities will be levying tax on the property. Please make sure to provide all of the information and the dates on which any of the transactions occurred.

General Information

This section gives the appraisal district information about your business to help us value your property. In order for the appraisal district to verify the value of your personal property, we still request that you file your rendition form with cost information and the years your assets were acquired. By receiving the requested information, we can more properly value your property, even if you believe the value to be less than $20,000.

Although you may use federal depreciation schedules for developing an opinion of value for your property if you have 50 employees or less, we recommend that you file cost and year of acquisition for your assets. The depreciation tables for federal income tax purposes often understate the market value of the property, and the Appraisal District may reject the rendition information you provide.

Merchandise and Supplies

This section is for reporting goods that you have for sale and supplies. The basis for reporting the cost of your inventory needs to be checked on the form. If your inventory is maintained using the LIFO accounting method, you must provide your LIFO reserve as a separate line item. Make certain to include raw materials and supplies on their respective lines, as these are taxable items. If you are a manufacturing business, remember to include the cost of goods in process, all applicable burden and overhead costs, including labor. Supplies are typically items that are expensed in your business throughout the year. You will need to provide the amount of supplies that were on hand as of January 1.

Fixed Assets or Use Items

In order to properly estimate the value of fixed assets belonging to your business, we need the original cost and the year the assets were acquired, along with a general description. Original cost refers to the amount you paid to acquire the assets. Your cost would include transportation and any other necessary expenses incurred in acquiring the property. If you purchased a used asset, list the amount you paid and the year that you purchased the asset. If you use our rendition form, it has general categories for your assets that will help us estimate the correct value. There are seven columns on our rendition form that will assist you in organizing your business assets. Each column allows you to group the total costs of similar assets by year. We, in turn, apply appropriate depreciation to these costs based on the asset type and in some cases the type of business. Our cost index and depreciation schedule with typical lives for various asset types can be found on the Forms page of our website. Be sure to include expensed items as well as items that have depreciated to zero. All of a company's fixed assets are taxable, even though they may not appear on your depreciation tables. If you have a non-typical asset type, group them in the "Other" column, but make certain to describe the type of asset you have entered in the column. As an example, you may have electronic test equipment or hand tools that would typically receive a shorter year life than what is used on assets placed in the Machinery Equipment column. You would need to group those assets by year in the "Other" column and then note "electronic test equipment" or "hand tools" in the line just below the column.

Leased, Loaned, or Rented Personal Property

Equipment that has been leased, loaned, or rented is taxable. The owner of the property is responsible for paying the taxes; however, as the lessee, you may be contractually obligated to reimburse the owner. In the space provided or on an additional sheet, list the name, address, and phone number of the owner. Give a brief description of the property, the annual rent, and if known, the selling price of the leased items.

Consigned Goods

If you hold consigned goods, you must provide the Appraisal District with the name and address of the consignee. It would also be helpful to give a brief description, amount and cost of the goods. The section also provides an area for information describing property you own that is consigned to others. You will need to provide us with the name of the consignee, the location of the property, description of the merchandise, and the value of the consignment.

Net Book Value or Opinion of Value

The bottom of the rendition form provides a location to enter the net book value of your company's assets, or an opinion of value. We will review this information, and you may be required to provide the Cameron Appraisal District with an explanation and documentation to support your opinion.

• What portions of the Rendition do I need to fill out?  [Read more...]

If your total business value is $20,000 or less, complete Schedule A. List a description of what your business consists of as in furniture, equipment, machinery, vehicles, depending on the type of business you have. Schedule C is for inventory. Inventory is considered merchandise, supplies, etc. If your total business value is over $20,000 you must complete Schedule B and/or Schedule C, whichever is applicable for the business. If your business leases equipment or company vehicles from a leasing company, list that company on Schedule D.

• How do I determine original cost?  [Read more...]

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 happens if I do not file a rendition, or file it late?  [Read more...]

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. 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 notice of 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?  [Read more...]

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 Cameron Appraisal District in writing before the April 15 rendition filing deadline. With the receipt of a timely extension request, the rendition filing deadline will be extended to May 1. The chief appraiser may further extend the deadline an additional 15 days if you file a written request showing a good cause reason for the additional extension. You can mail your request for an extension to Cameron Appraisal District, PO Box 1010, San Benito, TX 78586, email your request to the Business Personal Property department, or you also have the option to fax it to (956) 361-7850.

• Can the Chief Appraiser request additional information?  [Read more...]

If you provide a good faith estimate of market value instead of original cost and acquisition date for any items, the Chief Appraiser may request an explanatory statement from you. The Chief Appraiser must make the request in writing, and you must provide the statement within 20 days of the date you receive the request. The explanatory statement must set out a detailed explanation of the basis for the estimate(s) of market value given in your rendition. The statement must include adequate information to identify the property. If you provided a "good faith" value estimate, the statement must summarize the physical and economic characteristics relevant to their opinion of value. It must also state the effective date of the opinion. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees may base the value estimate on its federal tax depreciation schedules. It must also give the source(s) of information used in valuing the property and explain the basis for the value estimate.

• What if the Appraisal District values my property higher than what I rendered?  [Read more...]

You will receive a Notice of Appraised Value in late May or 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.

• I received a rendition form but, (1) I do not own the business, (2) I closed the business, or (3) I moved locations?  [Read more...]

If you did not own the business, state that you did not own that business for that year. State who you sold it to, the date you sold it, or the date the business closed and sign the form. If you moved to a different location, update the location of the business and complete the rendition form.

• If I closed/sold the business after Jan. 1, does the rendition need to be filed?  [Read more...]

Yes, the rendition must be filed and most importantly a good mailing address and phone number should be included on the rendition to refer to when reviewed by an appraiser.

• Does the rendition have to be notarized?  [Read more...]

No, unless whomever is completing the rendition is not the owner, an employee or the business owner or an agent of the business.

• If I cannot file by the extension deadline, what should I do?  [Read more...]

You should file your rendition as soon as you can. If possible, we will process your rendition prior to mailing notices.

• Are there any exceptions to this reporting requirement?  [Read more...]

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.

• Can there be any other penalties?  [Read more...]

Yes. SB 340 imposes a penalty of 50% of the total amount of tax imposed on the property for the tax year if a court finally determines that a person filed a false statement with intent to commit fraud or evade tax. A 50% penalty is also imposed if a person alters, destroys, or conceals a record, a document, or otherwise engages in fraudulent conduct for the purpose of affecting the course or outcome on an inspection, investigation, determination, or other proceeding before the appraisal district.

• What if it is determined that some property escaped taxation in past years?  [Read more...]

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.
As a one-time exception, the Legislature prescribed the time period between September 1, 2003 and December 1, 2003 for property owners to report any property that was omitted from the tax roll, and it would be added for the 2003 tax year only. This provision is only in effect during this window of time; and after December 1, 2003, property will be subject to the normal rules governing omitted property.

• Can I request a copy of prior years or the last rendition on file?  [Read more...]

The request must be made by the owner or president of the company and the request should be submitted to the attention of Personal Property Senior Clerk in written form. The request may be faxed, mailed, or emailed. If emailed, it would require the image of the letter with the title and a signature.

• How do you justify an increase in my commercial property?  [Read more...]

Your commercial property can increase due to its location, demand, and increasing rental rates of similar properties in the subject market area.  This can occur without having your property rehabilitated or remodeled.  Your commercial property can increase due to a rapid increase in population in your area.  This will likely create more demand for commercial space that leads to better rents.

• What is a statement of authenticity?  [Read more...]

For all Business Personal Property properties, documentation submitted must include a statement of authenticity.  This statement identifies the documentation provided and certifies it to be true and accurate to the best of the property owner’s knowledge and must be signed by the property owner.  This is especially for business personal property books and records.  If the information is received from a CPA, the license number must be provided.

• Why am I being notified for properties with values under $500?  [Read more...]

A business is entitled to an exemption from taxation if the business personal property account has a taxable value of less than $500.  Business Personal Property is the tangible personal property owned that is held or used for the production of income.  The exemptions provided applies to each separate taxing unit in which a person holds or uses tangible personal property for the production of income.  All property in each taxing unit is aggregated to determine taxable value.

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