If you own a new business, you must render your income-producing personal property. This property includes furniture, fixtures, equipment, and inventory. See the next section on “renditions.” You will pay taxes on the property that you own on January 1 of the tax year. Motor vehicle dealers, boat and outboard motor dealers, manufactured housing retailers, and heavy equipment dealers should check with their local appraisal district or county tax office for details on how to pay taxes on their inventory.
The appraisal district staff may enter your premises and inspect the property to determine what taxable personal property you own and its value. Such an inspection is during normal business hours or at a time agreeable to you and the appraisal district staff.
If the total taxable value of your business personal property is less than $500 in any one taxing unit, then the property is exempt in that taxing unit. For example, if your office equipment in the city is worth $300, then you will not pay city property taxes on that equipment. However, if the total value of all equipment you own within the school district or county boundaries is $500 or more, then you will pay school and county property taxes on that equipment. No application is required for this exemption. However, you may render your property to the appraisal district to claim a property value under $500. See What is a Rendition?
If you go out of business after the first of the year, you will still be liable for taxes on the personal property that you owned on January 1. You aren’t relieved of the taxes because you no longer own the property. If you conduct a “going out of business” sale, you must request a “going out of business” permit from the appraisal district. Check with the appraisal district for more details.