If you own a new business, you must report, or render, your income-producing personal property, including 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 report property and pay taxes on their inventory.
The appraisal district’s staff may enter and inspect your premises to determine what taxable personal property you own and its value. They make such inspections during normal business hours or at a time agreeable to both parties.
If the total taxable value of your business personal property is less than $500 in any one taxing jurisdiction, it is exempt in that jurisdiction. For example, if your office equipment in the city is worth $300, you will not pay city property taxes on it. If the total value of all equipment you own within school district or county boundaries is $500 or more, you will pay school and county property taxes on that equipment. No application is required to receive the under-$500 exemption. 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 you owned on January 1. You aren’t relieved of this liability 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 your appraisal district for more details.