La Incubadora Podcast is part of the Economic Growth Business Incubator, a local non profit with the mission to provide training, coaching, and support to aspiring existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business. La Incubadora Podcast is born out of the need to put in video and audio a lot of the success stories that we see at the business incubator. We also want to frequently asked questions and connect small business owners with the resources to succeed in business on your own time and wherever you are while you have access to a mobile device. This episode is produced with the support of Raycast media, EGBI sends a big thank you to Raycast media for their partnership. Today we dive into the intricacies of Travis County taxes, assets, and inventory requirements for small business owners featuring insights from EXP experts at Travis county Appraisal District from understanding what constitutes personal property to navigating rendition forms and filing deadlines. We explore essential questions relevant to entrepreneurs, discover exemptions obligations regarding property value, discrepancies and implications of business changes.

The goal of this episode is to equip you with the valuable knowledge to effectively manage your tax responsibilities and asset inventory in Travis. Travis County Appraisal District business personal property department is responsible for maintaining all personal property accounts including reviewing renditions on personal accounts including renditions on personal property and removing accounts for entities that are no longer in business as of January 1st of each year. Our host will be Amy Cobb and we have two guests from TCAD, our first guest is Nancy Wiatrek, who serves as director of the Business and Public policy department and has more than 15 years of experience working on personal property issues with the district. We also have invited Samantha Leija, who currently serves as a senior personal property appraiser and has been with TCAD’s BPP department for more than two years.

What does Travis Central Appraisal District do and what do you all do?

Nancy says,

This mission of the Travis Central Appraisal District, given the coordinate of the Texas Constitution and the laws of the state is to provide accurate appraisal of all property in Travis County at 100% market value that is equally and that in a professional ethical and economical courteous manner. We work to ensure that each taxpayer only pays their fair share of the property tax burden. To keep our current data correct, business personal property appraisers will conduct an annual canvas for each personal property account in Travis County. Additionally visit each address to encourage compliance in reporting by taxpayers and to discover personal property. Typically if you own a business you are required to report personal property that is used in your business to the appraisal district. The appraisal district uses the information to estimate the market value of your business property for annual tax purposes. Texas requires businesses to pay property taxes to each taxing unit based on the market value of the inventory and assets it owns or uses in the production of income. This year we are estimating 35,000 renditions that will be mailed out to Travis Central business owners within the next week that is due April 15th. We have a lot of renditions that we are going to be provided back and all of our appraisers are going to process through

What counts as personal property, and why do I have to fill out a Rendition Form?

Samantha says,

What counts as a personal property is all assets are used in production of income, so that’s going to include your furniture, such as desks, chairs and tables. Machinery equipment such as restaurant equipment or like your heavier machinery like forklifts, Office machines like computer scanners and phones, we also have computers, vehicles, boats, aircraft, raw materials, finished goods. Businesses aren’t required to render intangible personal properties so you’re looking at your cash, accounts receivable, computer software such as your Microsoft Office. Rendition Forms have to be filled out annually by April 15th or by extension May 15th. That extension is automatically granted so long as it’s been requested before April 15. We have a form on our website that can be mailed in but we can also receive emails for those extensions as well.

The extension form at the bottom has an address to mail to as well as our email address is:

Travis County Appraisal District mailing address is: 850 East Anderson Lane Austin, Texas 78752

What happens if I don’t complete a rendition form, and what if I sold my business last year but still received a property tax bill?

Samantha says,

If you sold your business last year, we do need to be notified which can be done a couple different ways so you can do it by email and you could also mail in a not in business affidavit that can be requested directly from the cad. Email is always better because we can print that out directly and send it via email and it just needs to be returned once we do that, the account will be closed for the year.

Are there exemptions available that would exempt me from having to fill out a rendition or pay property tax?

Samantha says,

Yes we do have a couple different exemptions available that would exempt you from having to fill out a rendition or property tax. We have a religious or charitable exemption so those are going to be your nonprofits and of course your churches. If those are granted, property owners don’t have to fill out an annual addition. Once it’s granted then it keeps that exemption for the life of the property. We do have another exemption for a vehicle used both in the production of income and personal use, you’re looking at your realtors. That makes the vehicle exempt from taxes but all other assets are still required to be rendered and they are still subject to taxes. That exemption is per vehicle not per account, so if the vehicle is sold or replaced a new exemption needs to be applied for. All other exemptions we have such as Freeport Exemption and Biomedical Exemption, those are still subject to property taxes in some form. So an annual application and rendition are still required.

A non profit or church can’t just assume if they have their 501c3 through the state, they still have to file an exemption because it has to be at the county level as well.

My notice of Appraised Value was higher than the amount I rendered, why is that, and can TCAD help me complete my rendition form?

Samantha says,

A property owner is required to file a rendition per the Texas property tax code annually. However we at the district aren’t required to accept it typically because we’re seeing assets that are missing. For example, we’re looking at a rental car place and we want to see those cars along with the assets so we do have alternate methods of evaluation.

If you notice something is not right, there are instructions to file the protest on it and we don’t typically help complete rendition forms just because you’re the one who knows the most about your business so if we try to help you we may not have the most accurate information about what you’re reporting. Although we can answer general questions so what can go in what section or if you’re confused on some verbiage we can answer general questions about that rendition.

I disagree with my property value, can TCAD adjust my value without me having to protest?

Nancy says,

No, so once the market value has been set and a notice of appraise Value has been mailed, the only way TCAD can review accounts to make changes or potential changes is with an active protest on file for the year that the value is in question.

How can I find more information?

Nancy says,

The first thing you need to do is visit our website at there we have frequently asked questions you can speak to one of our customer service representatives by phone as well as through the agent and/or taxpayer portal. I do want to say that at the end of February 28th, the BPP department will be hosting an informational webinar at 12 pm to provide further detail in regard to business personal property. If you go to our website you may sign up on our web page. We look forward to seeing everyone at the next webinar and that is typically going to go over the rendition process. The webinar will be about an hour long.


Amy says,

It has been a pleasure chatting with Nancy and Samantha today and we hope you find this episode useful to you. If you know someone who could benefit from listening to this episode please share the link to this episode with them. Remember that La Incubadora Podcast is part of the Economic Growth Business Incubator, a business incubator in Central Texas that offers training, coaching, and support to small business owners with barriers to achieving success. If you would like to learn more about the Economic Growth Business Incubator services please visit and see you soon!

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