Property Tax Law: New Tax Code for Texas in 2003

RE: New Law affecting Business Personal Property Tax Renditions, Mandatory Filing Requirement and Monetary Fines for Non-filing

During this year’s legislative session, Senate Bill 340 was passed which requires all businesses to file an annual business personal property tax rendition (CPPR) and established monetary fines for those businesses which file late or do not file. Monetary penalties for non-compliance range from 10% for late filing and 50% for evasion of taxes (not filing rendition) or for knowingly reporting incorrectly, as well as being subject to criminal penalty provisions under Section 37.10 of the penal code.

Under SB 340, an “amnesty period” was established to allow noncompliant businesses an opportunity to file a property tax return by December 1, 2003. Failure to file by December 1st will allow the appraisal district, in 2004, to back assess any omitted property for 2003 and 2002. For example, if in 2002 and 2003 your appraised value was $100,000 and in 2004 you file a return and the value is set at $200,000, the district can back assess your business fixed assets and inventory an additional $100,000 in both 2002 and 2003. This would result in an unexpected tax liability of approximately $2,600 for each previous year, plus a tax liability of $5,200 for 2004.

The Business Property Tax Group is available to assist you and review your fixed assets to identify your liability under the new law. For over 14 years, we at The Business Property Tax Group have specialized in representing business owners with their business personal property tax matters. Our services include: (1) Annual preparation of Business Property Tax Returns (rendition); (2)Property Tax Consulting; (3) Property Tax Appeals before the appraisal district; (4) Real Property tax services both commercial and residential; (5) Litigation Support.

Before filing, please be aware of some of the unresolved issues contained within the new law and some potential traps set by the appraisal districts. To learn more about how SB340 will impact your business and about the unforeseen consequences contained within this law, please call us at your earliest convenience at (512) 457-0024. The Business Property Tax Group looks forward to helping you comply with all the reporting requirements of the State Property Tax Code, and to work with you to minimize your property tax liability.

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