If you own a business in Harris County and have tangible personal property used to produce income such as office equipment or inventory, you must report that property to the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD).

While the deadline to file a rendition is April 15, the chief appraiser is granting an automatic extension to May 15 for all business personal property accounts for tax year 2020.

“I decided to grant an extension to May 15 because so many businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Roland Altinger, chief appraiser.  Altinger also strongly urged the use of HCAD’s online tools to interact with the appraisal district.

HCAD is reminding all business owners that they must report personal property to the appraisal district by filing a rendition listing the property. Personal property is tangible property that can be owned, but it does not include land or other structures attached to the land such as buildings or fences. Examples of personal property include computers, desks, chairs, office supplies, business inventory, machinery and vehicles used to produce income, along with other items used in the business.

A rendition is a report that lists all the taxable property the business owner owned or controlled on January 1 of this year. Owners do not have to report exempt property, such as church property with an approved religious exemption or an agriculture producer’s equipment used for farming. 

Some renditions may be filed electronically using HCAD’s iFileTM system. If a unique iFileTM number is printed on the rendition form below the account number, the owner may render online by going to hcad.org and clicking “iFile A Rendition.”  If no iFileTM number is printed on the rendition form, the owner will need to complete and file the form manually.

“The appraisal district may use the information submitted in the rendition to set business property values,” Altinger said.  

If a rendition is not filed, filed late or not complete, a 10 percent penalty may be imposed. Filing a fraudulent rendition carries a 50 percent penalty if found guilty.

The chief appraiser may also grant an additional 15 days after the May 15 deadline if the business owner files a written request before May 15 with the chief appraiser stating a good cause for requesting more time.

The appraisal district has already mailed personal property rendition forms to businesses known to have been operating in Harris County during 2019.  However, all business owners are required to file renditions whether or not they have received notification.  A rendition form is available on the appraisal district’s website at hcad.org under the “Forms” tab along with information on the rules of the process.

For more information about rendering property, deadline extensions, penalties and rendition forms, taxpayers may call the appraisal district’s information center at 713.957.7800.

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