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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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8314 Cross Park Drive, Austin, TX 78754

PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714

Texas property taxes are ad valorem taxes, Latin for “according to value”. Appraisal districts are charged with determining value for the purpose of taxation by the taxing entities. The taxes collected are used to provide local services such as schools, roads, hospitals and services like fire and police.

What is the mailing address? PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714

The appraisal districts have one job, within the property tax system, to determine value of property.

Taxing Entities are the, local government, cities, hospital districts, colleges, municipal utility districts. They provide roads, schools, and all the services taxpayers expect.

The taxing entities set the tax rate and establish the rate of exemptions for property.

The Tax Collector’s office is responsible for collection and distribution of tax revenue to the entities.

Property is taxed by the authority of the Texas Constitution. The Constitution sets forth five basic principles for property taxes in Texas.

  1. Taxes must be equal and uniform. No single property or type of property should pay more than its fair share.
  2. Property must be appraised on its current market value meaning the price that it would sell for on the open market when both the buyer and seller seek the best price and neither is under pressure to buy or sell.
  3. Each property in a county must have a single appraised value. This is guaranteed by the use of the county appraisal districts.
  4. All property is taxable unless federal or state law exempts it from the tax.
  5. Property owners have a right to reasonable notice of increases in their appraised property value.

More information on the Texas Property Tax Code may be found at http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/proptax/

Taxes are due when you receive your tax statement around October 1st. You have until January 31st of the following year to pay your taxes at the Tax Collector’s Office.

February 1, penalty and interest charges begin accumulating on most unpaid tax bills.

Penalty and interest charges added to your original tax obligation, you will receive delinquent tax notices; you may be sued; and you may face problems in selling your property.

Check with the tax collector, you may have the option to set up an installment plan. In some cases you may request a deferral.

TCAD process the deferral request and sends the information to the Tax Assessor’s Office. You may contact the tax office with any concerns or questions you may have.

If your property boundaries span more than one county you will receive appraisal notices from each county’s appraisal district.

Call the Tax Office at: 512-854-9473

There are several partial and absolute exemptions available. Some of these exemptions include General Residential Homestead, Over 65, Over 55 Surviving Spouse, Disability Homestead, Disabled Veterans, Charitable, Religious, Freeport and Pollution Control. Additional information can be found on the Forms page of our website under Exemptions or by contacting Customer Services at (512) 834-9138 select option 4.

The general homestead exemption is provided by State law for owner-occupied residential properties. The exemption removes a portion of your value from taxation providing a lower tax amount for the homestead property.

In order to qualify for this exemption you must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1st of that tax year. This property must also be your principal residence. You may not claim another homestead on another piece of property. You must submit a copy of your driver’s license with your application and the address on the license MUST match the address of the property you are for which you are requesting the homestead exemption.

You may apply at the Travis Central Appraisal District between January 1st and April 30th of the tax year. You may file for late HS exemption up to one year after the date which the taxes become delinquent. The homestead exemption is available on the Forms section of our website or you may request an Owner ID and PIN and file online by calling 512-834-9317. Select option 4 for general questions or email: tax_info@tcadcentral.org.

To qualify for a homestead exemption you must own and occupy the property on or before January 1st of the year for which you are applying for. You may submit the form now and the homestead will be applied to year in which you qualify.

No, you do not have to reapply unless the chief appraiser requests a new application in writing or you move to a new residence.

Yes, a new application is required when a property owner’s residence homestead is changed.

State law allows you to claim the portion of your land that you maintain for residential purposes but this amount may not exceed 20 acres. Generally, one acre or less is maintained for homestead purposes.

Yes, please include a copy of your title to the mobile home or a verified copy of your purchase contract along with the exemption form.

There is no fee to file and you do not have to hire anyone to file for you. It is not necessary for homeowners to pay anyone to file for a homestead exemption or to obtain a refund for the late filing of a homestead or senior citizen exemption. Homestead exemption forms are available on our website at on the Forms page under Exemptions or you can request that an application be mailed to you by contacting Customer Service at (512) 834-9138. The applications must be returned to the appraisal district and may be returned by the following methods:

  • File online – please call and select option 4 for general questions to request a Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Hand deliver to: 8314 Cross Park Drive, Austin, TX 78754
  • Mail - PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714
  • Fax - 512-834-8651

Texas has two distinct laws for designating a homestead. The Texas Tax Code offers homeowners a way to apply for homestead exemptions to reduce local property taxes. The Texas Property Code allows homeowners to designate their homesteads to protect them from a forced sale to satisfy creditors. This law does not, however, protect the homeowner from tax foreclosure sales of their homes for delinquent taxes. For more information on homestead designation as provided by the Texas Property Code please contact the Office of Attorney General at www.oag.state.tx.us

No, per the Texas Property Tax Code the district cannot accept a passport or Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Only a Texas ID or Texas DL with the address of the property is required along with the homestead application.

No, there are some exceptions:

  • Police Officers , other law enforcement and judicial personnel do not have home address on driver’s license by as provided for by the Transportation Code 521.121© or 521.1211. These individuals must attach a copy of the application to the Texas Department of Transportation for the license when submitting the exemption request.
  • Victims of family violence protected by the Attorney General through the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP). When applying for an exemption please present the exemption form in person to customer service along with the ACP card issued by the Attorney General.
  • Homeowner living in a facility for reasons of health, infirmity or aging.
  • Active duty members of the armed services or his or her spouse. Attach a copy of the military identification card and a copy of a utility bill for the property subject to the claimed exemption in the name of the military member or spouse.

No other exceptions will be considered by the chief appraiser

No

No, unfortunately due to high volume the district cannot verify when a homestead has been added. Homestead status is displayed on our website. Please check our website in approximately 6 weeks.

April 30th.

Yes, we will be happy to email the homestead application but the general homestead may be filed online. Would you like us to mail you a Personal Identification Number (PIN)?

For exemptions Email tax_info@tcadcentral.org,

Visit our website at: www.traviscad.org.

For a spouse or immediate member of family, the application only requires the signature of one of the resident owners whose name appears on the deed. For non-related partial interest resident owners, homestead application must be signed by each party.

You may file your homestead exemption online. Please call 512-834-9317, select option 4 for general questions or email: tax_info@tcadcentral.org. You may also email the exemption. In order to email the exemption application you must print the form, sign it, and scan it as a PDF or it may have an electronic signature with an IP address attached before emailing it.

The website is updated nightly but the application takes 6 – 8 weeks to process the paper forms and 2 weeks to process the online applications.

No, you may only receive a homestead exemption on one property, your primary residence.

You are able to claim one homestead on your principal residence/accordion]

The property you own with your child or any other person may qualify for a homestead exemption prorated according to his or her ownership in the property; if he or she has no other property with a homestead exemption. You will not qualify because you have a homestead for your primary residence.

Exemptions reflect the owner on January 1st. If you purchased a home after January 1st the exemption in place was for the previous owner. You must file an exemption application.

Exemptions can also be removed if the district sends a letter requesting reapplication. If an exemption or exemptions are removed the homeowner may reapply with appropriate supporting documentation. If the new application is submitted no later than one year after the taxes are due, the exemption will be effective in the original qualifying year. If the application is submitted more than one year after the taxes are due the exemption will apply to the current year and will not be effect for the prior year(s).

A homeowner is entitled to an exemption on his or her primary residence as provided for in the Texas Property Tax Code. If the homeowner has more than one homestead exemption the erroneous exemption will be removed, the Texas Property Tax Code requires that the district calculate the taxes owed for the last 5 years or period of time the erroneous exemption was in place.

You may file a late homestead exemption application if you file it no later than one year after the date the taxes become delinquent.

No, that is not necessarily true. If you are 65 or older your residence homestead qualifies for more exemptions which will result in greater tax savings. The amount of the exemptions that are granted by each taxing unit is subtracted from the market value of your residence and the taxes are calculated on that “lower value”. In addition, when you turn 65, you may receive a tax ceiling for your total school taxes; that is, the school taxes on your residence cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home. The ceiling is set at the amount you pay in the year that you qualify for the aged 65 or older exemption. The school taxes on your home subsequently may fall below the ceiling.

If you significantly improve your home (other than ordinary repairs and maintenance), tax ceilings can go up. For example, if you add a room or garage to your home, your tax ceiling can rise. It will also change if you move to a new home.

You may apply at any time during the year you reach 65 years of age. You will receive the exemption for the full year.

The appraisal district will add the over 65 exemption automatically during the first quarter of the year; however, this is only possible if the district has the date of birth for the owner on the record. If you are unsure that the district has that information send a homestead exemption form requesting the over 65 exemption along with either a copy of the front side of your Texas driver's license or Texas Identification card or a copy of your birth certificate.

You may not claim both an Over 65 and a disabled person’s exemption in the same tax year.

No, the person applying for the exemption must own the home.

To transfer the tax ceiling, you must qualify for an Over-65 or Disabled Person exemption at your previous residence and complete the Request to Cancel/Port Exemptions form. A current Homestead Exemption application must also be completed for the new residence. These forms can be printed from the Forms page of our website or call please call and select option 4 for general questions to request the form at (512) 834-9138. Attach current proof of age or the date your disability began. Acceptable proof of age includes either a copy of the front side of your Texas driver's license or Texas Identification card or a copy of your birth certificate. Acceptable proof of disability includes a current statement from the Social Security Administration (1-800-772-1213) showing that you are disabled and the date on which your disability began, or a current letter of verification from your physician stating that you are disabled, the date your disability began, and you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful work for a period which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of one year or more. You can also use the Physician's Statement available on the Forms page of our website.

Once the form has been processed, a certificate will be sent to the appropriate tax office for processing. If the tax rate has not been set for the current tax year, it will delay the processing of your transfer request. If the tax rate has been set, please allow 30-60 days for processing.

The surviving spouse qualifies for an extension of the Over 65 exemption if:

  • The surviving spouse was 55 years of age or older on the date the qualifying spouse died
  • The deceased spouse was receiving the age 65 or older exemptions on this residence homestead or would have applied and qualified for the exemption in the year of his or her death.

If a homeowner who has been receiving the tax ceiling on school taxes dies, the ceiling transfers to the surviving spouse, if the survivor is 55 or older and has ownership in the home. The survivor must apply to the appraisal district for the tax ceiling to transfer.

The law requires an annual application by April 30 for some types of exemptions, including property exempted from Taxation by Agreement (Property Tax Abatement), Historical and Archeological Sites, exemption of Freeport Goods, and exemption of Pollution Control property approved by the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ). Cemeteries, charitable organizations, youth development organizations, religious organizations, and non-profit private schools do not have to reapply for the exemption each year once the property tax exemption is granted, unless by written notice, the Chief Appraiser requests the property owner to file a new application. However, if their exempt property changes ownership or if their qualifications for exemption change, they must reapply.

No, often organizations mistakenly believe they are entitled to a property tax exemption because they have received a federal income tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or an exemption from State sales taxes. The Constitutional requirements for property tax exemptions are different than the provisions covering income and sales taxes. A non-profit organization may qualify for a total exemption from property taxes, but they must apply by April 30 to the Travis Central Appraisal District for the exemption. Several exemption applications can be printed from the Forms page on this site.

Yes, a person who received an exemption that is not required to be claimed annually must notify the Appraisal District in writing before May 1 after the entitlement to the exemption ends. If you fail to do so and don’t pay your taxes in full, you will face a delinquent tax penalty, plus interest.

  • Email: tax_info@tcadcentral.org
  • Hand deliver to: 8314 Cross Park Drive, Austin, TX 78754
  • Mail: PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714
  • Fax: 512-834-8651

A person with a disability may qualify for exemptions if:

  • Unable to engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability
  • 55 years old and blind and cannot engage in your previous work because of blindness

If you receive disability benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program through the Social Security Administration you should qualify. Disability benefits from any other program may or may not qualify.

You may qualify for a property tax deduction if you are either:

• a veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces or
• the surviving spouse or child (under 18 years of age or unmarried) of a disabled veteran

You must be a Texas resident and must provide documentation from the Veteran's Administration reflecting the percentage of the service-connected disability and the name of the surviving spouse. The disability rating must be at least 10%. You may also qualify for the 100% Disabled Veterans Residential Homestead exemption. You may call the Veterans Administration to request the documentation at: 512-854-9340

Texas Tax Code §25.025 permits certain persons to request that the appraisal district restrict from public access any information in the appraisal district records required by §25.02 that could be used to identify their home addresses.

The State Comptroller of Public Accounts prescribes the form on which these confidentiality requests may be made. Copies of the form 50-284 are available at http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/taxforms/50-284.pdf or from the district’s website at http://www.traviscad.org/forms.html

If you are not eligible for confidentiality under Texas Tax Code §25.025 there is no other recourse to request confidentiality.

The NOTICE OF APPRAISED VALUE (NOAV) was mailed in mid-April. A small number of notices may be sent at a later date. Virtually all notices will be mailed by mid-June.

If you have a tax agent or representative you will not receive the notice. The notice is mailed to the agent on the record. Please contact you agent for a copy of the notice.

The information is on the TCAD website.

Call the tax office at: 512-854-9473

No, call the City where the property is located or call 911 addressing if located in the City of Austin.

Even a slight deviation from the format entered on the district records will prevent retrieval of the information, entering “Street” instead of “Str” for example. If you are uncertain as to how the property address should be entered, you should broaden your search by entering less information. If you are looking for 2004 Shadowcrest, enter shadow in the street name. The search will return all street names beginning with “Shadow”. We now offer an advanced search which is free of charge. Click on “Tips For A Faster Search” on our website for more information.

TCAD uses deed records recorded with the Travis County Clerk’s office to correct ownership information. Verify that your deed has been filed with the Travis County Clerk (512) 854-9188. If after 90 days from the date of the closing the property, the appraisal records do not reflect the current ownership, please contact the Travis Central Appraisal District at (512) 834-9317.

In the case of multiple owners the first owner listed on the deed will be added to the district record followed by Et al, meaning “and others”.

If you purchased a property that will be split after January 1st, then the ownership will not be updated until the following calendar year

Situs is the physical location address of the property.

Residential Property

In an effort to increase efficiencies and reduce cost to taxpayers in 2015, Travis CAD mailed a Notice of Appraised Value to either the owner OR to the owners Agent of Record. We will no longer mail Notices to BOTH owners and agents. Your current value information is now available on this website. If you want a paper copy of the Notice of Appraised value contact your agent of record.

The chief appraiser sends out a detailed notice of appraised value to the owner of property annually. The notice of appraised value contains a description of your property, its value, the exemptions and an estimate of taxes that might be owed. Property value information is also available on the website Property Search, or by calling or visiting our offices.

Notices of Appraised Value (NOAV) are typically mailed out April of each year. Values on the website are not updated until the notices have been mailed.

Your property’s “assessed” value is not the same as its “market” value. While the market value may increase or decrease by any amount year-to-year; the increase in your assessed value is limited from year-to-year to a 10% so long as changes have not been made that add “new value” (such as an “addition”), and so long as a “residential homestead” exemption was in place in a timely manner as defined by the tax code.

Assessed value is a statutory calculation based on the previous year’s assessed value and cannot be protested. The only value permitted to be protested, through the Appraisal District, per the tax code, is your property’s “market” value.

Not necessarily, if the market value is not reduced below the assessed value there will be no reduction in taxes. In order for taxable value to be lowered; a protest must result in a market value lower than the assessed value. Assessed value is set to the lower of current market value or last year’s assessed value plus 10%.

The district first collects detailed descriptions of each taxable property in the district. It then classifies properties according to a variety of factors such as size, use and construction type. Using comparable sales, income and/or cost data, a TCAD appraiser applies generally accepted appraisal techniques to derive a value for your property.

TCAD typically uses sales from the previous 12 months and the 2 months after the appraisal date of January 1st of each year. TCAD may use a later beginning date if enough sales are available to value properties in a neighborhood or go back further in time (up to two years) if sales are not plentiful.

The appraisal district may use three common methods to value property: market, cost and income approach.

Market – What are properties similar to this property selling for?
Cost – How much would it cost to replace the property with one of equal utility?
Income – What would an investor pay in anticipation of future income from the property?

The appraisal district must repeat the appraisal process for each property in the county at least once every three years; however, it can reappraise as often as every year if the market is active in the area. The Texas Property Tax Code requires that real estate be valued at 100% of market value, each year, therefore a change in market value will trigger a re-appraisal.

Value changes may occur for several reasons. Often sales information may indicate the current appraised value is lower/higher than fair market. Also, corrections to appraisal records may affect value, such as, change in square footage, a pool not previously accounted for, or a correction of a property characteristic.

In order to produce accurate appraisals on all property we have to visit them periodically to ensure that the data used in making the appraisal is still correct. For instance, the appraisal district could have received a copy of a building permit indicating that a room was being added.

In appraisal, the term “improvement” is a building, structure, fixture, or fence erected on or affixed to land; or a transportable structure that is designed to be occupied for residential or business purposes, whether or not it is affixed to land, if the owner of the structure owns the land on which it is located, unless the structure is unoccupied and held for sale or normally is located at a particular place only temporarily.

Fair market value means the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if: Exposed for sale in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser. Both the seller and the purchaser know all of the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable restrictions on its use. Both the seller and the purchaser seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other.

If the foreclosed property was given an adequate exposure to the market, there was no attractive financing associated with it, the closing and repair costs were typical, and the sale is representative of its neighborhood, then it will. If the price it sold for is not consistent with the marketplace of a property with similar quality and condition, it will not.

A rendition is a statement listing taxable property and the name and address of the owner. The statement should also contain an owner's estimate of the property's value. The deadline for filing a rendition is April 15. Be sure to identify your property and attach any documentation that you may have such as closing statements, appraisals or sales of similar properties in your neighborhood

The capitalization rate which TCAD will use in the valuation of properties with a Community Housing Development Organization designation is 8 to 9%.

In general, the assessed home value for a homeowner who qualifies his homestead for exemption in the preceding and current year may not increase more than 10 percent per year.

The Property Tax Code sets a limit on the value of a residence homestead, stating that its value for a tax year may not exceed the lesser of the market value of the property; or, The sum of: 10 percent of the value of the property for last year; The value of the property for the last year in which the property was appraised; and The market value of all new improvements to the property, excluding a replacement structure for one that was rendered uninhabitable or unusable by casualty or by mold or water damage. The appraisal limitation first applies in the year after the homeowner qualifies for the homestead exemption.

It will be added to the tax roll at the percentage of completion as of January 1st.

The house is measured, classified, and depreciated due to its condition and age. It is valued based on the sales of similar properties.

Yes, but the increase in the fair market value may override the depreciation due to age.

Yes, age, size, condition and quality of construction are all taken into consideration.

No, they are based on 100% of the fair market value of your property.

Yes, someone has reviewed your property, but it may not have been this year.

Improvement on your notice means any structure that is attached to the land. A house is an improvement to the land.

The appraisal district compares a home to similar homes that have sold recently and determines the value accordingly. The Appraisal District analyzes sales data within defined market segments, then applies this analysis to each home in the market segment, adjustments are also made based on the individual characteristics of each home.

Land Ag

An Agriculture Exemption is not actually an Exemption but rather a Special Valuation. If a portion or all of a property is deemed eligible to receive an Agricultural Valuation, that property will receive a Production Value along with its Market Value.

The tax savings that a property receives depends on the current Market Value of the property and what type of Ag Valuation you are requesting. Native Pasture areas can have a lower Ag valuation than Dry Crop areas and generally both are lower than the market value that the taxes would normally be based on.

You may apply for Ag Valuation between Jan 1st and April 30th of the year in which you are seeking the Ag Valuation.

Cropland values are based on a five year average of typical income minus typical expenses using a share lease method. Pastureland values are based on typical income minus typical expenses using a cash lease method.

Agricultural use includes but is not limited to the following activities: cultivating the soil, producing crops for human food, animal feed, or planting seed for the production of fibers; floriculture, viticulture, and horticulture; raising or keeping livestock; raising or keeping exotic animals for the production of human food or of fiber, leather, pelts, or other tangible products having a commercial value; planting cover crops or leaving land idle for the purposes of participating in a governmental program, provided the land is not used for residential purposes or a purpose inconsistent with agricultural use; and planting of cover crops or leaving land idle in conjunction with normal crop or livestock rotation procedure, and raising or keeping bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value.

The number of acres needed depends on the agricultural activity of the property. For example, the bee keeping requirement is a minimum of 5 acres and cannot exceed 20 acres. Five acres may be sufficient for intensive farming uses. Travis County has a minimum requirement of 4 animals units for grazing land which would require a minimum of 12 acres on the East side of IH 35 and 20 acres on the West side. The minimum of 12 acres on the East side of IH 35 and 20 acres on the West side also applies to land used for dryland and irrigated farming and hay production.

 

The minimum requirement for grazing stock is 4 animal units. A grazing livestock animal unit equals; 1 mature cow; 2 five-hundred pound calves; 6 sheep; 7 goats, or 1 mature horse. If you only had cows, you would need a total of 4 mature ones. If you only had goats, you would need twenty-eight. A combination such as 2 cows, and 12 sheep would be four animal units. Another example is 1 cow, 2 calves, 6 sheep and 7 goats which would be equal to the required number of 4 animal units.

An Ag Rollback Tax is an additional Tax that is imposed when a property owner ceases to use the property for qualified Agricultural purposes and changes the use to any other purpose excluding building a house for a personal homestead. The Rollback Tax recoups the tax the owner would have paid if his or her land had been taxed at Market Value for the years covered in the Rollback (generally five years).

No, the owner will not receive an Ag Rollback Tax if he or she intends to homestead that property (up to 20 acres) and maintains that homestead for 5 years.

In order to receive Wildlife Valuation the property must currently be under Ag Valuation and a new 1-d-1 Ag Application must be timely filed along with a 5 year Wildlife Management Plan provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.

Business Personal Property

A rendition is a form that provides the appraisal district with the description, location, cost and acquisition dates for business personal property that you own. The appraisal district uses the information to help estimate the market value of your property for taxation purposes.

Renditions must be filed by both owners of tangible personal property that is used for the production of income and owners of tangible personal property on which an exemption has been cancelled or denied.

Business owners are required by State law to render business personal property that is used in a business or used to produce income. This property includes furniture and fixtures, equipment, machinery, computers, inventory held for sale or rental, raw materials, finished goods, and work in progress. You are not required to render intangible personal property (property that can be owned but does not have a physical form) such as cash, accounts receivable, goodwill, application computer software, and similar items. If your organization has previously qualified for an exemption that applies to personal property, for example, a religious or charitable organization exemption, you are not required to render the exempt property.

The forms are available on the district website in the forms section or at the TCAD office.

The last day to file your rendition is April 15th annually. The online or email versions must be submitted by April 15th, or if you mail your rendition, it must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before April 15th.

You will not receive a notification if you want to be sure your rendition is received send the document certified.

No.

We cannot give you specific directions for completing your rendition. If you are unsure of what to include you may attach a list of assets, purchase price and year of purchase to your rendition. Step-by-step information is available on our website including a video at: www.traviscad.org/videos.html

Yes. Attach these records to the rendition, sign and date it and then return it to our office. Include asset listings with the date of acquisition and original cost. All assets owned by the business must be rendered.

On the first page of the rendition, Step 3 affirm that the prior year rendition correct, or complete and accurate.

Yes. Information contained in a rendition cannot be disclosed to third parties except in very limited circumstances. In addition, the Texas Property Tax Code specifically provides that any estimate of value you provide is not admissible in proceedings other than a protest to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) or court proceedings related to penalties for failure to render. The final value we place on your property is public information, but your rendition is not.

Your rendition will be analyzed along with other information we collect on similar businesses, to develop an estimate of value for your property.

To determine original cost, refer to your accounting records, such as original journal entries and account ledgers. Use original purchase documents, such as invoices or purchase orders to determine the original cost of the asset. Add all costs attributed to getting the asset functioning, such as freight and set-up cost.

The law provides for an extension of time to file a rendition. In order to receive the extension, you must submit the request to the Travis Central Appraisal District in writing or by email before the April 15 rendition filing deadline. With the receipt of a timely extension request, the rendition filing deadline will be extended to May 15.

If you do not file a rendition, the appraised value of your property will be based on an appraiser’s estimate using comparable business types. In addition, if you fail to file your rendition before the deadline or you do not file it at all, a penalty equal to 10% of the amount of taxes ultimately imposed on the property will be levied against you.

Your request for penalty waiver has not been approved. Possible reasons for the denial are that you were granted a waiver in a previous year or you did not attach a rendition to the waiver request.

Heavy Equipment Dealer Special Inventory

Yes, the sales price includes the sales tax. The sales price of heavy equipment is defined in Section 23.1241(a)(7), Tax Code, as “total amount of money paid or to be paid to a dealer for the purchase of an item of heavy equipment” or “for a lease or rental with an option to purchase, the total amount of the lease or rental payments plus any final consideration, excluding interest.” The sales price includes the sales tax since it is part of the “money paid or to be paid to a dealer” for the purchase of the heavy equipment.

Yes, interest payment can be deducted. Section 23.1241(a)(7) states that the sales price is the “total amount of the lease or rental payments plus any final consideration, excluding interest.” For purposes of the annual declaration used to determine the property tax on the market value of a dealer’s inventory, Section 23.1241(b-1) provides that the sales price of an item of heavy equipment that is sold during the preceding year is considered to be the sum of the sales price for the item plus the total lease and rental payments received for the item in the preceding tax year.

It depends on how the transaction is written. If the cost of warranties is set up as a separate transaction, then it is not part of the sales price of the heavy equipment. If, however, the cost of warranty is part of the single transaction in the purchase of the heavy equipment, then that cost is included as part of the sales price since it is part of the “money paid or to be paid to a dealer” for the purchase of the heavy equipment.

Section 23.1241(a)(1) defines “dealer” as a “person engaged in the business in this state of selling, leasing, or renting heavy equipment.” Note: An appraisal district can check to see if the person has a Texas sales tax permit. A dealer engaged in business in Texas that sells or leases heavy equipment must be permitted to collect state and local sales tax since these are taxable transactions for sales tax purposes.

Yes, a heavy equipment dealer is required to render all tangible personal property used for the production of income, as required by Section 22.01, Tax Code. See also Section 23.1241(d) that addresses personal property held by a dealer and a dealer who sells predominately to other dealers. The more difficult question here is not whether they are required to render, but whether they are required to render the inventory that is otherwise appraised under Section 23.1241. It seems that chief appraisers have not been requiring those dealers to render their inventory, but have been considering the declaration they are required to file to meet the rendition requirement. Nonetheless, there is nothing specific in the Tax Code which exempts inventory owners from the rendition requirements.

The dealer’s inventory value for tax year 2012 is based on the total sales and leases/rentals for the preceding tax year (January – December 2011). Those will be reported on the Dealer’s Heavy Equipment Inventory Declaration. The form provides that the dealer who was not in business for the entire 12 month period reports the months in business. For each month of 2012, the Dealer’s Heavy Equipment Inventory Tax Statement will list each sale, lease or rental during that month. For these sales, leases and rentals, the dealer will report the unit property tax for that heavy equipment.

No, excess funds are carried over to the next tax year. Section 23.1242(j) provides that no later than February 15, the tax collector “shall distribute to each appropriate taxing unit … all funds collected under authority of this section and held in escrow ….” In other words, funds deposited during the 2011 calendar year are used to pay the heavy equipment dealer’s 2011 tax bill on the dealer’s inventory; the tax collector distributes the deposited funds to the taxing units on or before January 31, 2012 and then any remaining in the account by February 15, 2012. No funds are carried forward to pay the next year’s tax bill. A new provision allows a heavy equipment dealer to apply for a refund of prepaid taxes on a sale that is a fleet transaction (sale of five or more items of heavy equipment in one calendar year). This is the only provision for returning money in an escrow account to a heavy equipment dealer.

No, these exclusions all deal with sales of heavy equipment; therefore, they do not apply to leases and rentals. Please note that the definition of “subsequent sale” includes: “The term does not include a rental or lease with an unexercised purchase option or without a purchase option.” Leased or rented equipment in which the lessee/renter has exercised a purchase option changes that leased/rented equipment to a sale.

If the dealer is selling the used equipment to the auction company and sells five or more items in one calendar year, then the dealer reports those sales as “fleet transactions.” The auction company reports its sales as a dealer selling heavy equipment. In some cases, however, an auction company is not taking ownership of the heavy equipment but is handling the sales transaction for the dealer. So, the final answer will depend on the arrangements between the dealer and the auction company.

Section 23.1241(a)(6) defines “heavy equipment” as “any item of equipment that is self-propelled, self-powered, or pull-type equipment, including farm equipment or a diesel engine, that weighs at least, 500 pounds and is intended to be used for agricultural, construction, industrial, maritime, mining, or forestry uses.” It does not include a motor vehicle required to be titled or registered.

Yes, the heavy equipment and attachments are sold or rented as one transaction with a total sales price. If a dealer sells an attachment as a separate transaction and that attachment does not meet the definition of heavy equipment, then it is not part of the dealer’s heavy equipment inventory. The part may be part of the dealer’s other personal property inventory. Some dealers have parts departments that the dealer renders and the appraisal district appraises as regular inventory under Tax Code Section 23.12.

Changes to Section 23.1241(b) include this new sentence: “The owner of the equipment shall state the amount of the unit property tax assigned as a separate line item on an invoice.” The paragraph in which this new sentence is found addresses both sales and lease/rental transactions. This line item should appear on all invoices.

Section 23.1242(g) addresses a dealer who owes no heavy equipment inventory tax for the current year because the dealer was not in business on January 1. The dealer files the monthly statements each month that the dealer is in business. Section 23.1242(g)(2) states that the dealer may not assign a unit property tax to an item of heavy equipment sold by the dealer or remit money with the statement. It appears that the Legislature failed to correct the language in this subsection to reflect changes to include leases or rentals. An exception is Section 23.1242(k) that addresses a person who acquires another dealer’s business and has a contract to pay the selling dealer’s inventory taxes.

Appraisal Review Board

PROTESTING - PROPERTY VALUE

No, the appraisal district determines value and has no control over the tax rates or resulting tax bill.

Yes, at when you file your protest you will receive an appointment for an informal meeting with an appraiser and a formal hearing with the ARB.

You must notify the district in writing by May 31st that you wish to protest your property value or no later than 30 days after the Appraisal District mails a Notice of Appraised Value to you, whichever is later. However if the protest deadline falls on a weekend or holiday then the protest deadline is the first business day after that date. The deadline to file a written protest for the 2016 Tax Year is May 31st. It is very important to file the protest on time. If you mail your protest, please mail it to the address listed on your Notice of Appraised Value or mail to PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012. It must also bear a post office cancellation mark by midnight May 31st. The Texas Comptroller provides a form to submit the protest, form 50-132; however you do not have to use the form. If you do not use the form be sure to include the owners name, address and Property Identification Number. Send your protest to: Hand deliver to: 8314 Cross Park Drive, Austin, TX 78754, Mail - PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714, Fax - 512-834-2582, or Email – arb_info@tcadcentral.org

At least 15 days before the Formal Hearing.

The district will send you a copy of Property Taxpayer's Remedies (a publication of the State Comptroller's Office), a copy of the ARB hearing procedures, and a statement that you have the right to inspect the information that the Appraisal District plans to introduce at your hearing.

Not automatically, if you want an “evidence packet” it must be requested from the district. You may simply write on your protest “send evidence”.

The district will send the evidence by US mail, 14 days prior to your hearing.

No, the evidence is not created until you file the protest.

TCAD is looking for the best evidence so sales closer to the appraisal date (within 6 months) are best. Sales should be similar to your home with respect to location, age, condition, quality, and size. Sales should be adjusted (like a fee appraiser adjusts) based on the application of generally accepted appraisal methods and techniques. The TCAD appraiser or the ARB will consider your sales evidence and appraiser may even adjust one or more sales via a TCAD sales adjustment formula. TCAD reserves the right to decline the use of sales which are not comparable to your property. Please have the TCAD PID number attached to each sale you wish the appraiser to consider.

In the past, you may have been able to walk in and speak with an appraiser but to be efficient in addressing the volume of work the appraisers must complete the district requires appointments.

No, but you may reschedule the formal hearing one time.

You may reschedule one time without cause. As provided by Tax Code Section 41.44(b) a subsequent request for rescheduling will need to be for good cause. If your second reschedule is granted by the ARB Chairperson you will be required to submit an affidavit which can be found on the district website at www.traviscad.org

Submit the request in writing documenting the “good cause reason” for the request to the ARB Chairman at PO Box 149012,
Austin, TX 78714-9012.

Examples of good cause are: active military duty, hospitalization or being under doctor's care, death in the immediate family, Judicial or Legislative service or a pending court hearing, failure to receive administrative due process, other matters of good cause as determined by the ARB

You appear before the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) at the formal hearing and present your evidence.

Your property protest is dismissed. You may request that the ARB Chairperson reopen the hearing by sending a letter within 4 days of the dismissal citing the “good cause” reason for failure to appear. Examples of good cause are: active military duty, hospitalization or being under doctor's care, death in the immediate family, Judicial or Legislative service or a pending court hearing, failure to receive administrative due process, other matters of good cause as determined by the ARB

Bring any information that with to present to support the value you think is correct. Bring 5 sets of the evidence to the formal hearing. If you do not bring copies of the evidence you may make copies at the district for at a cost of $0.25

No, the ARB requires the evidence must be presented in paper form.

Approximately 15 minutes.

Yes, 48 hours prior to the informal and or formal hearing notify the district and the district will arrange for an American Sign Language interpreter. Please send the request to hr@traviscad.org.

It is less formal but there is an audio recording and records are kept of all document presented.

The Appraisal Review Board is a group of private citizens authorized to resolve disputes between taxpayers and the appraisal district ARB members are appointed by the Travis County Local Administrative District Judge. Although the Appraisal Review Board is funded by the Appraisal District, they are appointed by the Local Administrative District Judge. The ARB is a separate authoritative body. No employees or officers of the Appraisal District or the taxing units it serves may sit on the ARB. To qualify for service on the ARB, an individual must be a resident of the Appraisal District for at least two years prior to taking office. Any person who is a former member of the governing body or officer or employee of a taxing unit, or is a former director, officer, or employee of the Appraisal District is ineligible to serve. Also the person's close relatives cannot work as professional tax agents or tax appraisers within the Appraisal District. ARB members also must comply with special conflict of interest laws.

The ARB determines taxpayer protests and taxing unit challenges. The ARB also determines if the Chief Appraiser has granted or denied exemptions and agricultural appraisals properly. The ARB's decisions are binding only for the year in question. The ARB begins protest hearings around June 1. The ARB establishes its own Procedures and Rules that govern its operations. For cost savings purposes, the ARB typically meets at the Appraisal District office.

Under the law, the ARB has these specific duties:
Determine protests initiated by property owners;
Determine challenges initiated by taxing units;
Correct clerical errors in the appraisal records and the appraisal rolls;
Act on motions to correct appraisal rolls under section 25.25;
Determine whether an exemption or a partial exemption is improperly granted and whether land is improperly granted appraisal as provided by Subchapter C, D, or E, Chapter 23;
After it has completed substantially all protests, the ARB approves the appraisal records.

If you are not able to resolve the protest informally with an appraiser, your protest will be heard by the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). The ARB is a group of citizens who are authorized to resolve disputes between Appraisal Districts and taxpayers. A hearing before the ARB is conducted very much like a court case, although less formal. The ARB sets its own procedures with guidelines from the State Comptroller's Office. Generally, ARB panels are three-member panels, but may be more. Typically, after formal introduction of the parties and the property involved, the ARB will hear evidence from the property owner and the Appraisal District and make a judgment based on the evidence presented. Each party, the property owner and the Appraisal District appraiser, will have approximately 5-7 minutes to present their case and evidence at the hearing. The entire hearing typically takes approximately 15 minutes and the property owner will know the ARB’s recommendation before they leave the hearing. After a decision is made by the ARB panel and approved by a quorum of the entire Board, a written Notice of Final Order is sent by certified mail to you or your agent. This decision is binding for the current tax year unless you file under binding arbitration or appeal to District Court.

You have three choices: 1) you can appear in person; 2) you can appoint someone else to appear for you; or 3) you can file an affidavit stating your facts and presentation by mail. Appear In Person: You can appear in person at your scheduled hearing before the ARB. Make sure that you read your Hearing Notification carefully for the correct date and time of your scheduled hearing. Please arrive at least ten minutes before your scheduled hearing to properly check in.

Per Section 41.461 of the Property Tax Code, the Chief Appraiser must provide the taxpayer with any information that TCAD intends to introduce at the ARB formal hearing at least 14 days before a hearing on a protest. This information can include but is not limited to, a list of sales used to value the property, a list of all property in the owner’s neighborhood, comparable sales grid, comparable equity grid, and an appraisal card.

Per Section 22.27 of the Texas Property Tax Code, the Appraisal District is prohibited from disclosing sales information gathered from a private source. Taxpayers who have protested their property are entitled sales used to value their property but no other sales information.

Yes, if the person you are authorizing is not a co-owner you must provide written authorization, signed by you, the property owner, naming the person to represent you. This includes spouses that are not on the deed. This authorization should include identification of the property. The person you select should be able to discuss the property from personal knowledge. This form should be filed in advance of the hearing, but may be brought to the hearing for cases of unforeseen need.

If you authorize someone besides a family member or friend (i.e., a real estate agent), you must obtain a copy of the Appointment of Agent for Single-Family Residential Property Tax Matters form from the Appraisal District and file it with our office.

To authorize a person who is paid to represent you, you must use a special Appointment of Agent form. This form is available from the Appraisal District. The person you select should be able to discuss the property from personal knowledge and should file the form as soon as possible. At the very least, the person must bring the appropriate form to the ARB hearing.

The affidavit and supporting documents must be received by the ARB before the scheduled hearing date. Delivering them to our office in person is best. If you mail them, it is a good idea to send them return receipt requested. Be sure to mail them in plenty of time and be
sure the address is correct. The affidavit must state that you swear or affirm that the information it contains is true. Be sure to clearly place in the affidavit or a cover letter, the property owner's name, address, account number, property description, and the date and time of the hearing.

By law, a copy of all evidence submitted to the ARB must be retained for public record. The ARB will not accept evidence presented on DVD, CD-ROM, memory cards, PCs, PDAs, video recorders, projectors, digital cameras, or any other electronic device. Bring 5 paper copies of any information you wish to present at the hearing.

You will receive a copy of the Texas Comptrollers Property Taxpayer Remedies pamphlet with your notice of protest hearing letter. This pamphlet offers advice on how to prepare for an ARB hearing. In addition, you will receive a copy of the ARB Formal Hearing Procedures which will explain the procedures to be used in a hearing. The appraisal district website is one resource you may use in preparing for your hearing.

Yes, upon a request the Appraisal District can provide PDF copies of the appraisal roll by property type, subdivision, zip code, and several other predefined criteria. The cost for PDF appraisal rolls are $5. Please contact the Records Coordinator for a list of predefined criteria. Additional criteria for PDF creation may be requested but will incur programming and manipulation charges. The entire appraisal roll data for Travis County is provided only as an electronic data set.

Only the full appraisal roll extract is provided as an electronic data set. Users with novice database abilities may import the data into a database program and further filter to suit their specific requests. This information can be put onto a CD or transferred to an FTP site. The cost is $55. Contact the Records Coordinator for a file layout.

Yes, most maps are available on our website. If you need paper copies, they may be purchased in our Customer Service department.

Taxpayers may also purchase a copy of our GIS shape file that includes all of Travis County. You must have GIS or ESRI to use the GIS shape file. This information can be put onto a CD or transferred to an FTP site. The cost is $25.

No, the GIS information is strictly mapping information. For appraisal roll information you will need to purchase the electronic appraisal roll data along with the GIS shape file. You may send a request to: recmgr@tcadcentral.org

Public Information is information that is collected, assembled, or maintained under a law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business: 1) by a governmental body; or 2) for a governmental body and the governmental body owns the information or has a right of access to it. The term is defined in Section 552.002 of the Government Code.

You may submit a written request by electronic mail to recmgr@tcadcentral.org, facsimile transmission (512) 835-5371, regular mail to the attention of the Records Coordinator at Travis Central Appraisal District, PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012, or in person at the district office. In order to ensure that your request will be processed without delay, we ask that your request be as specific as possible. Please remember to include a way to reach you if the district needs clarification and where to send the information once it becomes available.

No, the request must be for information that already exists. The Public Information Act does not require a governmental body to create new records or conduct research.

No, the Public Information Act does not require a governmental body to answer questions.

Although the Act makes most government information available to the public, some exceptions exist. If the district believes an exception applies to the requested information, within ten business days of receiving the request, the district will request an opinion from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). If the OAG rules that an exception applies, the governmental body will not release the information. If a governmental body improperly fails to release information, the Act authorizes the requestor or the OAG to file a civil lawsuit to compel the governmental body to release the information.

Subchapter F of the Public Information Act, section 552.261 through 552.275, generally provides for allowable charges for copies of and access to public information. All charges must be calculated in accordance with the promulgated by the attorney general under section 552.262. The rules establish the charges, as well as methods of calculation for those charges. The cost rules are available on the attorney general’s website and in Part Four of the Public Information Handbook. The Public Information Handbook is available at: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/og/publicinfo_hb.pdf. Also available on the OAG website is the Public Information Cost Estimate Model at: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/og/charges-for-public-information

That information will be provided to you by the district.

eFile

Owner ID – Name Specific (case specific)
PIN – Unique number assigned to every owner ID (case specific)
Username – A login username created during registration
Password – A login password created during registration
Security Question – A question created by user during registration
Security Answer – An answer created by user during registration

The district has a short video that will take you through the eFile protest process at: http://www.traviscad.org/efile.html

What is the website for eFile?

Log onto http://efile.traviscadonline.org/ and register.

Yes, register the first property, click on profile then manage PINs, and insert the other Owner IDs and PINs.

No, if you have multiple accounts you cannot consolidate them at this time.

Yes, you may need them in the future to recover your user name if you forget it, if you do not know what email you used or no longer have access to the Email address you may use the original information to access your account.

Please wait five minutes and try to register again.

Please check your “spam folder or Junk Email folder”. You should receive the confirmation within 24 hours .If you do not receive the confirmation within 24 hours call 512-834-9317and select option 4 for general questions or email: tax_info@tcadcentral.org Please provide the property identification number (PID) and/or address, daytime phone number and a specific summary of the issue encountered.

File as early as possible so that if there is a problem it can be resolved.

Unfortunately, there will be no help available after office hours.

No, eFile is your informal protest.

No, once you accept the offer from the district your opportunity for appeal is closed for the year.

You may recover by clicking “Forgot Login” and enter the information you received on the original letter with Owner ID and PIN.

This response is an indication that the Owner ID has changed. Please request a new eFile Letter be sent with a new Owner ID and PIN by calling 512-834-9317. Select option 4 for general questions or email: tax_info@tcadcentral.org

A protest has been filed on the property and eFile is no longer an option.

If you sent in a paper protest, eFile is no longer available.

If eFile is not available you may call 512-834-9317and select option 4 for general questions or email: tax_info@tcadcentral.org to determine who filed the protest.

You have 20 minutes to complete the form; after 20 minutes the system will not accept the information.

You may write the information in a word processing program, copy and paste the information you wish to provide the district from in the appropriate field.

Click forgot user name, enter email address you registered with, the PIN and security answer.

Click on forgot password, and enter user name and security answer.

Enter the appropriate information in the boxes provided and click the blue “Get Question” button

If you have access to your account you may check the email registered by clicking on profile then edit profile. If you don’t have access to the account you may call 512-834-9317and select option 4 for general questions and request that the Owner ID and PIN letter be mailed to you.

If you have access to your account you may change the email registered by clicking on profile thetn edit profile. If you don’t have access to the account you may call 512-834-9317and select option 4 for general questions and request that the Owner ID and PIN letter be mailed to you.

You may call 512-834-9317and select option 4 for general questions and request that the Owner ID and PIN be mailed to you.

Other County Offices:
Travis County Clerk Office: 5501 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78751, 512-854-9188
City of Austin Building Permits and Zoning: 505 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78704, 512-978-4000
Travis County Tax Office: 501 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78751, 512-854-9473
911 Addressing City of Austin: 512-974-2797. If the property is inside an incorporated city first contact that city, otherwise contact City of Austin.
Travis County Permits: 5th Floor Suite 540, 700 Lavaca St., Austin, TX 78701, 512-854-4215
Public Information: 305 recmgr@tcadcentral.org

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