What is “tangible personal property”?
Tangible personal property (TPP) is defined in Section 192.001, F.S. as “all goods, chattels and other articles of value (but does not include…vehicular items…) capable of manual possession and whose chief value is intrinsic to the article itself.” TPP is everything other than real estate that has value by itself and includes such things as furniture, fixtures, tools, machinery, household appliances, signs, equipment, leasehold improvements, supplies, leased equipment and any other equipment used in a business or to earn income. It does not include motor vehicles, mobile homes, inventory, livestock, boats or airplanes.
Who must file a personal property return?
Anyone in possession of assets on January 1 who has either a proprietorship, partnership, corporation or is a self-employed agent or contractor, must file each year. Property owners who lease, lend or rent property must also file a return.
25,000 TPP Exemption: You must file an initial return to get the $25,000 exemption. Each subsequent year requires only those with values exceeding $25,000 to file a return. New accounts will also be required to file and be subject to the same conditions. For more detailed information, use this link.
Why do I have to file?
Section 193.052, Florida Statutes, requires that all tangible personal property be reported each year to the Property Appraiser’s Office. Failure to submit receive a personal property tax return the Property Appraiser does not relieve you of your obligation to file.
What If I have no assets to report?
Even if you feel you have nothing to report, complete the return form, attach an explanation about why nothing was reported, and file it with the Property Appraiser’s Office. Almost all businesses and rental units have some assets to report, even if it is only supplies, rented equipment, or household goods.
If I am no longer in business, should I still file?
Yes. If you were in business on January 1 of the tax year, indicate the date you went out of business, the manner in which you disposed of your business assets and the name and address of the recipient of the assets on your return. If you still have the assets, you must file on these items. Sign and date the return and file it with the Property Appraiser’s Office.
What if I have old equipment that has been fully depreciated and written off the books?
Whether fully depreciated in your accounting records or not, all property still in use or in your possession should be reported.
Important Dates To Remember
- Date of assessment
- Personal property returns due to Property Appraiser
January 1 to March 1
- Widow, widower and disability applications taken for tangible mobile home improvements (You must reside on the property as of January 1 of the tax year to qualify!)
- Filing deadline for personal property returns to avoid penalties
- Notices of proposed property tax mailed (also called “TRIM” or Truth in Millage)
- Deadline to file Value Adjustment Board petition
- Tax bills sent by the County Tax Collector.
Do I have to report assets that I lease, loan, rent, borrow or are provided as part of the rent?
Yes. There is an area on the return specifically for those assets. Even though the assets are assessed to the owner, they must be listed for informational purposes.
Is there a minimum value that I do not have to report?
No. There is no minimum value. A personal property tax return must be filed on all assets by April 1.
What are the deadlines and penalties for filing?
The deadline for filing a timely return is April 1. After that date, state law provides that penalties be applied at 5% per month or portion of a month that the return is late., up to a maximum of 25% penalty when no return is filed.
If I buy or sell an existing business during the year, who is responsible for the taxes?
The new owner is responsible. However, if there is insufficient property to satisfy the taxes due, on January 1 the new owner will be responsible for the difference. Most title companies do not do a search of the tangible assets of a business, therefore, you should consult your broker, attorney or closing agent to insure your proper protection.
What is an office or field review assessment?
When a tax return is not filed by April 1, the property appraiser is required to place an assessment on the property. This assessment represents an estimate based upon the value of businesses with similar equipment and assets. Being assessed does not alleviate you of your responsibility to file an accurate return.
What if I don’t agree with the assessed value that appears on my notice of proposed property tax?
In mid-August, the owner of record will receive a notice of proposed property tax covering TPP. If you disagree with your assessment, call your Property Appraiser or go to the office to discuss the matter. If you have evidence that the appraised value is more than the actual fair market value of your property, the Property Appraiser will welcome the opportunity to review all the pertinent facts. If you do not agree after talking, then you may file a petition to have the matter reviewed by the Value Adjustment Board, an independent reviewing authority. Should you not agree with the VAB, then you may file suit to have the assessment reviewed in court.
Helpful Hints And Suggestions
- File the original return from this office as soon as possible before April 1. Be sure to sign and date your return.
- Work with your accountant or C.P.A. to identify any equipment that may have been “physically removed.” List those items in the appropriate space on your return.
- If you have an asset listing or depreciation schedule that identifies each item of equipment, attach it to the completed return.
- Do not use vague terms such as “various” or “same as last year.”
- It is to your advantage to provide a breakdown of assets since depreciation on each item may vary.
- Please include your estimate of fair market value and the original cost of the item on your return. These are important considerations in determining an accurate assessment.
- Look for additional information concerning filing within the instructional section of the return itself.
- If you sell your business, go out of business, or move to a new location, please inform your Property Appraiser Office promptly. This helps to ensure timely, accurate record.