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Florida Business Personal Property Tax: A Guide

Posted by Lisa English on Feb 3, 2020 8:37:39 AM

Florida Business Personal Property Tax: A Guide

Do you do business in the Sunshine State? If so, you’ll need to get familiar with its policies regarding property tax. This article highlights some important information about Florida business personal property tax and property tax. For even more details, check out the Florida Department of Revenue’s Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Key Dates For Florida Business Property Owners

Key Dates

Explanation

1/1 Lien date for all property

Businesses must report all property located in the county on January 1.

4/1 Return deadline*

Tax return due date. A separate return must be filed for each site where business is transacted, or where freestanding property is located.

August-September notices are mailed. Appeals due within 30 days.

Property appraisers mail assessment notices beginning in August of the year in which you filed the return. You should have roughly 30 days from the mail date to file an appeal if necessary.

11/30 taxes due for a 4% discount

If you pay by November 30 of the year in which you filed the return, you will receive a 4% discount.

12/31 taxes due for a 3% discount

If you pay by December 31 of the year in which you filed the return, you will receive a 3% discount.

1/31 (following year) taxes due for a 2% discount

If you pay by January 31 of the year after you filed the return, you will receive a 2% discount.

2/28 (following year) taxes due for a 1% discount

If you pay by February 28 of the year after you filed the return, you will receive a 1% discount.

3/31 (following year) taxes are due in full

Taxes are due in full no later than March 31 of the year after you filed the return.

*An extension of time to file the return will be granted if requested “in time for the property appraiser to consider the request and act on it before April 1.” Thirty days is typical, but 45 days is acceptable in some cases.

Florida Business Personal Property Tax Highlights

Even though the state doesn’t have personal income tax, estate tax, or inheritance tax, Florida does have corporate income tax, as well as sales and property tax. (Tweet this!) Therefore, businesses are expected to file property tax returns annually to help fund the state’s public services. (Businesses pay more than half of all state and local taxes in Florida—higher than the national average.)

However, the only type of business personal property—non-real property—that is taxed is the tangible kind. Tangible personal property, or TPP, refers to physical property that can be touched, such as furniture or office equipment. (Florida’s “intangibles tax,” which applied to things like stocks and software, was repealed in 2006 and no longer applies.)

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Florida’s business personal property tax cycle is very similar to that of other states, but there are some unique aspects:

Filing Stage

All local property appraisers accept the Florida Department of Revenue’s Tangible Personal Property Tax Return, DR-405. Some important filing notes include:

  • Timeliness is key in Florida. Taxpayers who file by the return deadline are eligible for a Florida tangible personal property tax exemption in the amount of $25,000 for each return filed. This means that as long as you file on time, the taxable value on each return will be reduced by $25,000. So if you file five Florida returns on time, for example, your total exemption would be $125,000.
  • If the total value of any given return is less than $25,000, you won’t pay any taxes on that property.
  • Filing a return late results in a 5% penalty for each month, or part of a month, that the return is late. Not filing a return at all results in a 25% penalty.
  • Inventory that is for sale as part of the business is not taxable in Florida.
  • Most automobiles, trucks, and other licensed vehicles are not taxable in Florida.

Assessment Notices/Appeals

Florida property appraisers typically start mailing assessment notices in August, but many are sent in September. The appeal deadline is different for each account; typically 30 days after the notice is mailed.

Tax Bills

Timeliness also comes into play in the bill-paying stage: Florida offers discounts for paying tax bills early.

  • Bills can be paid without incurring interest or penalty until March 31 of the year after you filed the return.
  • If you pay by November 30 of the year in which you filed the return, you receive a 4% discount.
  • If you pay by December 31 of the year in which you filed the return, you receive a 3% discount.
  • If you pay by January 31 of the following year, you receive a 2% discount.
  • If you pay by February 28, you receive a 1% discount.

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Topics: Business personal property tax