Trina Morrison, CFE, Manager
Tangible personal property consists of the fixed assets used in the business, commonly referred to as furniture, fixtures and equipment and certain leasehold improvements.
The Property Appraiser determines the value by taking into consideration the original cost of the property and its age and condition. We use tables provided by the Florida Department of Revenue as well as those developed by our office to adjust for inflation, age and condition of each asset. We assign an economic life to each asset type after which time a residual value is applied. Please check below to find tables for these indexes, economic lives and depreciation.
All tangible personal property must be reported. Business tangible assets valued at more than $25,000 are subject to ad valorem taxes.
All businesses must file an initial Tangible Personal Property Tax Return their first year of operation. Afterwards, all businesses are required to file a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return (E File or Form DR-405) annually unless the value of your personal property was under $25,000 AND you received a yellow postcard from our office that your requirement to file has been waived.
If you purchase additional assets that increase the total value of your assets over $25,000, you are also required to file a return.
If you are changing (or have changed), your mailing address associated with your business, you can submit an online request to change it in our records through E Address Change.
January 1: Date of assessment
Reminder postcards are mailed with instructions on filing tangible personal property tax returns or indicating renewal of various exemptions.
March 1: Deadline to file for certain special exemptions (educational, religious, nonprofit, etc.)
Last working day in March, 5 p.m. EST: Deadline to request a 30-day filing extension for tangible personal property tax returns
April 1: Filing deadline for tangible personal property tax returns to avoid penalties
May 1: Filing deadline for tangible personal property tax returns for accounts with filing extensions
There are several options available to business owners:
- You can E File.
- Once you file an initial paper return, we will mail you a PIN for E Filing in future years. You can then log in with your 6-digit account number and PIN and follow the easy instructions.
- You can give the PIN to your accountant and ask them to E File for you.
- You can do a query of your account on our home page (by account number, business name or location address) and print a return from the property detail page.
- You can download a fillable DR-405 form and email (email@example.com) or mail it to us. We can only accept emailed returns from first-time filers.
When valuing tangible personal property, the historic cost, or original cost, is the starting point. It is then adjusted for time and inflation using index tables based on Marshall Valuation Service and the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index (PPI). Unlike the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is used in the calculation of the inflation rate and is based on the price of consumer/end user goods, the PPI reflects the cost to manufacturers and does not include components that are paid by consumers.
The economic life of the asset is then estimated, primarily based on data from our mass appraisal system. It is based on acquisitions and disposals reported by more than 17,000 businesses in Palm Beach County on their DR-405 forms. Unlike the physical life, the economic life is the expected period an asset remains useful to its owner.
The final adjustment is for depreciation, or loss in value due to physical deterioration, functional issues or economic conditions. The factor we use is a “percent good,” which is the inverse of depreciation; for example, if an asset has depreciated 20 percent, it is 80 percent good.
If you know the year acquired and original cost of an asset, you can use the above tables to estimate the market value of the asset.
- File your tangible personal property return on time. This assures you will not receive any penalties and not lose your $25,000 exemption. In addition, late filers lose their right to contest any assessment.
- Be as specific as possible in listing all assets. “Laptop, server, tablet” is preferable to “computer equipment,” as each of these has a different economic life and will affect your assessed value.
- Be sure to sign your return.
- Be sure to write the 6-digit tangible account number on the DR-405. You can find this by doing a tangible search on the business name or physical location on our home page. The account number is listed at the top after business name and address.
- If you sell your business, move your business, or close your business, please contact our office so we may make changes to your account or close it. Failure to do so could result in double assessments and erroneous tax bills.
- If you purchase an existing business, and the prior owner did not pay the tangible taxes, you may be responsible for payment of any taxes owed. If taxes are not paid, the Tax Collector can seize the assets and sell them to satisfy the tax lien.
Furniture (including rental unit furniture), trade fixtures, computers, phones, appliances, restaurant equipment, manufacturing equipment, medical equipment, signs, leasehold improvements that are easily removed with no damage to the asset or the building (and are not assessed as real property), Class 94 motor vehicles that are classified as “tools,” and supplies not used in manufacturing or are not part of goods sold are tangible personal property.
Inventory held for resale, licensed motor vehicles and household goods for personal use are not taxable in Florida as tangible personal property and do not need to be reported. If you have no tangible personal property, you do not need to file a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return.
In the State of Florida, the tax lien is on the assets and not the business. If you purchase an existing business, please contact our office. We will provide you with the account number and update our records. We may also be able to provide you with some assistance as to what asset-types were reported in the past. You may also be able to E file your tangible tax return.
Please note that the first year you file, the original cost to be reported is the original purchase price of the assets when new as reported to our office by the prior owner. We have that information in our database. The price you paid for any business asset is your “taxpayer opinion of market value,” which you may report in the appropriate column of the DR-405 form.
Every business that timely files a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return is entitled to an exemption of up to $25,000 from the taxable value of their assets. Once a business has filed a DR-405 form with a value under $25,000, they are exempt from tangible taxes and will automatically receive the exemption each year, without filing, until they add assets that increase their value to over $25,000.
In order to receive this exemption, a business must file an initial DR-405 form. Failure to file a timely DR-405 may result in loss of this exemption, as well as late filing penalties.
Renewable energy devices installed after January 1, 2018 on a commercial building will received an 80% exemption. Renewable energy devices installed on residential properties are exempt from ad valorem taxes.
Certain nonprofits, homes for the aged, low-income housing and other business are eligible for a partial or complete exemption from ad valorem taxes. Other exemptions (e.g. widow and widower, civilian disability) are also available so long as they have not been claimed on real property. Please contact our office for more information.
A filing extension must be requested in time for our office to process it before the filing deadline of April 1. Therefore, all requests must be made before 5 p.m. on the last working day of March. You may request an extension on our website by doing a tangible search on your account from our home page. In the “Return Filing” section, click the “Request Filing Extension” link, complete the information, and submit. You will receive an email confirmation you may attach to your DR-405 form.
Late filed returns are subject to penalties of 5% per month up to five months or 25%.
Non-filers are subject to a 25% penalty of the assessed value.
There is also a 15% penalty for any omitted assets. We make visits to all businesses in commercial locations annually from October to February and do check building permits. Be sure to report all assets on the DR-405 form. Please contact our office if you have any questions about what you need to report.
Tangible personal property is subject to ad valorem taxes, or taxes that are based on a percentage of value. The millage or tax rate for tangible personal property is the same as that of real property at the location of the tangible assets.
If you are starting a new business, you can estimate the tax rate by finding the rate for the real property where your business is located. Search for the property. At the bottom of the property detail page, you’ll see a “Property Tax Detail” button. At the top of the box, you’ll see the overall millage for the real property, and you can use that rate to estimate the tangible personal property tax bill.
Please note that, unlike real property, tangible personal property is not subject to non ad valorem taxes.
Mobile homes are taxed as tangible personal property only if:
- they have not been converted to real property through a Declaration of Mobile Home as Real Property form
- or they have not been registered with the DHSMV/Tax Collector with an annual license tax
Mobile homes that are not real property and not registered are subject to tangible personal property ad valorem taxes and are not eligible to receive the $25,000 exemption. Please contact the Tax Collector at 561-355-2264 to register a mobile home or to verify if it is registered.
More information on Mobile Homes [Residential Department Page]
If you lease or rent business assets to another person or entity, those assets are taxable to you as tangible personal property. If those assets are in locations throughout the County where you do not normally transact business (have an office and employees), you are entitled to only one $25,000 exemption for all those assets in Palm Beach County.
You may pass that cost to your customers, but you are responsible for payment. If you are a nonprofit that leases equipment such as a copier, unlike sales tax, that equipment is still subject to ad valorem tangible personal property tax. You are not the owner and you will not receive the tax bill; however, the lessee may pass that cost on to you.
Please note that there are two main types of leases: capital and operational. Operational leases are the same as renting the equipment – you pay monthly for the term of the lease and then return the item or pay market value for it. Capital leases typically have a one-dollar or fixed buyout amount and are not treated as leases for tangible personal property taxes. They are actually financial agreements and the lessor is responsible for the tangible personal property taxes.
You can find information on all tangible accounts in Palm Beach County on our website.
On the home page search bar, choose the “tangible personal property” tab. If you know the 6-digit tangible account number, enter it and hit the “Search” button. If you do not know the account number, you can search by business name (dba) or physical location address. This will display all of the non-confidential information on an account, including the assessed value and taxes. It will also provide the tangible personal property account number, which should be referenced in all correspondence to our office.
If you need to change your mailing address or if your business moves, you may make the request through our home page.
On the home page search bar, choose the “tangible personal property” tab. If you know the 6-digit tangible account number, enter it and hit the “Search” button. If you do not know the account number, you can search by business name (dba) or physical location address.
In the “Tangible Property Information” section at the top, click the “Change of Address” button on the right side. Answer the questions, provide the appropriate information, request a PIN, enter it, and submit. You will receive an email receipt when we receive it and another when we process the request.
There is no need to print and complete paper forms and mail them to our office.
All businesses are required to file a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return (Form DR 405) annually by April 1 (Florida Statutes 193.062), unless the value of your tangible personal property last year was under $25,000 and you received notice from our office that your requirement to file has been waived. For existing accounts that have filed a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return in the past, E filing is the best way for business owners in Palm Beach County to file. It’s timely, secure and efficient.
When a business sends in a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return to our office, we enter information on all assets reported into our system: year acquired, condition, original cost. This produces a value for each asset, the total of which is the business’s assessment for that tax year. If no return is filed, Florida statute requires that our office make an estimate based on similar businesses in the County.