Business Registration Renewal Instructions

FY 2017-2018

For the Period Covered by July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, due May 31, 2017

Quick Guide To Complete Your Renewal

  1. Navigate to the login screen from www.sftreasurer.org/registrationrenewal and input your 7 digit Business Account Number, last 4 digits of your Tax ID, and your 8 character Online PIN, then select Save and Continue. Don't have your Online PIN?
  2. Answer Yes if you have Business Personal Property and input your average number of weekly employees. Select "Save and Continue".
  3. Select all your business activities from the list. Taxis and Transportation Network Company (TNC) drivers need to input additional identification information. 
  4. If your business includes a Short Term Residential Rental, select “Yes.”  Otherwise, select “No.”  If your business does include a Short Term Residential Rental, you will also need to answer the additional questions for Short Term Residential Rentals.
  5. If you are Exempt, select “Yes.”  Otherwise, select “No.”  Select “Save & Continue.”
  6. Input your San Francisco Gross Receipts to calculate your renewal fee. Select “Save & Continue.”
  7. Complete the Taxpayer Statement and select “Submit.” Once the confirmation screen appears you have completed your Return. Select “Continue.”
  8. To pay, select Payment Options, select RG 2018/01 from the list in the payment portal, and select your payment method at the bottom of the screen. 
    1. If you are paying by electronic check, select that option and input your bank account information.
    2. If you are paying by debit/credit, select that option and input your account information.  Note that convenience fees will apply.
    3. If you are paying by check, select “Print Payment Stub” and make sure to allow popups.  You may get a notification window depending on your browser settings.  Print out the payment stub and mail it with your check to: San Francisco Tax Collector, P.O. Box 7425, San Francisco, CA 94120-7425
  9. Business certificates for the 2017-2018 registration period will be mailed out starting the third week of June to be posted by July 1, 2017, the start of the renewal period. 

Instructions for Completing Online Business Registration Renewal

This document provides instructions for the Registration 2018 Online Return (the “Return”).  The Return and payment are due in advance on May 31, 2017 for the effective period of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.  These instructions provide a summary of the applicable rules to help you complete the online Return.  The San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code (referred to throughout these instructions as the “Code”) provides the official rules for the computation of the Business Registration Renewal Fee, as well as the rules for filing the Return. 

If you received a bill from our office with the business registration renewal fee stated, you do not have to file online.  You should simply pay the amount shown. 

What You Need to Prepare Your Return

You must have the following information to enter the online Return website:

  • Your seven (7) digit Business Account Number;
  • The last four (4) digits of your Tax Identification Number; and
  • Your eight (8) character Online PIN previously mailed to you by the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector.

If you do not have your PIN, go to www.sftreasurer.org/pinreset to learn how to request your PIN.  Please note that PINs are only sent via USPS to your mailing address on record with our office.  To view or change the mailing address on record with our office, go to Business Account Update. You will be unable to file any taxes without your PIN.  If you do not file by the deadline, you will be subject to penalties, interest, and fees

  • If you are a registered taxi driver, you will need your A-Card number. 
  • If you are a driver for a Transportation Network Company, you will need your Driver’s License Number. A Transportation Network Company is an organization, including, but not limited to, a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietor, or any other entity, operating in California that provides prearranged transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled application or platform to connect passengers with drivers using a personal vehicle (e.g. Lyft and Uber).
  • If you plan to pay online you will need your routing and account number for your bank account, or credit or debit card.

Navigating the Online Return

You may only proceed through the Return in the order the pages are presented.  The page headers as well as the page titles will indicate which section you are currently completing.  You must progress through the form sequentially.  You cannot skip ahead. 

Do not use the back button on your browser, as this may cause data to be lost. 

If you need to leave your session, you may exit at any time by closing the browser window or selecting the Exit button on the top right corner of the screen.  Entries on pages for which you have selected “Save and Continue” will be saved for a future session, as long as you do not change entries earlier in the form, which would overwrite any dependent data. 

Once you submit your Return you will have the option to Amend or View your Return. 

Note for Tax Preparers

Tax preparers may log in to the form and enter data, then have the taxpayer return to review and submit the Return with little or no need to re-enter data.  Alternatively, tax preparers may complete and submit the Return, provided they maintain the appropriate signed Power of Attorney with their records. 

Technical Advisory

The online form has been optimized for Mac and Windows versions of Internet Explorer 11, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers.  The Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector will maintain a known issues website at: http://www.sftreasurer.org/OnlineFilingIssues.

If you have an extended time of inactivity, the system may not allow you to resume your Return.  You may have to close your browser window and re-log in to continue filing the Return.

At times the system may have a number of users, causing a slowdown in page rendering.  Be patient and do not use the back button on your browser, as this may cause your information to be overwritten or lost.

Who Must File

All persons doing business in San Francisco must renew their business registration annually.  If you registered your business after July 1, 2016, you paid a registration fee through June 30, 2017. 

Businesses that previously filed their 2016 Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax Annual Return will receive a bill via USPS for their business registration renewal fee.  These businesses do not have to file for their fee and instead will be taken directly to the Online Payment Center (Payment Portal).  If the business does not agree with their billed fee, they must amend their 2016 Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax Annual Filing. 

When You Must File

Returns and payments are due on or before the last day of May preceding the registration year commencing July 1 of that year. Online forms must therefore be transmitted before midnight on May 31, 2017.  Payments must also be received or postmarked on or before May 31, 2017.  Failure to meet these deadlines will result in penalties, interest, and fees.

Entering the Online Return

Once you click on the link to the online Return, you will be taken to a page with instructions to login to the Return.  You must have the following to enter the website:

  • Your seven (7) digit Business Account Number;
  • The last four (4) digits of your Tax Identification Number; and
  • Your eight (8) character Online PIN previously mailed to you by the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector.

If you do not have your Online PIN, go to www.sftreasurer.org/pinreset to learn how to request your PIN.  Please note that PINs are sent via US Mail to the mailing address on record with our office.  You will be unable to file any taxes or fees without your PIN.  If you do not file by the deadline, you will be subject to penalties, interest, and fees.

If you do not have your PIN, go to www.sftreasurer.org/pinreset to learn how to request your PIN.  Please note that PINs are only sent via USPS to your mailing address on record with our office.  To view or change the mailing address on record with our office, go to Business Account Update. You will be unable to file any taxes without your PIN.  If you do not file by the deadline, you will be subject to penalties, interest, and fees.

Business Identification

Question 1 – Business Personal Property

If the business (and any related entities) had taxable business personal property in San Francisco in tax year 2016, mark the box next to “Yes.” Otherwise, mark the box next to “No.”  Business Personal Property is tangible property owned, claimed, used, possessed, managed, or controlled in the conduct of a trade or business.  This includes all machinery, fixtures, furniture, computers, appliances, equipment, and leasehold improvements.

Question 2 – Average Weekly Employees

Input your average number of weekly employees for your entire business, including those employed outside of San Francisco in 2016.  This is a survey question that does not affect your fee.

Identification of Business Activities

Check the box corresponding to each business activity in which you engaged in 2016, regardless of the amount of gross receipts that the business activity generated. Most activities are categorized by their 2012 North American Industry Classification System (“NAICS”) code.  For more information on the 2012 NAICS codes, go to www.census.gov/eos/www/naics. The “Biotechnology” and “Clean Technology” businesses are described in Code sections 906.1 and 906.2, respectively.  If you are engaged in any business activities not listed on this page, check the box next to line 20, Activity Not Listed Above, and describe the activity or activities in the field that appears.

If you are a registered taxi driver in San Francisco, you will need to input your A-Card number.  If you are a driver for a Transportation Network Company (e.g. Lyft or Uber), you will need to input your Driver’s License Number.

Short Term Residential Rentals

A short-term residential rental host (“host”) is a person that receives rent in exchange for providing short-term (less than 30 days) accommodations in a residential structure. Some hosts receive payment of rent via a website company, while others receive payment directly from the guest. 

If your business includes a Short Term Residential Rental, select “Yes.”  Otherwise, select “No.”

Tax Remittance Category

If your business includes a Short Term Residential Rental, you will be prompted to select the tax remittance category that applies to your business.

A Qualified Website Company (“QWC”) has the authority to collect and remit Transient Occupancy Tax (“TOT”) on behalf of short-term residential rental hosts. Currently, AirBnB is the only QWC in San Francisco.

Tax Remittance Frequency

If all rent is received through a QWC, the QWC collects and remits all TOT for your business.

Rental income not received through a QWC must be taxed and remitted to the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector either annually or monthly.  If some or none of your rent is received through a QWC, you will be asked about Small Operator designation and Filing Frequency.  Small Operators may file annually if the combined gross receipts from rental income is $250,000 or less for all locations and no location has rental income greater than $40,000.  Small Operators do not require a Certificate of Authority.

Select the category that applies to your business.

Exemption Certification

Any organization or person documenting the following shall not be required to pay a registration fee unless the organization is also engaged within the City in an unrelated trade or business within the meaning of Section 906 of Article 12-A or Section 954 of Article 12-A-1:

  1. Any organization having a formally recognized exemption from income taxation pursuant to Section 501(c), 501(d) or 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended,

  2. As qualified by Sections 502, 503, 504 and 508 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;

  3. A person receiving rental income in connection with the operation of a cooperative housing corporation, as defined in Section 216(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; one residential structure consisting of fewer than four units; or one residential condominium

A person shall be exempt from paying the registration fee required by this Section if and to the extent that, and only so long as, federal or state law prohibits the imposition of the registration fee upon such person.

If the business is exempt from paying the Business Registration fee, mark the box next to “Yes.”   Otherwise, mark “No.”

Click “Save and Continue.”  On the next page, you will not be able to input Gross Receipts (the field will be grayed out) and the fee calculation will be zero.  Click “Save and Continue” to proceed to the Taxpayer Statement page to sign your Return.

Calculation of Fees

Input your San Francisco Gross Receipts for tax year 2016 on line A.  Please take note of the following helpful hints if you are unsure of your gross receipts. 

Minimum Fee Amount –$100,000 or less

If your total Gross Receipts are less than $100,000 you are eligible for the minimum business registration fee, so inputting your total gross receipts will not affect your fee calculation. 

All Business Activities in San Francisco

If all Gross Receipts are generated by business activities in San Francisco, and no business activities occur outside of San Francisco, input your total Gross Receipts in this line. 

Business Activities both Inside and Outside San Francisco

If you do business both inside and outside of San Francisco exceeded $100,000 in calendar year 2016, use the Gross Receipts Tax Worksheet at the following link to calculate your San Francisco gross receipts (you do not need to complete the tax calculation.)  The worksheet can be found here: www.sftreasurer.org/grossreceiptsworksheet2016

Based on your entry for gross receipts, the online system will automatically calculate your business registration fee, state fee, and penalties, interest and administrative fees (if applicable).

Line B – Business Registration Fee

This line displays the calculated fee based on Gross Receipts.

Line C – $1 State Fee

The State of California has imposed an additional state fee of $1 on the renewal of business licenses for purposes of increasing disability access and compliance with construction‐related accessibility requirements and developing educational resources for businesses to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws. For more information on SB 1186, visit http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov

Lines D-F – Penalties, Interest, and Fees

These lines display penalties, interest, and fees for late filings, if applicable.

Line G – Amount Due

This line is calculated as the sum of lines B through F.

Click "Save and Continue" to go on to the Taxpayer Statement page.

Taxpayer Statement

Enter the information requested on the Taxpayer Statement page and, after agreeing with the terms of the Taxpayer Statement, click “Submit.”  If you are an agent of the taxpayer authorized to sign this Return on the taxpayer’s behalf, you must have a validly executed Power of Attorney.  A Power of Attorney form (Form POA-1), along with instructions as to how to use the form to grant an individual authority to file a Return on behalf of a taxpayer, is available on the website of the Treasurer and Tax Collector at http://sftreasurer.org/business-form-central

Opt-in to share the email address from the Return with other City and County of San Francisco Departments for official use only.  This email address may be different from the email address of record for tax matters.

Clicking “Submit” will transmit your Return to the Treasurer and Tax Collector.  By clicking “Submit” you are certifying under penalty of perjury that you are the taxpayer (including an officer, general partner, member manager, executor, trustee, fiduciary, or other individual with the authority to bind the taxpayer), or an agent of the taxpayer authorized to sign this form on behalf of the taxpayer pursuant to a validly executed Power of Attorney, and that you have examined the foregoing business tax statement and all accompanying schedules or worksheets and have determined that, to the best of your knowledge and belief, all of the information is true, correct, and compliant with all the requirements in Articles 6, 12, 12-A, and 12-A-1 of the San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code.  You are also acknowledging that you are providing information in response to a request for financial information pursuant to San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code section 6.5-1, and that you are required by law to complete this Return in its entirety and that the Return is subject to audit.

After clicking “Submit” you will be shown the “Filing Submitted” popup screen.  Only now is your Return submitted. 

Click “Continue” to print your Return and review payment options. 

Payment Options and Accessing Your Return

Payment Options

Click on Payment Options allows you proceed to the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector’s Payment Portal, where you can print out a payment coupon to pay by mail or in person. You will also have the option to pay online via e-check, credit card or debit card.

Returns and payments are due on or before the last day of May preceding the registration year commencing July 1 of that year. Online forms must therefore be transmitted before midnight on May 31, 2017.  Payments must also be received or postmarked on or before May 31 2017.  Failure to meet these deadlines will result in penalties, interest, and fees.

If a payment is not honored by a financial institution, for any reason, the tax payment is null and void and a $50 returned payment fee will be charged.

Download

This button allows you to download and print a copy of your Return. It also provides confirmation of the date and time your Return was submitted, and states your Business Activities, San Francisco Gross Receipts, and Business Registration Renewal fee.

Email

This allows you to email a copy of the filing to an additional email address.

Online Bill Payment (Payment Portal)

The Payment Portal will display your current and paid obligations.  For your information, Business Account Number, Business Name, and mailing address on file are displayed at the top of the page. 

Note that payment of displayed obligations may not constitute payment in full of all tax liabilities. This does not reflect any obligations referred to collections.

The payment portal contains two tabs: “Due” and “Paid.” If your business has filed taxes and fees in the past year, those obligations will display on this page in addition to your Business Registration 2018 obligation. 

Due Tab

The first tab is “Due,” which displays all taxes and fees that have been filed, but not paid. 

Select to Pay Column

Click on a box under Select to Pay. You may click the button at the top of the list of obligations to “Select All” or “Unselect All” obligations.  You may also check the box in each row of the column “Select to Pay” to select individual taxes and/or fees to pay.

Tax Type Column

This column provides a description of the tax or fee that has an obligation.  Most businesses will see “Business Registration” for the current business registration renewal fee.

Tax Year / Period

This column provides the year and period for the tax or fee.  For Business Registration, the four digit year the registration ends and the period “01” will be displayed, e.g. 2018/01.  Other taxes or fees may be displayed.

Name

This column displays your business name.

Street Address

This column displays the address we have on file.

Bill Number

This number is for internal use.

Amount Due

This column displays the amount due for each obligation.

Paid Tab

The second tab is “Paid,” which will list recent taxes and fees that have been filed and paid.  The amount due will be listed as “$0” for those paid obligations.

The columns on the “Paid” tab are the same as the “Due” tab, with the exceptions that there is not a column to select to pay, and the “Amount Due” is zero for all the obligations on this tab.   

Payment Options

Once you select which obligations you wish to pay, you may select from the four options at the bottom of the page:

Credit/Debit will take you to our online payment partner FIS to pay by credit card or debit card.  Note that a convenience fee will apply. 

Electronic Check will take you to our online payment partner FIS to pay by electronic check. Choose E-Check for Payment Method. Note that there is no convenience fee for this service. 

Print Payment Stub will generate a payment coupon for you to mail in your payment or pay in person.  Note that if you select more than one tax or fee to pay, the payment coupon will appear as a table on the page and you will have to submit the entire page with your check so our office can allocate your payments correctly. 

Cancel will take you to back to the login screen for the Payment Portal. 

To Pay Online

Electronic payments are made through our service provider FIS (formerly Link2Gov).

Please read the information on the FIS payment page about acceptable payment types and convenience fees associated with each.

Be advised that FIS's confirmation only indicates a receipt of your payment information.

It may take 5-10 business days for the payment to process and clear with your financial institution.

To Pay By Check 

To assist in the processing of your payment by check, note the following:

  • Make payable to "San Francisco Tax Collector."
  • Write the Business Account Number on your check and Bill Number on your check.
  • Include ONLY the payment stub, not the statement, with your payment.
  • Mail to: San Francisco Tax Collector, P.O. Box 7425, San Francisco, CA 94120-7425.

To Pay In Person at City Hall

You may pay in person during business hours (8am - 5pm, excluding holidays) at City Hall - Rm 140, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102.  Taxpayers who come to City Hall will experience long wait times than usual.

To pay by Electronic Transfer (wire transfer through Federal Wire System or ACH) 

Follow the detailed instructions located at:

http://www.sftreasurer.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/tax/business_zone/WireInstructionsBT.pdf