Annual Business Tax Return

The San Francisco Annual Business Tax Return ("Return") includes the Gross Receipts Tax, Payroll Expense Tax, and Administrative Office Tax. Beginning in tax year 2019, the Return will also include the Early Care and Education Commercial Rents Tax and Homelessness Gross Receipts TaxTo avoid late penalties/fees, the return must be submitted and paid on or before the last day of February

                                                File your Annual Business Tax Return (2018)

                                                                              Instructions

The Return is optimized for Internet Explorer 11+ and current versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Please check and/or update your version before filing. 

Additional Information

Persons other than lessors of residential real estate are required to file a return if in the tax year you were:

  1. Engaged in business in San Francisco (as defined in Code section 6.2-12,
  2. Qualified by Code sections 952.3 (f) and (g)),
  3. Were not otherwise exempt under Code sections 906 or 954

AND, you:

  1. Had more than $300,000 in taxable San Francisco payroll expense; OR
  2. Had more than $1,120,000 in combined taxable San Francisco gross receipts.

Lessors of residential real estate in San Francisco must file a return for each building if they are not otherwise exempt under Code sections 906 and 954, unless both of the following are true:

  • Taxable payroll expense in the City attributable to that building is less than $300,000; AND
  • Lease fewer than 4 units in that individual building

If you do not meet any of the above criteria for tax year 2018 you generally are not required to file unless you are claiming the Biotechnology Exclusion in Code section 906.1, the Clean Technology Business Exclusion in Code section 906.2, the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit in section 906A, the Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area Payoff Expense Tax Exclusion in Code section 906.3, or the Central Market Street Limit in Code section 961.

To qualify for a 60-day extension to file your Annual Business Tax Return, you must complete and submit a request AND pay 100% of your Annual Business Tax  liability on or before February 28th. If you do not make the required 100% payment by February 28th, or you do not file your Return by April 29th, your Request for Extension to File will be denied and you will be subject to penalties, interest, and fees.

Gross Receipts rates vary depending on a business’s gross receipts and business activity. Taxpayers deriving gross receipts from business activities both within and outside San Francisco must generally allocate and/or apportion gross receipts to San Francisco using rules set forth in Business and Tax Regulations Code Sections 956.1 and 956.2. 

This table indicates the tax rate and applicable apportionment and/or allocation methodology for each business activity. The Code is based on the 2012 NAICS classifications. For more information on the 2012 NAICS codes, go to www.census.gov/eos/www/naics.

Use your San Francisco Business Activity, our Allocation and/or Apportionment Worksheets and the SF Gross Receipts Tax Computation Worksheet to determine your San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax obligation.

Business Activity0-$1m$1-$2.5m$2.5-$25m$25m +Calculation Method
Retail Trade; Wholesale Trade; and Certain Services0.075%0.100%0.135%0.160%Apportionment for Retail Trade and Wholesale Trade is 50% Sale Location and 50% Payroll Expense (Section 953.1(e)) Apportionment for Certain Services is Payroll Expense (Section 953.1(f))
Manufacturing; Transportation and Warehousing; Information; Bio-Technology; Clean Technology; and Food Services0.125%0.205%0.370%0.475%Apportionment for this section is 50% Real, Personal, Tangible and Intangible Property, and 50% Payroll Expense (Section 953.2(g))
Accommodations; Utilities; and Arts Entertainment and Recreation0.300%0.325%0.325%0.400%Apportionment for Accommodations is receipts derived from or related to properties located or used in the City (Section 953.3(e)) Apportionment for Utilities is 50% Real, Personal, Tangible and Intangible Property and 50% Payroll Expense (Section 953.3(f)) Apportionment for Arts, Entertainment and Recreation is Payroll Expense (Section 953.3(g))
Private Education and Health Services; Administrative and Support Services; and Miscellaneous Business Activities0.525%0.550%0.600%0.650%Apportionment for this Section is Payroll Expense (Section 953.4(d))
Construction0.300%0.350%0.400%0.450%Apportionment for this Section is 50% Real, Personal, Tangible and Intangible Property and 50% Payroll Expense (Section 953.5(c)) In addition, Real, Personal, Tangible and Intangible Property shall be reduced by the amounts paid to a subcontractor in the City. Person must submit itemized deduction list in order to claim. (Section 953.5(c))
Financial Services; Insurance; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services0.400%0.460%0.510%0.560%Apportionment for this Section is Payroll Expense (Section 953.6(e))
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing Services0.285%0.285%0.300%0.300%Apportionment for this Section is receipts derived or related to properties located or used in the City. (Section 953.7 (c))

You are required to file a return within 15 days of closing your business. Review our instructions for additional information. 


Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax 2017 Annual Return and Instructions 

Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax 2016 Annual Return and Instructions

Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax 2015 Annual Return and Instructions 

Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax 2014 Annual Return and Instructions
 

Estimated business tax payments are due April 30th, July 31st and October 31st. Residential Landlords with less than $1,120,000 in gross receipts are exempt from estimated quarterly business tax payments and will not receive an estimated business tax payment notice.

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