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Gross Receipts Tax and Business Registration Fees Ordinance

  • The Gross Receipts Tax and Business Registration Fees Ordinance (2012 Proposition E) was approved by San Francisco voters on November 6, 2012. It does not apply to the 2013 tax year or prior years. The first taxpayer filings affected were the installment payments due April 30, 2014 and the Business Registration Fees due May 31, 2014. The changes to the Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax commenced January 1, 2014. The Office of Treasurer & Tax Collector will provide taxpayers with instructions about changed business registration fees and tax filings in 2014.

NEW! Video Summary of Ordinance

NEW! Gross Receipts Tax Worksheet

NEW! Tax Collector Regulation Public Hearing December 10, 2014

Summary of Ordinance

City voters have approved a business tax based on gross receipts. (Article 12-A-1 of the Business and Tax Regulations Code) Most businesses with gross receipts of not more than $1 million annually are exempt from the Gross Receipts Tax, but are required to pay a business registration fee. The Gross Receipts Tax rates vary depending on the type of business and annual gross receipts from business activity in the City. The City will phase in the Gross Receipts Tax, and reduce the Payroll Expense Tax, over a five-year period beginning in 2014.

Please find the text of the Ordinance here.

Q. I made quarterly installment payments, but they didn't show up when I filed my return.  What should I do?

A. In certain situations described below, quarterly payments may not display as taxpayers expected.  Our office updated the form on 2/18/2015 to address this issue.  If you previously submitted your filing you will need to select "Amend" when logging in again to see the updated payment display.

  • Amendments: If you are amending your return, all quarterly installments were moved to the fourth quarter to credit against the annual filing, and will be displayed summed on the fourth quarter line. 
  • Quarterly Filing and Payments Did Not Match: If you submitted a quarterly installment payment but did not complete a quarterly filing through our online form (or submitted payment that did not match that quarterly filing) those funds have been applied to the fourth quarter line to credit against the annual filing. 
  • Combined Groups of Related Entities: Members of combined groups of related entities will not see quarterly installment payments on their Obligation Summary, as the payments have been applied to the nominated filer for the combined group. 
  • Other Payment Issues: If your situation does not meet any of the cases above, you may complete your filing and submit payment in the amount of your net obligation due, less the sum of your quarterly installment payments.  Please note penalties, interest and fees will apply if your payments do not pay in full the tax obligation.  You may call 3-1-1 in San Francisco (415-701-2311 outside of San Francisco) if you require further payment research.  Note that research may take several days.   

Q. I run a business in San Francisco. How does the Gross Receipts Tax and Business Registration Fees Ordinance affect me?
A.
If you own or manage a business in San Francisco, the way you calculate your business registration fees and taxes will change.

Q. Will the Treasurer’s Office be providing instructions for filing the taxes?
A.
Yes  See the instructions.

Q. I hear businesses with no more than $1 million in gross receipts will not have to pay the Gross Receipts Tax. Is this true?
A.
For most businesses, yes. The Gross Receipts Tax has a small business exemption for businesses with no more than $1 million in gross receipts. This exemption also applies to residential rental property owners with fewer than four units in a building. Most businesses operating in San Francisco will pay a business registration fee.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions

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