Third Party Taxes and Fees

The Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector administers and collects taxes and fees levied on businesses by the City and County. A third-party tax/fee is collected directly from users or customers by a business, and then remitted to the Tax Collector. In most cases, these taxes and fees take the form of billing surcharges that customers pay, usually a percentage of the total bill. The business is responsible for the accurate accounting of the total amounts collected, and subsequent remittance of monthly or quarterly payments to the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector.

Only certain types of businesses collect these taxes and fees. Please read below to determine whether you provide services that fit one of these tax or fee categories. 

PARKING

Parking Operators remit taxes monthly to the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector, and have additional requirements including a Certificate of Authority, a Paking Bond, and Revenue Control Equipment fees. If an operator receives $40,000 or less per year in parking revenue per location, and less than $250,000 across all locations, the location may qualify for designation as a Small Operator. Small Operators do not need a Certificate of Authority or parking bond, and file and pay parking taxes annually by January 31st. 

TRANSIENT OCCUPANCY TAX (TOT), TID, MED  

Transient occupancy operators are those who receive rent in exchange for providing short-term accommodations of less than 30 days. All of these transactions are subject to San Francisco tax laws. An operator who receives rent from a guest must collect Transient Occupancy Taxes (including TID and MED where applicable) from the guest.  An operator must then remit the TOT to the San Francisco Office of Treasurer & Tax Collector along with a tax filing. If more than one operator is involved in a rental transaction, all of the operators share responsibility for ensuring that the Office of Treasurer & Tax Collector receives the taxes paid by the guest.

Additional Guidance for Short-Term Residential Rental Operators ("hosts" and website companies)

Operators are required to:

  • Timely file monthly tax and assessment statements.
  • Timely send a monthly payment of the transient occupancy taxes and assessments collected.
  • Have an approved Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate of Authority (COA) issued by the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector (application here).
  • Possess valid permits as issued by the S.F. Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Public Health, and Department of Building Inspection.

DEEMED SMALL OPERATOR: PARKING AND TOT

In August 2015, the Business and Tax Regulations Code was amended to allow small Transient Occupancy Tax and Parking Tax Operators streamlined tax filing and payment. Operators earning less than $40,000 in gross annual rental revenue per location and $250,000 or less in combined revenue from all parking and transient occupancy tax operations within San Francisco are eligible.

A Deemed Small Operator designation allows for:

  1. Annual filing of Parking Tax, Transient Occupancy Tax and other fees by January 31st
  2. An exemption from the Certificate of Authority (COA) requirements
  3. An exemption from paying the Revenue Control Equipment Compliance Fee for Parking Tax operators

To apply to be a Deemed Small Operator for Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and/or Parking Tax, fill out and remit this application:

If you are a Deemed Small Operator and believe you no longer meet the requirements, you must notify us by completing and remitting this form:

ACCESS LINE TAX, TELEPHONE USERS TAX AND UTILITY USERS TAX 

Non-residential consumption of telephone services, electricity, natural gas, steam and water in the City and County of San Francisco is subject to the Utility Users Tax. The tax is also levied on cellular telephone charges for both non-residential and residential users. Utility Users Tax is collected from the consumers by the service providers, and then remitted to the City on a monthly basis. Telephone and water lifeline users or gas and electricity baseline users are exempt from the Utility Users Tax. An exemption (for services other than cellular services) also applies to all residential customers, insurance companies, government and other authorities, foreign consulates and their employees, the American Red Cross, and utility service suppliers providing the service

CIGARETTE LITTER ABATEMENT FEE