Commercial Vacancy Tax (CVT)

The Commercial Vacancy Tax is a tax on keeping certain commercial space vacant for more than 182 days in a calendar year. Follow the steps below to file. If you received a notice from our office, you are required file a Return and can begin at Step 2. 

Filing and payment of the Commercial Vacancy Tax Return must be submitted and paid on or before February 28, 2023. To learn more about the Commercial Vacancy Tax, view our informational video and and download the presentation (Español     Filipino     中文 ).

Review the definition Taxable Commercial Space and the map below to confirm that the Commercial Vacancy Tax applies to your space for 2022. 

For purposes of the Commercial Vacancy Tax, "Taxable Commercial Space" means the ground floor of any building or structure, or the ground floor of any portion of a building or structure, where such ground floor:

  1. is adjacent or tangent to a Public Right of Way,
  2. is located in one of the Named Neighborhood Commercial Districts (NCD) or Named Neighborhood Commercial Transit Districts (NCT), as they existed on March 3, 2020; and
  3. is not Residential Real Estate.

Map of Districts that may be Covered by the Commercial Vacancy Tax

The areas highlighted in orange are Named Neighborhood Commercial Districts (NCD) or Named Neighborhood Commercial Transit Districts (NCT), as they existed on March 3, 2020. This map is for estimation purposes only. Click on map to move or zoom. 

Find the Block/Lot of the Taxable Commercial Space, which is required to begin the Commercial Vacancy Tax Return. 

Find Block/Lot 

  1. Click on the button above
  2. Enter the address of the Taxable Commercial Space 
  3. The parcel Block/Lot will be listed directly below the address

 

 

Click on the button below and enter the Block/Lot of the Taxable Commercial Space to begin the Return. Click on the "Instructions" button for detailed instructions on how to file the Return.

File Commercial Vacancy Tax Return (2022)

Instructions

More Information

All owners, lessees/tenants, and sublessees/subtenants of Taxable Commercial Space, as defined in the Code, must file a Return.

All co-owners, co-tenants, and co-subtenants must file a Return. If one of the co-owners, co-tenants, or co-subtenants will be satisfying the obligation, the other parties must provide the contact information of those satisfying the obligation. The Return will prompt you for this information.

Persons exempt from or otherwise not subject to the Commercial Vacancy Tax who are the owner, tenant, or subtenant of Taxable Commercial Space still must file a Return. They may declare their exemption or explain why they do not owe the tax on the Return. 

For 2022 the tax rate is $250 per linear foot of Frontage. The Commercial Vacancy Tax rate is calculated based on a building’s Frontage (the total length of Taxable Commercial Space that is adjacent or tangent to the Public Right of Way) rounded to the nearest foot.

Taxable Commercial Space is considered vacant if it’s unoccupied, uninhabited, or unused for more than 182 days, whether consecutive or nonconsecutive, in a tax year. The Code provides for qualified exclusions, which are detailed in the Commercial Vacancy Tax Return Instructions.

If a tenant has operated a business in Taxable Commercial Space for more than 182 consecutive days during a lease of at least two years, the tenant will not be liable for the Commercial Vacancy Tax for the remainder of that lease, regardless of whether the space is vacant.

Additionally, any organization that is exempt from income taxation under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) is exempt from the Commercial Vacancy Tax.

However, the owner, tenant, or subtenant of a Taxable Commercial Space must file a Commercial Vacancy Tax return regardless of whether they are exempt from paying the Commercial Vacancy Tax or other taxes.

The Board of Supervisors passed a legislation to permit the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector to disclose certain Commercial Vacancy Tax information to the public. The following information collected from the Commercial Vacancy Tax return will be made available to the public via DataSF:

  • Name of the person(s) required to file a Commercial Vacancy Tax and whether each person filed;
  • Name of the person(s) required to pay the Commercial Vacancy Tax;
  • The address and block and lot number of the Taxable Commercial Space;
  • If the Taxable Commercial Space was kept vacant during a tax year; and
  • The commercial vacancy tax rate that applies to the space for a given tax year.

Article 29: Vacancy Tax Ordinance
Updated Legislation (6/27/22)

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