Wednesday, February 1, 2017

UPDATE: San Francisco Business Tax Updates February 2017 - Resources for Small Businesses

The tax filing deadline is February 28th. All taxpayers should have received their filing notices by now. Please let me know if you have any feedback. Below are some news updates that may be of interest.

Tax Seminar at the Main Library Wednesday February 15, 3:00 p.m.

Once again, the Treasurer's office will host a free tax seminar at the San Francisco Public Library Main Branch Koret Auditorium. The event will be Wednesday, February 15 at 3:00 p.m. They will demonstrate some examples of tax filings and take general questions about the annual return filing process. This event is designed for use by small businesses that do not use tax preparers. More information is available here

2016 Annual Return Videos Posted

With regard to the Treasurer's office ongoing efforts to make tax reporting accessible to all San Franciscans, they have produced videos on how to file an Annual Return under various circumstances. You may view them here.

Legislative Update

File 161264, which proposes to modify the quarterly filing and payment requirements for payroll expense taxes and gross receipts taxes, clarify the requirements for requesting an extension, and expressly permit taxpayers to apply refunds of the business registration fee, the payroll expense tax, and the gross receipts tax to subsequent tax periods, has passed the Board of Supervisors and is to the Mayor’s desk.

File 161225, which proposes to remove the $100 minimum penalty from one of the penalties for failing to register with the Tax Collector; and to remove the fee and administrative requirements for obtaining a duplicate registration certificate.

Both of these proposed ordinances were guided by feedback from the business community about simplifying quarterly installment payments, applying refunds to subsequent tax periods, and reducing penalties and fees on small businesses, passed unanimously on first reading on January 31. It will come back for a second reading on February 7.

Small Business Enterprise Thresholds Increase

The San Francisco Treasurer's office has announced increased small business enterprise thresholds for tax year 2016 and retroactively increased thresholds for 2015. Taxpayers affected by the 2015 retroactive increase have been contacted directly. You can find more information as well as the 2016 tax rates here.

Combined Groups of Related Entities – 2016 Annual Return Functionality Enhancements

If you or the taxpayer you are filing for is filing on behalf of a combined group of related entities, or was part of a combined group for a portion of the tax year, the San Francisco Treasurer's office has added online functionality so most combined groups do not have to file by mail and can more easily report your group members. Combined groups of related entities will need to report their group members in the annual return (rather than through Account Update), including the dates the entities were part of the group, and the extent they are unitary with the group. Tax preparers should have this information ready when filing to facilitate their filing process. For information about what constitutes a combined group of related entities, please see the instructions for the 2016 return here.

How to Access the 2016 Annual Return

The 2016 Tax Year Annual Return is accessbile at

To enter the Online Return you will need:

1. Seven digit Business Account Number
2. Last four digits of your business tax identification number (Federal EIN or SSN)
3. Eight digit alphanumeric Online PIN (same as prior year)

The The San Francisco Treasurer's office sent out filing notices in mid-January that included the Business Account Number, Online PIN, and other information to assist taxpayers with filing their Return, including all quarterly installment payments received by the office. 

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