Licensing & Tax Administration Division
Tax and license obligations of Seattle Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs)
As a fund-raising organization in Seattle, your PTA must obtain a business license and file a tax return. However, depending on the amount of money raised and the type of fundraisers held, PTAs and other nonprofit school-focused groups may not have to pay the Seattle Business & Operations (B&O) tax.
To help clarify the tax and license obligations of nonprofit school-focused groups, please see the following document: Effect of City of Seattle tax and license requirements on PTAs.
If you have additional questions, call us at 206-684-8484 or e-mail us at email@example.com
Life Science Research Deduction Report Available Online
In 2012, the City of Seattle passed a law allowing a B&O tax deduction for federal life science research grants. Everyone filing for the life science research tax deduction must complete an annual survey with the Department of Finance and Administrative Services by April 30, 2013. The report is available to be filed electronically through the Annual Reporting Form. If you need help, please call (206) 684-8484.
Corporate Director Fees are Subject to Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax
Individuals who are compensated for serving as a member of a board of directors for either a for-profit or not-for-profit corporation (corporate directors) must obtain a Seattle business license. All compensation received, in any form, for services rendered as a corporate director, including the reimbursement of expenses, is subject to the City of Seattle Business and Occupation (B&O) tax under the “Service and Other Activities” classification (SMC 5.45.050) To simplify corporate directors’ compliance with license and tax responsibilities, the City of Seattle permits corporations to obtain a business license, and report and pay the B&O tax, on behalf of their corporate directors.
Commercial Parking Tax Rates Change
Effective January 1,2011, the parking tax rate will increase to 12.5 percent. For more information, please refer to Ordinance Number: 123396.
The Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) Division in the Department of Finance and Administrative Services is responsible for the following activities:
If Your Business Has Any Unfiled and/or Unpaid Tax or Licensee Fees. . .
As a result of legislation passed by the City Council, any business that has unfiled and/or unpaid tax or license fees will be unable to receive their Business or Regulatory Licenses. To file and/or pay any outstanding tax or licenses, please visit our online website at https://www.seattle.gov/self/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org and request the applicable forms. A license will be mailed once the business license account is in good standing and has no balances due.
If a business has extraordinary balances due on their account that would cause undue hardship to the business, the business can contact our office to request additional assistance. Requests for additional assistance may be emailed to email@example.com or fax to (206) 684-5170.
Tax Threshold Increase
Effective January 1, 2010, the business and occupation annual tax threshold will increase from $80,000 taxable revenue to $100,000 taxable revenue. Therefore, if your taxable gross income is less than $100,000, you will not owe any B&O tax. You must still complete and file your Seattle tax return by the applicable due date. If you are a business that files quarterly but does NOT gross at least this amount of revenue, please contact our office by phone (206) 684-8484; fax (206) 684-5170; or email firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be changed to an annual filing status. Please note that this threshold increase is only effective for tax periods starting January 1, 2010. Tax thresholds for prior periods remain the same.
Changes regarding the Taxation of “Digital Goods”
The Washington State Department of Revenue amended their definition of a retail sale to include the Sale of Digital Goods effective July 26, 2009. The City of Seattle is planning to amend its B&O tax definition of a retail sale to include the sale of digital goods and adopting the definition of a digital good as defined in RCW section 82.04.192. Washington cities that have a B&O tax are also working on sourcing guidelines for the sale of digital goods. The sourcing guidelines currently utilized by the State of Washington Department of Revenue for sales tax purposes will be used as a guide by the cities as they come up with sourcing criteria for digital goods. The cities are in the process of finalizing the sourcing guidelines and will be providing guidance as soon as the final sourcing rules are established. The effective date of these changes will be retroactive to July 26, 2009.
Previously, certain gross income from items that will fall under the definition of a digital good were taxable under the Service B&O classification in accordance with Seattle rule 5-502, Taxation of information services and computer related services. Sales of some products that will fall under the definition of digital goods were already taxable under the retail classification. As of July 26, 2009, all sales of digital goods will be taxable under the retail B&O classification.
If you are a business that has had sales that qualify as sales of digital goods, please report these sales under the retail B&O classification and utilize the Washington state sales tax sourcing rules until the City digital goods sourcing rule is finalized. Because the effective date of these changes will be retroactive, you may need to file amended Seattle B&O tax returns for the third quarter 2009 filing period. In the event you do need to file amended returns, you may find instructions on how to amend your City of Seattle tax return here, and please address the amended returns to:
City of Seattle – Amended Returns/C. Paul
You may also email your amended returns to email@example.com. If you have any questions concerning the taxation of digital goods for Seattle B&O tax, then please contact Joseph Cunha at (206)233-7820, or you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location of Offices:
Department of Finance and Administrative Services
The office is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Telephone: (206) 684-8484
The material in this site is intended for general informational purposes only. While it is current at the time of publication, changes to the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) or state law may invalidate some of this information. In the event of a conflict between this guide and the SMC, the SMC prevails.