What's an admission tax?
Whenever a charge is collected for admission to any place or event for entertainment or recreation within the Seattle city limits, an admission tax is levied. This tax is collected on both "paid" admission charges and "complimentary" admissions. In other words, the business or organization conducting the event has to collect admission tax on all "admissions" to the event, whether or not the person being admitted paid for his/her ticket. The event or show can be held in a theater, dance hall, amphitheater, private club, auditorium, observation tower, stadium, athletic pavilion or field, amusement park or any similar place. Some exemptions are granted; for more information, call (206) 684-8484 and ask to speak with an Admission Tax Inspector.
Is there anything special I have to provide the City and those attending the event?
Yes. An application for certificate of admission tax is required when there is a charge for entry into an event or show either by ticket sales, cover charge, or invitation. You can
What's the admission tax rate?
The admission tax rate is 5 percent of the established admission charge. In addition, the City of Seattle business license (B&O) tax is due if gross receipts for a business or organization exceed $80,000 in a calendar year. The business license tax is levied at the service and other activities rate (.00415) for ticket sales and at the retailing rate (.00215) for concessions, programs, novelties, T-shirts, etc.
For some events, the admission tax may be collected at the close of each performance. If the tax is not collected and remitted to the City by the end of the month following the period for which tax is due, a penalty is added. Click here for information on due dates.
There is a joint responsibility for the collection and remittance of admission tax. If admission tax is due and not paid by those conducting the event, it shall be reported and remitted by the owner, lessee, manager or custodian of the premises at which the event was held.
What are the license requirements?
To present, perform, or sponsor an event in Seattle which is subject to the Admission Tax, you must have the following:
For more information contact the Licensing & Tax Administration's
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.
City of Seattle