City of Tucson Business License and Tax Updates

Office Closure Alerts

Ongoing:  As part of the City of Tucson's efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease), all customer service counters and lobbies in City buildings, including City Hall, are closed to the public until further notice.

Monday, March 30th:  All non-emergency offices for the City will be closed in observance of the Cesar Chavez Day holiday.

 

Contact the License Section at:

Phone:  (520) 791-4566

Fax:  (520) 791-5082

Email:  Tax-License@tucsonaz.gov

Mailing address:  City of Tucson License Section, PO Box 27210, Tucson, AZ, 85726-7210

Office address:  Tucson City Hall, 255 W Alameda St, Tucson, AZ, 85701

 

Business License and Tax Updates

Click a link below for more information about that subject:

Annual Business License Renewals for 2020

Changes Regarding Retail Tobacco Sales and Sales of "Vaping" Supplies

How to Pay Your Renewal Electronically

Refunds for Business Taxes and Fees

Tax Rate Reminders

Contracting Changes for 2019

Businesses with Unfiled Returns or Underpayments

Speculative Builders and Owner Builders

Other Tax Code Changes

 

Annual Business License Renewals for 2020

Near the end of 2019, the City of Tucson License Section mailed the annual business license renewals for 2020.  All renewal forms generated in November were mailed by the first week of December to the mailing address on file for each license.  If you still have not received your annual renewal for a regular business license, please contact the License Section at the phone number or email address above so that our staff may verify your mailing information.  As usual, the business license renewal fee was due January 1st, and becomes delinquent on February 1st. 

Please see new details regarding tobacco license renewals in the item below entitled “Changes Regarding Retail Tobacco Sales and Sales of ‘Vaping’ Supplies”.

If you have an active user ID on our e-Tax service online, you may log in and pay your license renewal fee by using the “Pay” screen in e-Tax to initiate an ACH payment from a savings or checking account that allows ACH debits.  If you pay using e-Tax, and have any contact or mailing changes to inform us of, please email those changes using the email address above.  Please note that paper renewal forms are being mailed to all businesses with active 2019 licenses.  If you pay online for a license renewal, please do not send another payment with the paper renewal form. (Instructions can be found below for paying online.)

If you wish to pay by mail, please mail your renewal form, along with your check or money order (payable to City of Tucson), in the return envelope you receive with your renewal form.  Be sure to enter the city business license number in the Memo field of the check or money order.

If you wish to pay in person, please bring your renewal form to the Cashier station at City Hall (see Office address above).  You will be able to pay using cash, check, money order, or credit card.

We apologize, but we are not able to take credit/debit card payments online or over the phone, and we cannot currently accept payment methods not listed above.

If you ceased doing business prior to January 1, 2020, please do one of the following:  

  1. Fill out the cancellation notice at the bottom of the front page of the renewal form, and return to us without payment.
  2. Send an email to the License Section email listed above, stating the following:  your name, the name of the business, the city license number, the effective date of the closure of the business, and a brief reason for the closure.  You will not have to return the renewal form.

In either of the above cases, please verify your current mailing address.  The License Section will mail an updated account statement for any canceled license, listing any unpaid fees and unfiled tax returns as of the business closure date provided.

If you have sold your business, or are changing the ownership of your business (e.g., from sole proprietor to an LLC you have registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission), do not send payment for your renewal, but please contact the License Section to find out what you need to do next.

If you have a question about your renewal that is not answered here, please feel free to contact the License Section using the contact information at the top of this page!

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Changes Regarding Retail Tobacco Sales and Sales of "Vaping" Supplies

Recently, Mayor and Council passed Ordinances Nos. 11703 and 11720, which make big changes to Tucson City Code Chapter 7, Article XIX, dealing with Tobacco Retail Establishments.  The biggest changes made by these ordinances are:

  1. The definition of “tobacco product” is changed to include devices and substances used for “vaping”.
  2. The minimum legal sales age for tobacco products in the City of Tucson is increased from 18 to 21.
  3. The annual license fee for a tobacco retail license is increased to $300.

All of these changes are effective January 1, 2020.  Information packages, including 2020 renewal forms for current tobacco retail licensees will be mailed the week of January 20th by the License Section.  

Signs are being designed that satisfy the requirements of the tobacco retail code changes.  After these have been printed, they will be mailed along with 2020 tobacco retail license certificates for tobacco retailers who have paid their renewal fees.

Businesses that have not previously fallen under the category of tobacco retail establishment, but which currently sell “vaping” supplies or other paraphernalia that are now classified as “tobacco products”, are now required to obtain a tobacco retail establishment license.  The City of Tucson License Section will be reaching out to these businesses to help them come into compliance with the new law.

Ordinance #11703

Ordinance #11720

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How to Pay Your Renewal Electronically

If you would like to get information about paying your annual business license renewal online, read through this document (this is a PDF file, so it is best viewed with Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat).  It includes instructions about creating a user ID and password in our e-Tax system, and then making an ACH payment for your annual license fees.

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Refunds for Privilege Taxes and License Fees

If you have received an account statement from the City of Tucson, with a credit balance, non-filed returns, or outstanding balances, please contact the appropriate Taxpayer Assistance office at the phone number or email listed at the bottom of the front page of the statement.

For all other refund requests:  Effective July 1, 2019, the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) administers all refund claims for Transaction Privilege (Sales) and Use Taxes for ALL taxing jurisdictions in the state of Arizona.  See this link (https://azdor.gov/transaction-privilege-tax/tpt-refund) for instructions for submitting a refund claim through ADOR.  All documents identified at this website, or any others requested by ADOR must be returned solely to ADOR.

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Tax Rate Reminders

The City of Tucson tax rate increased effective July 1, 2017 from 2% to 2.5% for most business activities, and increased effective March 1, 2018 from 2.5% to 2.6% for those same business activities.  This is especially important to note if you are an annual filer as the city tax rate has increased from the return filed for 2017.

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Contracting Changes for 2019

Effective January 1, 2019, the definition of “alteration” for commercial projects will be changing.  Senate Bill 1409 simplified the definition.  Prior to January 2019, commercial projects that met the following three requirements were considered alteration: 1) the price of the job was less than or equal to $750,000, and 2) the project altered 40% or less of the original square footage of the structure and 3) no more than an additional 10% of the original square footage is added to the existing structure. 

As of January 1, 2019, the only requirement for a commercial project to be considered an alteration is that the price of the project be less than or equal to $750,000.  Commercial projects for more than $750,000 will be considered modifications and subject to the construction contracting section (19-415) of the Tucson Tax Code.

Contracts signed prior to January 1, 2019 will be subject to the three requirements listed above.

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Businesses with Unfiled Returns or Underpayments

Businesses with unfiled City of Tucson returns or underpayments for periods prior to January 1, 2017 can call the Revenue Investigations Section at (520) 791-4247 for assistance with filing any missing returns during that time period and getting their account(s) up to date.

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Speculative Builders and Owner Builders

Speculative builders and owner builders are potentially liable for city sales tax on new construction built and sold within the City.  Please call Tax Audit at (520) 791-4681 to see if this could apply to you, and for more information on how to report the tax on these types of sales.

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Other Tax Code Changes

For any changes to the City of Tucson tax code, check the link to Model City Tax Code at https://modelcitytaxcode.az.gov/ .

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