City of Tucson Business License and Tax Updates

 

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:

Upcoming Office Closures

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

 

Upcoming Office Closures

All offices of the City's Business Services Department, including the License Section, will be closed all day for an off-premises meeting on Thursday, December 5th.

All non-emergency offices for the City will be closed on Wednesday, December 25th, for the Christmas holiday.

All non-emergency offices for the City will be closed on Wednesday, January 1st, for the New Year's Day holiday.

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Annual Business License Renewals for 2020

As we near the end of 2019, the City of Tucson License Section has mailed the annual business license renewals for 2020.  The renewal forms started to go out the week of Thanksgiving.  If you have not received your annual renewal by December 9th, 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 is due January 1st, and becomes delinquent on February 1st. 

Please note that annual tobacco license renewals are not being mailed at this time, and are expected to be mailed in December or January.  Further details regarding changes to tobacco retail establishment licenses are available 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 when you receive 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 this year, or will do so by December 31, 2019, 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.

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

On October 22nd, 2019, Mayor and Council passed Ordinance No. 11703, which changes Tucson City Code Chapter 7, Article XIX, dealing with Tobacco Retail Establishments.  The two biggest changes made by this ordinance 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.

These changes are effective January 1, 2020.  The annual license fee for a tobacco retail establishment license is also expected to increase from the current $100 to $300 effective January 1, 2020.  When business license renewals are mailed to businesses in the coming weeks, businesses with a current tobacco retail license from the City of Tucson will not be receiving a renewal for their tobacco license at this time.  Businesses that have not previously fallen under the category of tobacco retail establishment, but which currently sell “vaping” supplies, will be required to obtain a tobacco retail establishment license in January.  The City of Tucson License Section will be reaching out to both of these types of business in December and January regarding licensing requirements. 

When Mayor and Council have implemented the tobacco retail establishment license fee going forward, we will provide an update at that time.  In the meantime, regular business license renewals will be mailed by early December and will be due January 1, 2020.  We thank you in advance for your patience.

Click this link to find the Ordinance, or this link, to find the official announcement of the proposed fee increase on the City website.

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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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