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Business Taxes and Fees

The City imposes several different types of taxes, which are used to fund essential City services.  

In addition to the annual business license registration fee, all businesses with more than 1,200 worked hours per year, will be required to pay EITHER a Per Employee Business License fee OR the Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax. To determine whether your business is subject to the Per Employee Business License fee or the B&O tax, please read below for more information.

In addition, the City of Renton imposes the following taxes and fees:

  • Utility Tax
  • Admission Tax
  • Gambling Tax
  • Entertainment Device License 

More information on these taxes can be found below.

Per Employee Business License fee

Overview

The Per Employee Business License Fee (Renton Municipal Code (RMC) section 5-5-3) is due annually at the same time an existing annual business license is renewed. At the time of business license renewal, businesses shall report the total employee hours worked in the proceeding year and pay a fee for each hour worked.  

Who is subject to the Per Employee Business License Fee?

Businesses that: 

  1. Have more than 1,200 worker hours per year; AND
  2. Have NOT owed any Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax to the City of Renton in the preceding 12 months

How much is the Per Employee Business License Fee? 

The Per Employee Fee rate is $.0352 for every hour worked in the preceding year.  "Worked hours" include all hours worked, paid and unpaid, by owners, family members and/or employees.  The first 1,200 total hours worked are exempt from the fee.

When is the Per Employee Fee payment due?

Payment is due on the same day as the current business license expiration date. Existing businesses will receive a business license renewal notice approximately 30 days prior to the license expiration date.  Business license expiration dates are the last day of the month, proceeding the calendar quarter in which the business anniversary date falls. For example: a business that has an anniversary date within the first calendar quarter of the year (January 1 - March 31), the license expiration date is April 30. See table below for the reporting period and payment due date details.

What is the reporting period?

The reporting period shall include the preceding four (4) full quarters prior to the anniversary date. For example: a business that has an anniversary date in the first calendar quarter of the current year (January 1 - March 31) will report total worked hours for the period January 1 - December 31 of the prior year. See table below for the reporting period and payment due date details.

Business Anniversary Reporting Period
(prior year)
Expiration & Payment
Due Date
January 1-
March 31
January 1-
 December 31
April 30
April 1-
June 30
April 1-
March 30
July 31
July 1-
September 30
July 1-
June 30
October 31
October 1-
December 31
October 1-
September 30
January 31

How do I file my annual Per Employee Business License Fee?  

 
The annual Per Employee Fee is filed and paid at the same time as the annual business license renewal is filed and paid. Once you have received your annual Business License Renewal Notice (either in the mail or electronically), you can file online or through mail.

1. Online Renewal: 

  • Go to the Business License Renewal website
  • Search for your business by name
  • Enter your business' six-digit security code, found on the upper right-hand corner of the Business License Renewal Notice
  • Fill out renewal information, including total gross revenue earned in the City of Renton, and total hours worked by employees
  • All renewal fees (business licenses renewal fee, per employee fee, and and any applicable fire endorsement fees) can be paid online with either an eCheck or credit card 
2. Mail-in Renewal:
  • Complete the Business License Renewal Notice received via mail 
  • Submit renewal form and payment (either check or money order) to:
City of Renton
1055 South Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057 
Business & Occupation Tax
Effective 1/1/2016
First filing due 4/30/2016
for 1st Quarter 2016
Overview  

Businesses with gross receipts of $1.5 million or more per year, earned within the City of Renton, will be required to file and pay B&O tax. Businesses that pay B&O tax do not pay the annual Per Employee Business License Fee.  

For more information, please see the City of Renton Business and Occupation Tax Guide or Renton Municipal Code (RMC) Chapter 5-25.

Click here for the City of Renton's Online Business Tax Reporting portal.
 
What is a Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax? 
B&O is a gross receipts tax.  It is measured on the value of products, gross proceeds of sale, or gross income of the business activities conducted in the City of Renton.

Who pays B&O Tax?

In addition to businesses operating within the City limits, vendors and suppliers of goods and services being delivered within Renton city limits may also be subject to the B&O tax.   

When is the B&O payment due? 
The first reports and payments are due 4/30/2016 for 1st Quarter 2016 - for quarterly filers only.  There are two types of filers: quarterly filers and annual filers. 
 
Annual Filers - Businesses earning revenue less than $2 million per year will be put on an annual filing status. For annual filers, the B&O filing and reporting due date is aligned with the business license expiration date. If at the end of the reporting period the $1.5 million threshold has not been met, B&O taxes will not be filed, rather the Per Employee Business License Fee will be due. See annual B&O reporting dates below:
 
Business License Expiration
and B&O Filing Due Date
Reporting Period
(prior year)
January 31 January 1 - December 31
April 30 April 1 - March 31
July 31 July 1 - June 30
October 31 October 1 - September 30
 
Quarterly Filers - Any business not meeting the annual filer criteria above will be required to report and pay B&O taxes quarterly.  Quarterly returns and payment are due on or before the end of the month immediately following the end of the tax reporting quarter. See reporting dates below: 

Quarter  Reporting Period
            
Ending
Return and Payment
Due
1 March 31 April 30
2 June 30 July 31
3 September 30 October 31
4 December 31 January 31

What are the B&O tax classifications and rates?

For purposes of gross receipts tax, businesses have been divided into several classifications (see below).  Businesses conducting multiple activities will report in more than one tax classification. 

Activity Classification Tax Rate 
Retailing 0.050%
Retail Service 0.085%
Manufacturing/Processing for Hire 0.085%
Extracting/Extracting for Hire 0.085%
Wholesaling 0.085%
Printing/Publishing 0.085%
Services and Other Activities  0.085%

What types of credits are available and how are they claimed?

There are two types of credits available:

1. Multiple Activities Tax Credit (MATC), which is divided into two components: 

  • External Credits: persons that engage in business activities that take place in one or more cities with an eligible gross receipts tax.
  • Internal Credits: credit for the sale of products within the same city that they extract or manufacture, credit for manufacturing products within the same city using ingredients they extracted, and credit for the sale of products within the same city they printed or published and printed. 
2. New Business Tax Credit 

A $1,000 credit per full-time equivalent (FTE) may be credited against the B&O tax due for new businesses bringing fifty (50) or more new full-time equivalents (FTE) into the City for the first three (3) consecutive years (12 consecutive quarters).  Businesses must meet the following criteria:  

  • Has not engaged in business within Renton in the 10 years prior to the application of the credit
  • Employs fifty (50) or more full-time equivalents (FTE) within Renton.  An FTE is defined as 1,920 worker hours per calendar year
  • The total credit cannot exceed the total tax due 

For more information on MATC refer to the Renton Municpal Code (RMC) section 5-25-5 and 5-25-6 and for more information on the New Business Tax Credit refer to the Renton Municipal Code (RMC) section 5-25-12.

Click here for the B&O Schedule B – Tax Credit Form

What tax deductions are available and how are they obtained?

The following is a list of available deductions:

  • Membership fees and certain fees by non-profit youth organizations
  • Fees, dues, charges for non-profit organizations
  • Certain income from business activities of non-profit artistic and cultural organizations
  • Value of articles for use in displaying art objects or presenting artistic or cultural exhibitions, performances, or programs by non-profit artistic and cultural organizations
  • Daycare activities provided by non-profit organizations
  • Interest on loans to farmers and ranchers, producers or harvesters of aquatic products
  • Receipts from the sale of tangible personal property delivered outside of the State
  • Cash discounts taken by purchaser
  • Credit losses of accrual base tax payers
  • Repair, maintenance, replacement, etc. of residential structures and commonly held property for eligible organizations
  • Certain advertising fees for radio and television broadcasting
  • Any activity which the City is prohibited from taxing under the Constitution or laws of the State of Washington or the United States of America
  • Receipts from the sale of tangible personal property and retail services delivered outside of the City but within Washington
  • Certain professional employer services
  • Interest on investments or loans secured by mortgages or deeds of trust
  • Compensation received from public entities for the support of health or social welfare services

For more information on eligible tax deductions refer to the Renton Municipal Code (RMC) section 5-25-11

Click here for the B&O Schedule C – Deduction Form

How do I file and pay B&O taxes? 

You may file your quarterly return electronically, using the City of Renton's Online Business Tax Reporting portal.  You can access your account by searching for your business name and entering your business' unique security code, which will be mailed to you.  For questions please call us at 425-430-6950 or send an email to tax@Rentonwa.gov

How do I amend a previously submitted B&O Tax return? 

You can file an amended return online, if you choose to file a hard copy amended return please follow the following instructions:

  1. Make a copy of the return you need to correct as originally filed.  You can access previously filed returns from your Online Services account.
  2. At the top of the return write “AMENDED” in large letters.
  3. Cross out, with a simple line through, any erroneous figures using red or bold ink.  If possible highlight corrections so they will be easily seen.
  4. Make the appropriate corrections on the return and recalculate your totals.
  5. If you are amending your return and you owe money include a check or money order when you mail your amended return.
  6. If you are seeking a refund, included a letter or note with your amending return explaining the reason for the changes.
  7. Mail the letter, the amended return(s) and, if tax is due, a check/money order to:
City of Renton
Attn: Tax and License Division
1055 South Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057

The City may only honor refunds dating back four years prior to the year in which the refund request is made, so long as the period covered by the amended return has not been subject of an assessment or judicial proceeding.

How do I pay my taxes online?

After you have completed your online return, you will need to pay your taxes.  You will find your payment options on the payment summary page. You have the option of paying either:

  • eCheck – you can enter your bank account number and routing information to make a one-time payment.  The transaction is free and only authorizes the City to withdraw the amount you direct.
  • Credit Card – you can enter your credit card information for a one-time payment. Payments made with credit cards will be charged a fee of 2.5% of the transaction amount, which will be charged to the credit card.

You may also pay your B&O taxes by check or money order. Please be sure to include your UBI and filing number on your check. To ensure timely payment processing remit a copy of your B&O return with your payment.  Mail your payment and return to:

City of Renton
Attn: Tax and License Division
1055 South Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057     
Utility Tax 
Overview

The City's utility tax is a gross receipts tax on certain business activities, pursuant to Renton Municipal Code (RMC) section 5-11.  Activities subject to utility tax and the applicable tax rates are as follows:

Activity Tax Rate 
Telephone and Cellular 6.0%
Electric and Natural Gas 6.0%
Solid Waste Disposal and Handling  6.8%
Water 6.8%
Sewer 6.0%
Storm Drainage      6.8%
Cable Services 6.0%

Who pays utility tax?

All organizations providing the services above are subject to the utility tax, including the City of Renton, which provides water, sewer, storm drainage and solid waste disposal services. Organizations required to file and pay Utility Tax are exempt from filing and paying quarterly Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax on the receipts which have been subject to the Utility Tax.

When are utility taxes due?

Taxes must be filed and paid monthly, due the last day of the month following the reporting period.  For example, income earned in September (reporting period) need to be reported and taxes paid no later than October 31st. Even if no tax is due, a tax return must be filed monthly.

How do I file and pay utility tax?

Complete and sign the Utility Tax Form. Remit form and payment to: 

City of Renton
Attn: Tax and License Division
1055 South Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057 
Admission Tax 
Overview
Pursuant to Renton Municipal Code (RMC) section 5-6, whenever a charge is collected for admission into any place or event for entertainment or recreation within the Renton city limits, an admissions tax of 5% is levied. Admission charges are defined as payment received for events including, but not limited to: 
  • A charge made for season tickets or subscriptions
  • A cover charge, or a charge made for use of seats and tables reserved or otherwise, and other similar accommodations
  • A charge made for food and refreshment in any place where free entertainment, recreation, or amusement is provided
  • A charge made for rental or use of equipment or facilities for purposes of recreation or amusement; if the rental of the equipment or facilities is necessary to the enjoyment or privilege for which a general admission is charged, the combined charges shall be considered as admission charge
  • Automobile parking charges if the amount of the charge is determined according to the number of passengers in the automobile

Who is subject to the admission tax?

This applies to all organizations that have collected charges for admission to any theater, cinema, dance hall, cabaret, adult entertainment cabaret, circus, sideshow, outdoor amusement park, dinner theater, music concert, radio show, and television shows.

EXEMPTIONS: Admission tax is levied pursuant to RCW 35.21.280, and school activities are exempt as specified therein.

When is admission tax payment due?

Organizations subject to the tax shall file and remit admission taxes quarterly.  The following details the due dates: 

Admission Tax Collected   Payment Due    
January 1 - March 31 (1st Quarter) April 30
April 1 - June 30 (2nd quarter)      July 31
July 1 - September 30 (3rd Quarter)   October 31
October 1 - December 31 (4th Quarter)  January 31

How do I file and pay admission tax?

Complete and sign the applicable section, "Statement of Admission Tax", on the Combined Tax Form.  Remit form and payment to:

City of Renton

Attn: Tax and License Division

1055 South Grady Way

Renton, WA 98057

 
Gambling Tax  
Overview

A tax levied upon all persons, corporations, organizations, and associations for the conduct of the following activities: 

Activity Tax Levied
Bingo games and raffles - for profit     5% of gross receipts, less cash and merchandise
prizes awarded                                                
Bingo games and raffles - non-profit 0% of gross receipts, less cash and merchandise
prizes awarded - first $10,000
2.5% of gross receipts, less cash and merchandise
prizes awarded - over $10,000
Pulltabs and punchboards 5% of gross receipts
Card games (per establishment)      $500 annually or 10% of gross receipts, 
whichever is greater
Amusement Devices      2% of gross receipts, less actual net amount paid
for prizes
 
In addition to paying gambling taxes, any person or organization intending to conduct any of the activity above, must also apply and obtain a City of Renton Business License and register with the Washington State Gambling Commission prior to commencement of such activity.
 
For more details on applicable activities and associated taxes please refer to Renton Municipal Code (RMC) section 5-8.

Who is subject to gambling tax?

All persons, associations, and organizations that have been duly licensed by the Washington State Gambling Commission to conduct and/or operate gambling activities.

There are limited exemptions for available for bona fide charitable or nonprofit organizations operating bingo and raffle games.

When is the gambling tax payment due?
Tax is due monthly, by the 15th of day of the month immediately succeeding the month in which the tax is earned.  Except for businesses that had taxes due in the amount of $10,000 or less in the previous calendar year, tax is due quarterly and shall be remitted by the 30th day of the month succeeding the quarter earned.
 
   Total Tax Paid 
    in Prior Year
Report Period Tax Due
greater than $10,000   Monthly 15th of the succeeding month
$10,000 or less Quarterly 30th of the month succeeding the most recent
quarter (i.e. April 30, July 31, October 31, January 31)

How do I file and pay gambling tax?

Complete and sign the applicable section, "Gambling Tax", on the Combined Tax Form.  Remit form and payment to: 

 
City of Renton
Attn: Tax and License Division
1055 South Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057
Entertainment Device License
Overview 

All entertainment devices shall be licensed to operate lawfully within any establishment in the city of Renton, pursuant to Renton Municipal Code (RMC) section 5-7.  Entertainment device is defined as any machine, structure, apparatus, or device of any type that provides for entertainment or amusement or as a game of skill for which a charge is made for use or play.  Such devices include, but are not limited to:

  • Phonograph, nickelodeon, or similar mechanical music machine
  • Any type or variation of games known as shuffleboard, pool, foosball, bowling alley (portable), darts, or video game, electronically activated or not

License fees are $30 per device per quarter (or $120 annually per device), however, license fees shall not exceed $3,000 per year at a single location.  Licenses are non-transferable and non-refundable and each license shall be kept in prominent display at the location for which the license has been issued.

When is registration and payment due?

Entertainment devices are required to be registered and paid quarterly. Registration and payment are due on the 30th day of the month immediately succeeding the quarter in which the fee is accrued.

Fee Accrued   Payment Due  
January 1 - March 31 (1st Quarter) April 30
April 1 - June 30 (2nd quarter) July 31
July 1 - September 30 (3rd Quarter) October 31
October 1 - December 31 (4th Quarter)   January 31

How do I register and pay my entertainment device?

Complete and sign the applicable section, "Entertainment Device Registration", on the Combined Tax Form.  Remit registration and payment to: 

City of Renton
Attn: Tax and License Division
1055 South Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057

 

 

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