Tax and License

Tax and License Customer Service Hours

Tax and License's customer service counter hours are Monday through Friday from 8 AMuntil 5 PM.

The customer service counter gets very busy during the week before and the week after a quarter filing due date. To avoid the lines in office, pay your license and taxes online or mail your payment in.  If you need to come to the office, the best time to avoid longer wait times is between the hours of 8 AM to 11:30 AM and 2 PM to 4 PM.

Applications for business licenses received after 4 PM will be accepted. However, they may not be processed the same day.  

Guide to City of Tacoma Business & Occupation Tax

Need information about Tacoma's B&O Tax? Use the Guide to City of Tacoma's Business & Occupation Tax. This pamphlet will give you the basics about Tacoma's B&O.  It includes information about current tax rates, common deductions and exemptions to how to file and pay. 


General Contractors

Did you know that all sub-contractors working at a job site in Tacoma must be licensed with the City of Tacoma?  If any of your sub-contractors do not have a City of Tacoma License please have them contact the Tax & License Division at (253) 591-5252. Download the Contractor Licensing Flyer to let your sub-contractors know. 

Renew Your Business License Online

Current Tax and License customers can now pay their B&O taxes and Annual Business License Renewals online, for more information visit the B&O Tax Rates page.

Do You Own Rental Property in Tacoma?

All rental properties must meet the standards set forth in the State Landlord Tenant Act, Title 59 Section 59.18.060 and the property must not present conditions that endanger or impair the health or safety of the tenants.  To assist landlords in making sure their property(s) is safe and meets these standards download the Guide to Residential Rental Inspection.

New Tax Threshold for Gross Income - Effective January, 1 2011 

The threshold is raised from $75,000 to $250,000.  Tax Credit -Businesses with gross income between $250,000 and $300,000 will have credit available and pay only a percentage of their tax due.  For more information, visit B&O Tax Rates.


Job Credit Change

A change to TMC (Ordinance 27862) has redefined when an employer is required to pay back credits once an employer has lost eligibility for the credit.  As a result of the change, an employer is not required to pay back the tax credit received for any prior periods if "there exists or existed a recognized general economic recession or a declared natural disaster." 


If you have lost eligibility for one or more job credits, please complete the Jobs Credit Economic or Disaster Declaration form. An auditor will review and contact you. For more information please contact the Tax and License Division at (253) 591-5252.

New Resources for Businesses Seeking State of Washington Information

Customers looking for regulatory permit information can find a link to the Governor's Office of Regulatory Assistance.  This office was specifically created to help companies and people navigate the complex environmental permitting and licensing required by local cities, counties, state and federal agencies.  The Office of Regulatory Assistance also provides small business assistance and works to improve the regulatory process. Visit the Office of Regulatory Assistance for more information or call (800) 917-0043. For business licensing assistance visit the Washington State website.

Zoning, Permits, or Inspections

The City of Tacoma's zoning, permit, or inspection information is just a click away when you use the City of Tacoma's govME.  Are you unsure if your business address is inside the city limits or your current zoning allows you to have an auto body shop?  Do you want to see if you are located in an historical area?  This information and more is available at govME today.

Do you have a monitored burglar or fire alarm inside the City of Tacoma?

Tacoma Municipal Code 6B.40 requires any business that monitors alarms located within the City of Tacoma have a Monitored Alarms Device License for each alarm system in Tacoma.  The $40.00 annual fee is paid on a per system basis.  

The alarm ordinance imposes all fees on the licensee the alarm company.  The City does not impose any fees directly on the alarm company customers.  The alarm companies may choose to absorb these fees or they may pass the fee along to their individual customers.  It is purely a business decision the alarm company makes based on their own business strategies and contracts with their customers.  

If you receive an invoice for a false alarm, only your monitoring company can file a dispute on your behalf.  Please contact them directly with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Service for Existing Tax and License Business Customers

Tax and License customers can view and print their license and tax return forms, update account information, and provide business closure information online through Tacoma Services.

The City of Tacoma's Tax and License Business Records Search, similar to the Washington State Department of Revenue records search provides you with public information for businesses registered with the City of Tacoma.  It is a free service provided for informational purposes only.  Creating a list from this information for commercial purposes is prohibited by law. 

City of Tacoma Voluntary Registration

In the case of any unregistered taxpayer doing business in the city that voluntarily registers prior to being contacted by the department, the department shall not assess for back taxes or interest for more than four calendar years prior to the year of registration.  The late payment penalty imposed for taxes under TMC 6A.10.110(a) shall not apply.

For additional questions please contact the Tax and License Department at (253) 591-5252 or visit the Title 6 of the Tacoma Municipal Code page.

Contact Us

733 Market Street #21
Tacoma WA 98402

(253) 591-5252

Fax: (253) 591-5512

Your one-stop shop for local business licensing and tax filing.

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