FYI It's Business Tax Renewal Time Again!



Los angeles BUSINESS TAX:
See if you qualify for a tax exemption

Los Angeles, CA

Tax season is upon us, but sometimes people forget about city business taxes. Ahem, it’s due tomorrow (February 28, 2019) if you live in Los Angeles.


Who is required to pay the tax in Los Angeles?

Every person who engages in business (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, etc.) within the City of Los Angeles is required to obtain the necessary TRC(s) aka Tax Registration Certificate and pay the business tax or obtain an exemption (see below).

If your business is located within an unincorporated area within the County of Los Angeles, you may also be required to obtain a business license from the county and more information on these requirements can be found here.

I made money last year in Los Angeles, but have never registered!

It’s OK! You’ve missed the deadline to get an exemption, but the tax is usually pretty small. Fill out this form for your Tax Registration Certificate ASAP.

After you apply with the ridiculously confusing application, you’ll get a letter in 4 weeks with instructions on how to pay your taxes for 2018.


Exemptions a.k.a. no city taxes!

Did you get that yellow card in the mail? Or received an email from You might apply for an exemption! There are two:

Creative Artists Exemption ($300,000 or less)

Aren’t we all creative artists? Well, according to LA Business Tax Ordinance, it’s typically referring to the Entertainment industry. Here’s the FAQ.

If you’ve done work used for commercial purposes and made under $100K, you probably apply for the Small Business Exemption.


Author of books, essays, poems or short stories ✓
Journalist X
Copywriter for Marketing X
Speaker X
Actor ✓
Recording Artist ✓
Songwriter ✓
Director ✓
Web Designer X
Commercial Photographer X
Commercial Graphic Designer X
Commercial Illustrator X
Animator ✓
Assistant to creative ✓

Small Business Exemption ($100,000 or less)

If your global gross receipts are under $100,000 and you renew on time (February 28th, 2019) you may be eligible for this exemption! Here’s the FAQ.

Non-Profit, Charitable, or Religious Organization Exemptions

Applies to Charitable, Non Profit or Religious Institutions where these institutions are entitled to an exemption as a matter of State or Federal Law. Here’s the FAQ.

Even if no tax is due, you must submit a completed renewal.

Not a Los Angeles resident? Check to see if your city’s Office of Finance has a Business Tax.

Shawn Binder