Business License and Tax Information

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.

The License Section is working with minimal staff in the office, while the majority of our staff work from their homes.  Emails can still be sent to the License email box, Tax-License@tucsonaz.gov, and the License phone line is available to leave voice mail messages only.

 

Starting with the January 2017 tax period, all current privilege (sales) taxes for the City of Tucson MUST be filed with the Arizona Department of Revenue using the city region code 'TU'.

Any privilege (sales) tax returns for periods up to and including December 2016 should still be filed with the City of Tucson Taxpayer Assistance Group.

Contact the License Section at:

Phone:  (520) 791-4566 VOICE MAIL ONLY
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
 
 

City Accepting Requests for Deferral of Quarterly Liquor Taxes for Qualifying Businesses

On September 9, 2020, Mayor and Council passed Resolution 23277.  This resolution will allow qualifying businesses with Series 6 (Full Bar) or Series 7 (Beer & Wine Bar) Liquor Licenses, issued by the State of Arizona, to defer payment of their Tucson quarterly liquor taxes normally due under Section 19-52 of the city code.  Approved deferrals are good through January 1, 2021, or until the date when establishments with such licenses are permitted to reopen per proclamation of the Governor.  An approved deferral allows the business to pay the deferred quarterly liquor taxes when the business reopens. Qualifying businesses have until June 30, 2021 to remit to the City the quarterly liquor taxes deferred, and they may ask for a payment plan.  Penalties that accrue during the deferral time will be waived once the deferred quarterly taxes are paid in full.

To qualify for the deferral, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The business was closed due to the Governor’s emergency public health proclamation.
  2. The business is current on payment with the City for all other taxes, fees, and licenses owed to the City.

To request a deferral, please send an e-mail to Tax-Investigations@tucsonaz.gov.  The e-mail should contain the following:

  1. A list of the quarters the business wishes to defer.
  2. A written statement certifying the time period the business has been closed.
  3. A written statement of understanding that the deferred quarterly liquor taxes will be due when the business re-opens.
  4. A written request for a payment plan if one is desired.

City staff will respond regarding the approval or denial of all requests for deferral of the quarterly liquor taxes.  For any questions, please e-mail Tax-Investigations@tucsonaz.gov or call 520-791-4247.

 

Special Note Regarding Construction Contracting and the Tax Rate Increase (pdf)

For the purposes of City of Tucson Regulation 19-415.3 (Construction contracting; tax rate effective date), the City has chosen to establish the tax rate effective date (February 1, 2018) as the "enactment date". 

Contracts executed prior to February 1, 2018, will be subject to the current city tax rate of 2.5%, while contracts executed on or after February 1, 2018 will be subject to the new city tax rate of 2.6%.  Regardless of when a contract is executed, if change orders are executed on or after February 1, 2018, they will be subject to the new city tax rate of 2.6%.  Please complete and return this form for any contracts or projects inside Tucson city limits that qualify for this grandfathering.  The form is fillable if opened in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader, otherwise it may be printed and completed manually.  

Once completed, it must be forwarded to the Tax Audit Section, using the contact information at the bottom of the form.  Please note that this regulation only applies to the activity of construction contracting, and not to any other business activities for which contracts may have been executed.

 

City of Tucson Tax Rate Increase--effective February 1, 2018 (pdf)

Please note that, effective February 1, 2018, the City of Tucson Business Privilege Tax Rate has increased one tenth of a percent to 2.6 percent.  This rate change is the result of the November 7th City of Tucson General Election where voters approved Propositions 202 and 203, which authorized a tax increase to support the Reid Park Zoo. 

Click this link to access a flyer that lists the affected business activities and also identifies the business activities for which the tax rate did not increase (requires a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader).

 

ADOR Telephone and Website Quick Reference

This was compiled from a handout distributed by ADOR at some of their recent taxpayer seminars.  It lists important telephone numbers for their department, as well as a list of easy steps to locate important TPT-related information on their website.

 

Deduction Codes Cross Reference for Retail

Deduction Codes Cross Reference for Restaurants

Deduction Codes Cross Reference for Rental of Real Property

The above files are listings showing what deduction codes to use when filing your Tucson taxes on your January 2017 TPT return with the Arizona Department of Revenue for the following activities:  retail, restaurants, and rental of real property.  More are on the way!!

 

Business License Process for the City of Tucson

This brochure is designed to help City of Tucson business license applicants to complete the necessary steps in the licensing process.  By answering a series of simple yes/no questions, applicants can determine the various departments they may need to contact, and how and where to contact them.  The brochure is a PDF file, best viewed using the Adobe Reader application.

 

Attention Special Event Vendors (including Gem Show, Street Fair, Rodeo Parade, and all other event vendors)

The City of Tucson e-Tax system can NOT be used for licensing for special events.  It can only be used to apply for regular City of Tucson business licenses.  For confirmation of whether you have the required licenses for events in the City of Tucson, please read the following directions:

Gem Show Vendors:  Please contact the Revenue Investigations Section at (520) 791-4247, or via e-mail at Tax-Investigations@tucsonaz.gov.

All Other Special Event Vendors (excluding vendors for the 4th Avenue Street Fair or the Tucson Rodeo Parade):  Please contact the License Section at (520) 791-4566 or via e-mail at Tax-License@tucsonaz.gov.

City of Tucson Code

The entire City Code is available through this link.  Refer to Chapter 19 for information regarding City privilege taxes, occupational taxes, and business licenses.  Refer to Chapter 7 for information regarding regulated business licenses.

Liquor License Applications

Applications for liquor licenses begin with the State of Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control and are then referred to the appropriate local governments.  Information regarding the City application fees and review process by Mayor and Council are available on the City Clerk's website.  For information regarding the amounts and billing of quarterly liquor license fees for the City, contact the License Section at (520) 791-4566.

Information Regarding Rental of Commercial Real Property Between Related Parties

 

e-Tax: Tucson Tax and License Online

Website               Information

Through this site you can:

  • apply for a new Tucson business license
  • file a business (sales) tax return for periods PRIOR to January 1, 2017
  • pay license fees and taxes due
  • review account information
  • contact tax and license representatives for help with any questions you may have

Buying a Business – Important Information

A person buying a business is liable for unpaid taxes of the seller's business. Before purchasing any business, the buyer should require the seller to provide a “Letter of Good Standing” issued by the License Section at (520) 791-4566. This document states there is no tax amount outstanding as of the date of issuance. Additionally, if the business has a liquor license, the buyer needs to contact the Revenue Investigations Section at (520) 791-4247 to determine if a liquor complaint has been filed with the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control at (602) 542-5141 for unpaid taxes.

 

New Business License Downloads

 

Other Business Resources:

Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA)

Small Business Services (SBS) (http://www.azcommerce.com/programs/small-business-services) Free Online Resources for Developing a Successful Business:

Provides information and resources for every stage of your business development. Small Business Services collaborates with state agencies and numerous business organizations to promote entrepreneurship among small, minority-, women-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises. In addition, they advocate on small business issues that are important throughout Arizona.

Checklist Program - designed to help you easily navigate information on what you need to know, who you need to contact and where you need to go to license your business in Arizona. It also includes contact information to statewide resources and assistance to accelerate your business growth.

Arizona Entrepreneur's Edge - Arizona's official resource guide for starting, operating and growing a business in Arizona. This guide provides general information for new business owners and serves as a reference and directory for established businesses of all sizes.

Tucson Electric Power Commercial Energy Solutions Small Business Program

TEP’s Small Business program encourages contractors to install selected high-efficiency lighting, HVAC and refrigeration measures for TEP small business customers.