City of Portland business tax and rental registration

After years of struggling with the City of Portland Revenue Division, I’m finally throwing in the towel. I give up. As of March 2019, I will no longer be corresponding with the Revenue Division on behalf of my clients.

This much has not changed: As part of the normal tax preparation process, I will determine whether you owe any business tax – officially known as the “Multnomah County Business Income Tax” and the “City of Portland Business License Tax”. Typically, tax is owed only if your gross revenue (before expenses) from self-employment activity, rental activity, or sale of business property is greater than $50,000.

If more than $50k revenue: I will prepare your “Combined Tax Return” along with your federal and state income tax returns. I will give you instructions on filing the return and submitting payment. I will no longer be submitting any “supporting documents” to the City, on your behalf. Instead, I will provide you with a pdf copy of your federal tax return, and Schedule R (Portland “Residential Rental Registration”) if applicable. You will need to submit these to the City on your own. This can be done by mail, email, fax, or through the City’s website (www.pdxbl.org).

If less than $50k revenue: I will prepare your “Annual Exemption Request” along with your federal and state income tax returns. I will no longer be submitting the Annual Exemption Request nor any “supporting documents” to the City, on your behalf. I will provide you with a pdf copy of your federal tax return, Annual Exemption Request, and Schedule R (Portland “Residential Rental Registration”) if applicable. You will need to submit these to the City on your own. This can be done by mail, email, fax, or through the City’s website (www.pdxbl.org). Also see “Ongoing exemptions” below.

Worth considering – financial disclosure: The City does not require all pages of your federal tax return. If you wish to limit the amount of information that you’re disclosing to the City, you may choose not to send in pages that are not specifically required. I will not make this determination for you; I can’t even tell you which pages are or aren’t required. If the City decides that they need more information than what you’ve provided, they will send you a notice requesting additional pages from your tax return.

Ongoing exemptions: In the past, the City has occasionally granted an ongoing annual exemption to a self-employed individual, waiving the annual filing requirement. This is between you and the City; I will continue to prepare the Annual Exemption Request as above, and it is up to you to determine whether or not you have an ongoing exemption. In some cases, you can request an ongoing exemption by filing a “De Minimus Exemption Form”, which can be found here.

Bottom Line: I will no longer be communicating with the City of Portland Revenue Division on behalf of any of my clients. You may of course contact me if you are having difficulty navigating the City’s filing requirements and processes, but I will no longer position myself between you and the City, as intermediary. I will prepare the tax forms, and I will provide you with the necessary supporting documentation, but it will be up to you to manage the actual filing process and all communications with the City.

The information on this page is current only up to the original date of publication: March 12, 2019. For more information, please see the Terms of Use.