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Business Taxes and 911 Charges
Frequently Asked Questions


The Treasury Division's eBiz Center makes it easy to pay business taxes online, paper-free, anytime!

You can manage taxes for most accounts in the eBiz Tax Center:

  • Sales Tax 
  • Use Tax 
  • Occupational Privilege Tax
  • Lodger's Tax
  • Telecommunications Business Tax
  • Emergency Telephone Charge (E911)
  • Facilities Development Tax

Get Started with eBiz Tax Services!

Sales Tax

The Denver Revised Municipal Code (DRMC) imposes a sales tax on the purchase price paid or charged on retail sales, leases, or rentals of tangible personal property, products and certain services.  Taxable services include, but are not limited to, the sale or furnishing of telephone and certain telecommunications services, electricity, steam and natural gas for energy producing purposes, informational, and entertainment services.

Rates and Definitions

Download the Denver sales/use tax rate sheets for 2018 or 2019.

Sales tax is imposed on the purchase price of retail sales, leases, or rentals of taxable tangible personal property, products, and services that are sold or furnished to customers in Denver or are delivered to, stored, or used in Denver.

Services that are taxable when sold or furnished to customers in Denver include, but are not limited to: 

  • Informational services
  • Entertainment services
  • Software as a service
  • Telecommunications services
  • Gas, electric, or heating services

Businesses located outside the City and County of Denver are required to be licensed to collect and remit the Denver Retailer's Use Tax on taxable Denver retail sales if they are engaged in business within Denver, unless provided otherwise by the U.S. Constitution. "Engaged in business in the City" means performing or providing services or selling, leasing, renting, delivering or installing tangible personal property, products or services, for storage, use or consumption, within the city.

You need to keep the supporting invoices and records pertaining to the Denver sales tax return for four years following the due date of the return or the payment of the tax, whichever is later.

You need to charge the appropriate tax that applies to the location to which you are delivering the item, but to do so, you may need to have a tax license with other taxing jurisdictions in order to remit the collected tax.

If you have an eBiz Tax Center profile change your address online at www.denvergov.org/ebiztax.  For instructions, visit the “Addresses” section on the eBiz Help Page.    

You can also change your address by:

  • Calling the Taxpayer Service Unit at 720-913-9400
  • Mailing a letter explaining the change of address with your Denver sales/use tax return in your remittance envelope.
  • Faxing the change to 720-913-9475; or
  • Emailing the change to 311@denvergov.org

NOTE: Include your account number on all requests.

Visit www.denvergov.org/treasury and click on the Search Now button on the Sales Tax License Search box. You can also call the Taxpayer Service Unit at 720-913-9400 to verify a license.

You have met the requirements for the sales/use tax if Denver sales tax was paid or the difference between the legally imposed and the combined Colorado/Denver/District tax rate has been paid. In this case, you would not have met the personal property tax requirement, because that is a different tax payable to the County Treasurer every year on the valuation of the property.

Food or beverage sold or purchased for business use or for immediate consumption is subject to Denver sales tax of 4%. Only food or beverage purchased in Denver for domestic home consumption is exempt from Denver sales tax.

NOTE: Denver sales tax of 4% is due on all alcoholic beverages purchased in Denver whether by the container or by the drink.

Yes.  The amount charged on the subsequent leaseback would be taxable.

Denver is a Home Rule city. As such, it has elected to administer and collect its own local sales and use tax. 

If the answer to your Denver tax question cannot be found on the web site, call the Taxpayer Service Unit at 720-913-9400, or e-mail us at 311@denvergov.org.

Sales Tax Licenses

A Denver sales tax license is required when a business located in Denver makes retail sales, leases, or rentals of tangible personal property or taxable services. Even if a Denver sales tax license is not required, businesses located in Denver are subject to Denver use tax, which may require a Denver consumer use tax registration. See the use tax FAQs.

Note: A business located outside Denver , that makes retail sales, leases, or rentals of tangible personal property or taxable services in Denver , is required to obtain a Denver retailer’s use tax license. See the use tax FAQs.

If you are participating in an event or endeavor that runs less than two weeks, such as a car show at the Coliseum or the People's Fair, you are required to pay a Special Event Fee of $5.00, which is only valid for that event. Sales tax on special events is due the 20th of the month following the month in which the event took place. Events or endeavors that last two weeks or longer require a regular Denver sales tax account.

There is not an annual special event fee. If you are participating in a special event such as a car show at the Coliseum or the People’s Fair, you are required to pay a Special Event Fee of $5.00, which is only valid for that event.

Yes. Any business located in Denver (even those operating out of a residence) that makes retail sales, leases, or rentals of tangible personal property or certain services needs a Denver sales tax license.

Note: Even if a Denver sales tax license is not required, businesses located in Denver are subject to Denver consumer’s use tax, which may require a Denver use tax registration. See the use tax FAQs.

Yes. If you are located in or have some other physical presence in Denver, you are required to obtain a Denver sales tax license and collect and remit Denver sales tax on sales made in Denver.

Yes. A Denver sales tax license is required for any business located in Denver that makes retail sales, leases, or rentals of tangible personal property or taxable services. If the temporary business makes sales for less than two weeks, a special event license may be allowed; otherwise a regular sales tax license is required.

The fee for a Denver sales tax license is $50 per location for a 2-year period beginning January 1 of each even-numbered year. The fee is pro-rated if a business begins within the period as follows:

New licenses start date 
1st six months (Jan-Jun of even-numbered year) $50.00 for each location 
2nd six months (Jul-Dec of even-numbered year)  $37.50 for each location
3rd six months (Jan-Jun of odd-numbered year)  $25.00 for each location
4th six months (Jul-Dec of odd-numbered year)  $12.50 for each location

The fee for a Denver special event sales tax license if $5.00. A separate special event license is needed for each different event.

You may:

  • Call the Taxpayer Service Unit at 720-913-9400
  • Fax your inquiry to 720-913-9475
  • E-mail your inquiry to treasinfo@denvergov.org

Yes. 

A Retailer’s Use Tax registration is required for a retail vendor located outside Denver is required to obtain a Denver retailer’s use tax license when it:

  • Leases tangible personal property that is located in Denver
  • Has employees in Denver (i.e. performing repairs or installations in Denver)
  • Has sales personnel in Denver soliciting orders
  • Makes other solicitations in Denver, either by direct or indirect representatives, distributions of catalogs or other advertising, or by the use of other advertising media that is directed to the residents of Denver

A Consumer’s Use Tax registration is required if your business does not need a Denver sales tax or retailer’s use tax license and uses, stores, distributes, or consumes tangible personal property, products or taxable services in Denver.

An Occupational Privilege Tax registration is required if your organization engages in any business, trade, occupation or profession in Denver.

A Lodger’s Tax registration is required for the sale of lodging for a period of less than 30 consecutive days defined as sleeping accommodations in a hotel, apartment hotel, lodging house, motor house, motor hotel, guest house, guest ranch, resort, mobile home, auto camp, trailer court, park or other short-term rental.

A business license and a special industry license may be required to conduct business in Denver. For more information contact the Excise and Licenses department at 720-865-2740.

Contact the Taxpayer Services for any of the following applicable licenses and accounts:

  • Facilities Development Admission (FDA) Tax
  • Telecommunications Business Tax (TBT)
  • Emergency Telephone Charges (E911)

No.  You will need to:

  • Collect Denver sales tax when applicable, and report and remit Denver sales tax on time.
  • Timely report and remit use tax on tangible personal property and taxable services used in Denver on which the equivalent of Denver sales tax was not collected at the time of purchase.
  • Register for Denver Occupational Privilege Tax (OPT) and report and remit that tax on time, if you or your employees perform services in Denver.
  • Check the other taxes administered by Denver (Facilities Development Admissions Tax [FDA], Lodger’s Tax, and Telecommunications Business Tax [TBT]) to see if they apply to your business.

Due Dates & Filing

Denver sales tax is due the 20th of the month following the period in which the liability was incurred.  The period is determined by the filing frequency.

The filing frequency is determined by the average amount of use tax due each month. If no payment history exists, an industry standard is used.


NOTE: Bars, liquor stores, restaurants, caterers and street vendors are required to file monthly returns, irrespective of sales tax volume.

Frequency   Average Due Each Month
Monthly $300.00 or more
Quarterly $15.01 to $299.99
Annual $15.00 or less

You can, if the average amount of Denver sales tax collected and/or use tax due is less than $15/month.

Yes. Tax is due for the period in which the sale occurs, even if full payment was not received in that period (credit sales, lay-away, etc.)

You need to complete an amended Denver sales tax return when an error is discovered on a previously filed return.

You can send your paper return and payment to the Sales Tax Return & Payment Mailing Address:

City and County of Denver
Department of Finance, Treasury Division
PO Box 660860
Dallas, TX 75266-0860

A 15% penalty is charged on the amount of tax that is paid late, with a minimum penalty of $25.00.
NOTE: The minimum penalty is due on all Denver tax returns that are filed late, even if no tax is due.
Interest, at the rate of 1% each month or a fraction thereof, is charged on the amount of the tax that is paid late, calculated from the time the return was due to the date that it is paid.
How do I calculate the penalty and interest due on a Denver sales tax return filed late?
Penalty: Multiply the total tax due by 0.15. If the answer is zero or less than $25.00, pay the minimum penalty of $25.00.
Interest: Multiply the total tax due by 0.01. Multiply that answer by the number of months (or fraction of a month) between the date the return was due and the date payment will be made. Payment date is determined by the postmark date, if mailed.
Example: If a return was due on April 20, but payment was not made until May 23, 2% interest would be due (one whole month, and one fraction of a month).

The $25.00 minimum penalty, charged for failure to file a return, even if no tax is due.

The collection process will begin, starting with the issuance of an estimated assessment, based either on the average tax you previously reported or on a standard for your industry. 

NOTE
:  Even if no tax is due, the minimum $25.00 penalty will be charged.

Use Tax

Consumer Use Tax is imposed on tangible personal property, products, and certain taxable services – generally furniture, fixtures, equipment, and supplies (not inventory), software, digital products that is used, stored or consumed within Denver upon which local sales tax equal to or greater than Denver’s rate has not been paid.

Retailer’s use tax is the equivalent of sales tax that is collected and remitted by a business located outside Denver that engages in business in Denver. It follows sales tax rules, is collected as sales tax, and uses sales tax returns to report and remit the tax. 

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Consumer’s use tax is imposed on the privilege of using, storing, distributing, or consuming taxable tangible personal property, products, or services, purchased at retail, within Denver when a legally imposed sales/use tax equal to or greater than the combined Denver/State sales tax rate (8.31% effective 01/01/2019), has not been paid at the time of purchase.

Retailer’s use tax is imposed on the same transactions that would require Denver sales tax if the vendor were located in Denver.

A business that has a Denver sales tax license automatically also has a Denver consumer’s use tax registration. The Denver consumer’s use tax is reported with sales tax on the combined Denver sales/use tax return.

 Sales/Use Tax Rates (Effective 1/1/2019)
Sales, rental or lease of tangible personal property   4.31%
Exceptions
Short term car rentals  7.25%
Food, beverage and liquor sales  4.0%
Aviation fuel  $.04 per gallon

The taxes are due on the same schedule as the sales taxes.  The Retailer’s Use tax is reported on the Sales tax return.

Consumer’s Use tax is reported on the Sales tax form for businesses licensed as Sales or Retailer’s use under schedule B.

Consumer’s Use tax is reported on its own return when a business does not make taxable sales as previously described in the Sales and Retailer’s Use tax sections, but has a liability for property, products and taxable services used, stored, distributed or consumed in Denver.

A business that does not require a Denver sales tax license needs a Denver consumer use tax account if it uses, stores, distributes, or consumes taxable tangible personal property, products or services within Denver that has been purchased at retail.

Example: A new business in Denver only performs non-taxable services. Even though the business does not purchase inventory for resale, it would need a Denver use tax account to report taxes due if sufficient sales tax hasn’t been charged and paid at the time of purchase to a licensed vendor. Frequently, purchases from vendors outside Denver; online purchases or leases a vehicle from a lesser that does not collect sales may need to be self-reported by the Denver company acquiring the tangible personal property, products and services in the City.

A retail vendor located outside Denver is required to obtain a Denver retailer’s use tax license when it:

  • Leases tangible personal property that is located in Denver
  • Has employees in Denver (i.e. performing repairs or installations in Denver)
  • Has sales personnel in Denver soliciting orders
  • Makes other solicitations in Denver, either by direct or indirect representatives, distributions of catalogs or other advertising, or by the use of other advertising media that is directed to the residents of Denver

You can mail payments and returns to the Use Tax Return & Payment Mailing Address:

City and County of Denver
Department of Finance, Treasury Division
PO Box 660860
Dallas, TX 75266-0860

Occupational Privilege Tax

Denver occupational privilege tax is also known as OPT or head tax.  The occupational privilege tax consists of two distinct parts: the employee occupational privilege tax and the business occupational privilege tax.  The tax is imposed on businesses operating in the City and on individuals who perform sufficient services within Denver to receive as compensation from an employer at least five hundred dollars ($500) for a calendar month. 

Each taxable employee is liable for the employee OPT, which is withheld by the employer at a rate of $5.75 per month.  The employer is also required to pay the business OPT at a rate of $4.00 per month for each taxable employee. 

Employees need not live in Denver nor the business be based within Denver to be liable for the OPT.  Additionally, the employer is required to pay the business OPT at a rate of $4.00 per month for each owner, partner, or manager engaged in business in Denver regardless of how much they earn.

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It is commonly called a head tax. It is a tax imposed on businesses operating in Denver (Business OPT) and on individuals who earn at least $500 in a month performing services in Denver (Employee OPT).

The Business OPT is the tax imposed on businesses that have employees who meet the $500-a-month earnings test, and on the owners, partners or managers of businesses that perform any business, trade, occupation or profession in Denver.

The rate is $4.00 per person per month.

The $500-a-month earnings test means that the employee performs sufficient services in Denver to earn at least $500 from all sources (wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, etc.). This is not comparable to taxable income for income tax purposes.

Example: if an employee makes $600 a month working in Denver, and has a 401K plan deduction for $200, the employee’s taxable wages for income tax purposes is $400. However, the employee’s earnings for OPT purposes would remain at $600, and the OPT would be due.

An employee who earns at least $500 in a month from performing services in Denver is liable for the Employee OPT, which is to be withheld from their wages at the rate of $5.75 a month and remitted to Denver by the employer.

An employer is liable for paying Business OPT at the rate of $4.00 a month per each employee who is liable for Employee OPT. In addition, an employer is liable for paying the Business OPT at the rate of $4.00 per month on each owner, partner, or manager performing services in Denver, for any month in which the business operates in Denver. 

The OPT return is due on the last day of the month following the period in which the liability was incurred. The period is determined by the filing frequency, either monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Example: If a quarterly filer is paying the first quarter (January through March), the payment would be due on April 30.

  • Businesses that have 10 or more employees must file a return monthly. 
  • Businesses that have fewer than 10 employees, may file a return quarterly. 
  • If you are an individual, sole proprietor, or a partnership, without employees who are subject to the OPT, you are allowed to pay in advance for the entire calendar year. 

If you are an individual, sole proprietor, or a partnership without employees who are subject to the tax, you may pay for the entire calendar year. This annual payment is due on January 31st of each year.

There is a 15% penalty on the total amount of tax that was paid late, with a minimum penalty of $25.00.

The interest rate for late filers is 1% each month or fraction of a month on the total amount of tax paid late, calculated from the time the return was due to the date the tax is paid.

  • Penalty: Multiply the total tax due by 0.15. If the answer is less than $25.00, pay the minimum penalty of $25.00.
  • Interest: Multiply the total tax due by 0.01. Multiply that answer by the number of months (or fraction of a month) between the date the return was due and the date payment will be made. Payment date is determined by the postmark date, if mailed.
Example: If a return was due on April 30, but payment was not made until June 3, 2% interest would be due (one whole month, and one fraction of a month).

Remit $5.75 Employee OPT for each employee who earns at least $500 in a calendar month from performing services in Denver . This tax amount should be withheld from the employee’s wages. Officers of corporations are considered employees, so the $5.75 would need to be withheld from their wages whenever they meet the $500 earnings test.

Also remit $4.00 Business OPT for each taxable employee. This tax amount is due from the employer.

If the business is a sole proprietor or a partnership, remit only the Business OPT portion at the rate of $4.00 a month for each owner or partner. Owners and partners are not considered employees and the $500 earning test does not apply. The business would still be liable for Business OPT on other taxable employees.

Individuals who work for more than one Denver employer are required to pay the Employee OPT only once. The employee should submit Form TD269 to the secondary employer, requesting that the Employee OPT not be withheld from their wages. However, the Business OPT of $4.00 would still be due from the secondary employer.

Individuals who work in Denver for more than one employer are required to pay the Employee OPT only once. The employee should submit Form TD269 to the secondary employer, requesting that the Employee OPT not be withheld from their wages. Alternatively, if more than one employer withheld the taxes, a Claim for Refund form may be submitted.

Your business is liable for paying a minimum of $4.00 Business OPT tax for each month in which it performs any business, trade, occupation or profession in Denver. If your employees earn at least $500 in a month from performing services in Denver, both Employee OPT and Business OPT are due for those months.

Two possible reasons are:

  • Your business has employees who earn at least $500 in a month from performing services in Denver . Examples: 
    • Drivers who make deliveries in Denver 
    • People who make repairs or service equipment in Denver 
    • Salespeople who call on customers in Denver 
    • Lobbyists or attorneys who earn income who come into Denver to work 
    • Real estate agents or brokers who earn commissions from the sale of property in Denver . 
  • Your business is liable for paying Business OPT for any month in which it performs a business, trade, occupation or profession in Denver . 

Your business is liable for paying a minimum of $4.00 Business OPT tax for each month in which it performs any business, trade, occupation or profession in Denver. The $500 earnings test does not apply to sole proprietors and partners.

You can find the guide to bulk OPT filing and payment here.

View the Tax Topic Guide on OPT. You can also call our office at 720-913-9400, or e-mail us at 311@denvergov.org.

Lodger's Tax

Denver imposes a tax on the sale of lodging of 10.75%.  The entire amount charged to any person for overnight accommodations or rooms (defined as sleeping accommodations in a hotel, apartment hotel, lodging house, motor house, motor hotel, guest house, guest ranch, resort, mobile home, auto camp, trailer court or park), who is not a permanent resident and who has not entered into a written agreement for occupancy of a room or rooms or sleeping accommodations for a period of at least thirty (30) consecutive days (and actually pays to occupy the room or rooms or sleeping accommodations for at least thirty (30) consecutive days), is taxable.

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Lodger’s Tax returns may be filed on an annual, quarterly or monthly basis. Filing frequencies are based on the following:

  • Monthly filing is required if the average monthly tax liability for the previous six months' exceeds $300.00. The return is due on the 20th day of the month following the taxable month. (Ex – Return for November is due by December 20th)
  • Quarterly filing is allowed if the monthly tax liability for the preceding six months' averages $300.00 or less. Due dates are April 20, July 20, October 20 and January 20.
  • Annual filing is allowed if the monthly tax liability for the preceding six months averages $15.00 or less. The return is due on the 20th day of January following the taxable year.

You can mail payments and returns to the Lodger's Tax Return & Payment Mailing Address:

City and County of Denver
Department of Finance, Treasury Division
PO Box 660860
Dallas, TX 75266-0860

Short-Term Rental Taxation

NOTE – Beginning April 1, 2018, Airbnb will begin collecting Denver Lodger’s Tax on sales of short term lodging. As of April 1, 2018, hosts will no longer need to collect the tax on sales made through Airbnb. Airbnb hosts will still be required to collect Lodger’s Tax on sales made through March 31, 2018.

Beginning October 1, 2019, the HomeAway platform covering HomeAway, Vrbo, and VacationRentals.com will begin collecting Denver Lodger’s Tax on sales of short term lodging. As of October 1, 2019 hosts will no longer need to collect tax on sales made through HomeAway platform.

If vendors are only using the platforms noted above, they are still required to have a Lodger's Tax license. However, they may change their account to an annual filing status, if their total liability is less than $15.00 per month owed directly from their own sales.

Sales made through another platform that does not collect Denver Lodger’s Tax remain taxable, and the host is still responsible to collect and remit the tax on those sales. In all cases it is necessary for each host to register for a Lodger’s Tax license and tax account and to register for Occupational Privilege Tax.

Denver imposes a tax on the sale of lodging, which includes the sale of short-term lodging (less than 30 days) at a private residence. Individuals or businesses engaged in the sale of short term lodging have certain tax requirements which are outlined below.

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Yes.  A Lodger's Tax license is required.  Additionally, anyone offering short term rentals must obtain a license with Denver’s Excise and License Department. To register and obtain additional licensing information, visit the Business Licensing Center - Short-Term Rentals in Denver

Tourism Improvement District Tax

The Tourism Improvement District (TID) is a mechanism to help fund tourism-related facility improvements and services.  Effective, January 1, 2018, the TID tax is a 1% tax imposed by the District on lodging in hotels that are located in the City and County of Denver and have 50 or more rooms. 

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For applicable hotels in the district, the total Denver tax to be charged and collected on lodging at these hotels is 11.75%. (10.75% Lodger’s tax and 1% TID tax) The State of Colorado also imposes a 4% Sales tax on lodging in Denver.

Yes. The total Denver tax to be charged and collected on lodging at these hotels is 11.75%. (10.75% Lodger’s tax and 1% TID tax) The State of Colorado also imposes a 4% Sales tax on lodging in Denver.

Both the TID and Lodger’s tax are filed on the same tax return.

Emergency Telephone Charges (E911)

The emergency telephone charge (E911) is a charge imposed on each phone number or service user within the City and County of Denver.  Every service supplier shall collect and remit the amount of $1.20 per month per exchange access facility, per wireless communications access, and per interconnected voice-over-internet-protocol access.

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$1.20 per month for each landline/wireline

$1.20 per month for each wireless line

$1.20 per month for each VOIP line 

The E911 filing form is due on the last day of the month following the period in which the liability was incurred. 

If the form is filed and all E911 charges due are remitted on or before the last day of the month following the period in which the liability was incurred, then the supplier may deduct and retain 0.02 (or 2%) times the charges collected on their form.  

  • Penalty: Multiply the total E911 charges due by 0.15. If the answer is less than $25.00, pay the minimum penalty of $25.00.
  • Interest: Multiply the total E911 charges due by 0.01. Multiply that answer by the number of months (or fraction of a month) between the date the E911 form was due and the date payment will be made. Payment date is determined by the postmark date, if mailed.

Example: If an E911 form was due on July 31st, but payment was not made until October 5th, 3% interest would be due.

You can mail payments and returns to the E911 Filing Form & Payment Mailing Address:

City and County of Denver
Department of Finance, Treasury Division
PO Box 660860
Dallas, TX 75266-0860

There is a 15% penalty on the total amount of E911 charges paid late, with a minimum penalty of $25.00. 

The interest rate for late filers is 1% each month or fraction of a month on the total amount of E911 charges paid late, calculated from the time the E911 form was due to the date the E911 charges are paid.

A form is still required to be filed even if no E911 charges are due in a particular month.

More information on e911 changes can be found:

Facilities Development Admission (FDA) Tax

Denver imposes a ten percent (10%) facilities development admissions tax upon the purchase price of each admission to any entertainment, amusement, or athletic event or other production or assembly staged, produced, convened or held in or on any City-owned property.  This tax is commonly referred to as the “seat tax.”

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Further information on the FDA tax can be found on the guides and returns linked here:

All filers - Due the 15th of the month following the month of sale/date of event.

You can mail payments and returns to the FDA Return & Payment Mailing Address:

FDA Tax Return & Payment Mailing Address:
City and County of Denver
Department of Finance, Treasury Division
PO Box 660860
Dallas, TX 75266-0860

Telecommunications Business Tax (TBT)

Denver imposes a tax upon telecommunications businesses authorized by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to provide local exchange service to general public customers in Denver.   The TBT is imposed at the rate of $1.12 per month for each of the telecommunications company’s accounts within the City to which a basic dial-tone line is provided.  It is imposed directly upon the business, as opposed to being collected from its customers and held in trust; however, the telecommunications companies are allowed by State statute and PUC authorization to show the charge separately on their billings to customers.

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You can mail payments and returns to the TBT Return & Payment Mailing Address:

TBT Return & Payment Mailing Address:
City and County of Denver
Department of Finance, Treasury Division
PO Box 660860
Dallas, TX 75266-0860

All filers - due the 20th day of the month following the month for which tax is levied

Register by creating an eBiz Center account to pay your Telecommunications Business Tax and other Denver taxes online. More information is available on the Telecommunications Business Tax Return (PDF) and in he Telecommunications Business Tax Guide (PDF).

Refunds, Collections and Delinquencies

Learn about collecting refunds, and dealing with collections and delinquencies on Denver taxes.

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Refunds

A business must submit a Claim for Refund form within 3 years (36 months) after the return was filed. Include a detailed explanation of how the error occurred, a copy of any invoice or credit memo involved, a copy of the sales journal showing how the sales were summarized and what amounts were originally reported and paid to Denver, and any other supporting documentation. Individuals or businesses that are claiming sales taxes overpaid to a vendor on a purchase must submit a Claim for Refund form within 60 days of the purchase. Include a copy of the appropriate sales receipt(s).

The Denver sales tax ordinance provides that the tax must be paid to the vendor. The vendor then provides a receipt, showing the tax was paid, to the purchaser. The purchaser can file a Claim for Refund, but must do so within 60 days of the purchase.

If another jurisdiction’s tax was properly imposed on a purchase, the amount of Denver consumer use tax due is the difference between what you would have paid if the purchase was made in Denver and the tax amount you actually paid, but never less than zero.

Example : Assume a purchase was made in a Colorado city on the western slope; sales tax at the combined rate of 4.9% tax was collected; and the item purchased was brought to Denver and used by a business in Denver. If the same item had been purchased in Denver, the combined tax rate would have been 8.31%. To calculate the Denver use tax due:

  • Subtract the 4.9% paid from the 8.31% due. 
  • The rate still due to Denver would be 3.41% (less than the normal 4.31%). 
  • Multiply the cost of the purchase by 3.41% to determine the amount of Denver use tax due. 

Note: If the combined tax actually paid is more than what would have been due in Denver, no Denver use tax is due, but no refund or credit will be given. Also, the above formula can never result in a Denver tax liability in excess of 4.31%.

Collections and Delinquencies

Call the specific revenue agent listed on the notice, or call the Taxpayer Service Unit at 720-913-9400.

The amount is estimated, based either on the average tax you previously reported or on a standard for your industry.

If you do not respond within 30 days from the date the 30-Day Demand was hand delivered or mailed, the amount of the 30-Day Demand becomes final and immediately due. A tax lien is in place on your business goods, merchandise, furniture and fixtures, tools and equipment. This property can then be distrained.

You may, within 30 days from the date the notice is hand delivered or from the date that it was mailed:

  • Pay the amount indicated on the 30-Day Demand
  • File a return (or an amended return) and pay the actual amount due. NOTE: Does not apply to assessments issued because of an audit.
  • Petition for a review of the assessment (Protest). This involves making a choice of a formal or informal hearing in front of a Hearing Officer and may require representation by an attorney of your choice.

A Denver Distraint Warrant is personally served by an Enforcement Officer. It accompanies a Jeopardy Assessment, which must be paid immediately. If payment is not made, Denver may change the locks, seize the business assets, and auction them for payment of the amount due.

When the tax return was entered into the Denver system, the calculated amount of tax liability did not match the amount paid. The main causes for a Notice of Underpayment are:

  • There was a mathematical error on the return
  • The amount paid was less than the amount due
  • The return was filed late, causing penalty and interest to be due
  • A credit that was claimed was denied (typically due to failure to provide documented proof)

Voluntary Disclosure Program

Eligible business owners are encouraged to come forward voluntarily and remit all sales, use, and occupational privilege taxes owed in exchange for a partial or full waiver of late penalties due on delinquent remittances.

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Denver’s Voluntary Disclosure Program is available to business owners who owe Denver tax but are not licensed and have not filed returns for sales, use, and/or occupational privilege tax.

If your business is liable for Denver excise taxes for prior months or years, your business may be eligible for this program. Your business is NOT eligible if any of the following conditions are true:

  1. Your company is under audit by the City and County of Denver
  2. Your company has been previously contacted by the City and County of Denver for any tax delinquencies
  3. Your company is currently licensed and registered for excise tax with the City and County of Denver

 

Sales, use, FDA, TBT, Lodger's, and occupational privilege taxes, as well as E-911 charges, may be remitted through the VDA program.

Regarding the VDA time period, this period is denoted on the VDA agreement form by the taxpayer. Here are the general look back periods for the various tax types.

1. Three years for Sales/Retailer's Use taxes which have not been collected from customers
2. Three years for consumer's use tax on expenses
3. Seven years for consumer's use tax on any taxable capital assets
4. Three years for any applicable occupational privilege taxes (OPT)

Please note: if Sales/Retailer's Use Taxes or Occupational Privilege Taxes were collected from customers or employees, respectively, those taxes are considered held in trust by your company for the City and then the look back period could extend to the date the company first started doing business in Denver.

An example look back period would be calculated as follows: if today is April 12, 2018, and if sales taxes have not been held in trust, a company would go back to three years to the most current whole month to start their reporting liability. The month of March 1, 2015, would be the start date of the VDA Agreement.

Step #1- Determine your business’s eligibility.

See the FAQ above titled, “Is my business eligible for this program.” To determine your eligibility.

Step #2 – Complete, sign and submit the appropriate agreement and power of attorney form.

If you have determined that your business is eligible for this program, the next step is to submit the appropriate voluntary disclosure agreement for the tax types for which you are disclosing.

If a third-party representative will be making submissions on your behalf, you must complete and submit the power of attorney form, which is included on the second page of each voluntary disclosure agreement.

Complete this form if you are disclosing Denver sales tax that was not collected from your customers.

Complete this form if you are disclosing Denver use tax.

Complete this form if you are disclosing Denver use and occupational tax.

Complete this form if you are disclosing Denver sales, use and occupational tax.

Complete this form if you are disclosing Denver sales tax that was collected, and not remitted.

Complete this form if you are disclosing Denver occupational privilege tax only.

If you have TBT, Lodger’s, FDA taxes or E911 charges to disclose, please contact vda@denvergov.org for direct assistance.

Step #3 – Submit the appropriate agreement and power of attorney to the City and County of Denver.

Email: vda@denvergov.org

Mail:      City and County of Denver – Treasury Division

                Attn: Tax Unit Administrator

                201 W.Colfax ave., Dept. 1009

                Denver, CO 80202

Step #4 – City and County of Denver returns a signed voluntary disclosure agreement form.

After you have submitted a signed voluntary disclosure agreement, Denver will sign and return the agreement to you.

Step #5 – Submit completed disclosure packets and supporting documentation to the City and County of Denver.

Submit all documentation that supports the tax types and periods you are disclosing. In order for your submissions to be reviewed and processed faster, we encourage you to use the disclosure template packets provided.

Complete this form if you are disclosing Denver sales tax that was not collected from your customers.

Complete this form if you are disclosing Denver sales and use tax that was not collected from your customers.

Complete this form if you are disclosing  Denver use tax that was collected, and not remitted.

Complete this form if you are disclosing Denver sales tax that was collected, and not remitted.

Complete this form if you are disclosing Denver occupational privilege tax only.

Note: Denver may request clarification or additional documentation after your submission.

Step #6 – Remit outstanding taxes due.

Remittance of all outstanding taxes is due within 60 days of signing a voluntary disclosure agreement. You may remit outstanding taxes due along with your completed disclosure packet. After review of your disclosure packet and supporting documentation, Denver will confirm the outstanding taxes due net of any payments previously made.

Special Event Sales Tax

If you will be participating in a special event in Denver, and will be making retail sales of taxable products or services, the collection and remittance of Denver sales tax is required.

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If you are already a regularly licensed Denver vendor with a current Denver sales tax license, no additional license or fee is required. Please include any sales made at the special event in your regular sales tax return for that period.

If you do not have a regular Denver Sales tax account, , you need a Denver Special Event Sales Tax License. The Special Event License fee is $5.00. You can register for your license and file your sales tax return online by selecting "Register or File for Special Event".

If you choose not to file online, please check with your sponsor/organizer for special event forms and information. Several organizers have already made arrangements with this department for the distribution of special event tax forms. Sales tax returns are due on or before the 20th of the month following the month of the event.

Please Note

A City and County of Denver tax revenue agent may contact you in person at the event itself. This is typically for the purpose of collecting a Special Event License Fee (if not previously paid) and/or to verify payment of the license fee prior to the event.  Additionally, if you owe license fees or sales tax from a previous event, the tax revenue agent will collect those amounts as well.

If you did not receive a sales tax return, download the Denver Sales Tax Special Event Packet / Registration Form packet . Call 720-913-9446 to obtain the correct account number and due date (generally due the 20th of the month following the month of the event).

Call us at 720-913-9446 for questions about taxability, procedures, or any other tax-related concerns.

Denver is a "Home Rule City," collects and administers its own taxes. Effective January 1, 2019, Denver's sales tax rate is 4.31% for non-food items and 4% for food and beverages sold at retail

 

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201 W. Colfax Ave.
Department 1009
Denver, CO 80202

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