Overview of the Business Taxes
City of Portland Business License Tax
The City of Portland began requiring a business license in 1854. Over the years, the City of Portland Business License Tax has been required for regulatory and revenue purposes. Today, Portland's Business License Tax is a net income tax on business activity (including renting residential and commercial real property) conducted in Portland. It is used as revenue for the General Fund (police, fire, some parks programs, and general government functions). Portland's Business License Tax is not a regulatory permit fee and does not entitle a taxpayer to engage in business activity not otherwise allowed by federal, state and/or local laws.
Multnomah County Business Income Tax
Multnomah County changed from requiring a business license to assessing a business income tax in 1976. In 1993, the City of Portland and Multnomah County achieved code conformity and joint administration of the two separate programs. The Multnomah County Business Income Tax is an income tax on net business income. Revenue generated from the Multnomah County Business Income Tax goes to the County General Fund and is used to finance libraries, law enforcement, community corrections, jails, juvenile justice, bridges, social services, and health services.
Metro Supportive Housing Services (SHS) Business Income Tax
In May 2020, voters in greater Portland approved a Measure to fund supportive housing services for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. This program will provide funding for housing assistance and wraparound services, with the goal of ending chronic homelessness in the region. The program is funded, in part, by a business income tax on net income for businesses with gross receipts above $5 million that operate in Metro's jurisdiction.
This tax is effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2021.
City of Portland Business License Tax and/or Multnomah County Business Income Tax
Businesses that are operating within the City of Portland and/or Multnomah County (including rideshare drivers) must register for a Revenue Division tax account within 60 days.
You are generally considered to be "doing business" in the City of Portland and/or Multnomah County if:
- Your business has a retail location in Portland and/or Multnomah County.
- Your business comes into Portland and/or Multnomah County to perform services.
- Your business maintains a stock of goods in Portland and/or Multnomah County.
- Your business has residential or commercial rental property in Portland and/or Multnomah County.
- You are self-employed and work in Portland and/or Multnomah County.
To see if your work location is located within Portland and/or Multnomah County, visit Portland Maps and enter the address of the work location. If you are working within both tax jurisdictions, you are generally subject to both taxes. If you are only doing business in Multnomah County (Gresham, Troutdale, Corbett, etc.) you must still register with the Revenue Division, but you will only be liable for the Multnomah County Business Income Tax.
Metro Supportive Housing Services (SHS) Business Income Tax
Businesses with gross receipts of more than $5 million that are operating within the Metro jurisdiction must register for a Revenue Division tax account.
If you are a sole proprietor subject to the City of Portland Business License Tax and/or Multnomah County Business Income Tax, you are not liable for the Metro Supportive Housing Services (SHS) Business Income Tax. As a sole proprietor, you will instead be liable for the Metro Supportive Housing Services (SHS) Personal Income Tax.
Business Tax Rates and Other Fees/Surcharges
Business Tax Rates
City of Portland Business License Tax rate: 2.6%
Multnomah County Business Income Tax rate: 2%
Metro Supporting Housing Services (SHS) Business Income Tax rate: 1%
Residential Rental Registration (RRR) Fee
For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, all owners of residential rental property within the City of Portland are required to register their residential rental unit and may owe the Residential Rental Registration (RRR) fee. Visit our Residential Rental Registration page for more information about the filing and payment requirements.
Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVT)
For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVT) is imposed on taxpayers who operate one or more heavy vehicles on streets owned or maintained by the City of Portland. Visit our Heavy Vehicle Use Tax page for more information about the filing and payment requirements.
Clean Energy Surcharge (CES)
For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019, the Clean Energy Surcharge (CES) is imposed on businesses that have at least $500,000 in Portland gross income and $1 billion in total gross income. Visit our Clean Energy Surcharge page for more information about the filing and payment requirements.
Pay Ratio Surtax (PRS)
For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, the Pay Ratio Surtax (PRS) is imposed on publicly traded companies subject to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pay ratio reporting requirements. Review Business Tax Administrative Rule 500.17-1 - Pay Ratio Surtax (LIC-5.02) for more information.
Business Tax Return Filing Requirements
Taxfilers must file their business tax returns and pay their business tax liability at the same time they file their federal and state income tax returns (generally, April 15 for calendar year taxfilers). For taxfilers that have different federal or State of Oregon filing due dates, please read our policy on when your returns are due.
Exempt taxfilers must also file a Combined Tax Return with their supporting tax pages.
Electronic filing is only available for select software programs at this time. Check with your software provider to see if it allows the option for electronic filing.
If a taxfiler qualifies for one or more of the exemptions from the City of Portland Business License Tax and/or Multnomah County Business Income Tax, they must file their business tax return to request an exemption each year and provide supporting tax pages.
Certain taxfilers are exempt under the City of Portland and/or Multnomah County Business Income Tax codes, Administrative Rules, and Policies. These exemptions include, but are not limited to:
- Taxfilers whose gross business income amounts to less than $50,000 from all business receipts everywhere.
- For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, taxfilers whose gross business income amounts to less than $100,000 from all business receipts everywhere may qualify to be exempt from Multnomah County Business Income Tax only.
- Real estate brokers working under the supervision of a primary broker (City of Portland Business License Tax only).
- Individuals whose only business transactions are exclusively limited to the renting or leasing of less than ten total residential real property dwelling units, regardless of whether the units are located inside or outside of Multnomah County (Multnomah County Business Income Tax only).
- Individuals whose only income is:
- Gain on sale of primary residence,
- Gain on sale of personal property acquired for personal or household use, and/or
- Investment earnings (if not part of a business).
- Corporations exempt from the Oregon Corporation Excise Tax under ORS 317.080 (generally not-for-profit corporations).
- Trusts exempt from Federal income tax under IRC § 501.
- Persons whose only business activity is raising or harvesting the person's own crops or livestock.
- Persons who operate a display booth in a permanent structure for less than 14 days in a tax year. These circumstances require a Temporary Business License.
The Revenue Division will send them a notice requesting them to file a return. If the taxfiler does not file their Combined Tax Return, Civil Penalties will be assessed and collection activities will begin.
Requesting an Extension to File
If a taxfiler cannot complete their Combined Tax Return by the original due date, they may request a six-month extension to file their Combined Tax Return. This extension should be accompanied by a payment of the estimated tax due, if applicable. This is an extension to file only. There is no extension to pay the business taxes.
Due dates for tax returns and extensions are based on fiscal year end of the taxfiler.
|Fiscal Year End||Tax Return Due Date||Extension Due Date|
|December 31 (calendar year end)||April 15||October 15|
|January 31||May 15||November 15|
|February 28 / 29||June 15||December 15|
|March 31||July 15||January 15|
|April 30||August 15||February 15|
|May 31||September 15||March 15|
|June 30||October 15||April 15|
|July 31||November 15||May 15|
|August 31||December 15||June 15|
|September 30||January 15||July 15|
|October 31||February 15||August 15|
|November 30||January 15||September 15|
Federal or state tax extensions are accepted. If a taxfiler has requested an extension to file with the IRS or State of Oregon, they must attach their federal/state extension to their Combined Tax Return when they file and check the "Federal Extension" box. All business taxes must still be paid by the original due date. Late payment penalties will be applied to any tax due that is not paid by the original due date.
NOTE: If you have filed a federal extension and receive a Notice to File letter from us, please contact our office to notify us of the federal extension.
Tax Entity Changes
Existing businesses that have changed their tax entity (for example, a sole proprietor who has incorporated into an S corporation) need to register the new tax entity and get a new business tax account number.
Paying Your Business Taxes
The payment for your businesses taxes is due at the same time you file and pay your federal and state taxes (generally April 15 for most filers). If you have requested an extension of time to file your tax return, your payment is still due on the original due date. There is no extension to pay your business taxes.
Failure to pay the business taxes by the original due date will result in late payment penalties and interest.
Quarterly Estimated Payments
A taxfiler must pay quarterly estimated payments for the City of Portland and Multnomah County if the current tax liability for either tax program will be $1,000 or greater, and the taxfiler's prior year tax liability for that tax program was also $1,000 or greater.
Each quarterly estimated payment should equal 25% (or more) of the current year's estimated tax liability.
For calendar year filers, quarterly estimated payments are due on:
|Quarter||Payment Due Date|
|1st Quarter||April 15|
|2nd Quarter||June 15|
|3rd Quarter||September 15|
|4th Quarter||December 15*|
For fiscal year filers, quarterly estimated payments are due on:
|Quarter||Payment Due Date|
|1st Quarter||The 15th day of the 4th month of the tax year|
|2nd Quarter||The 15th day of the 6th month of the tax year|
|3rd Quarter||The 15th day of the 9th month of the tax year|
|4th Quarter||The 15th day of the 12th month of the tax year*|
*Please note, the fourth quarterly estimated payment due date is one month earlier than the January 15 due date of the federal and Oregon quarterly estimated payments for individuals.
A taxpayer will be subject to quarterly underpayment interest if they are required to make quarterly estimated payments and by the due date of the 4th quarter payment have not made four quarterly estimated payments that equal:
- 100% of the prior year liability, or
- 90% of the current year liability
Quarterly underpayment interest is calculated at an annual rate of 10% for each quarter that payments are late or less than the amount due.
The Revenue Division recognizes that at times it may not be possible for a taxpayer to pay their tax liability in full. To encourage payment of all amounts due, the Revenue Division will consider entering into a payment plan agreement to ensure collection. Taxpayers are not eligible for a payment plan if the taxpayer fits into one of the following categories:
- The taxpayer has defaulted on a payment plan with the revenue Division within the last 2 years.
- The taxpayer has been referred to the City Attorney for legal action. They must enter into a confession of judgment instead.
A payment plan may be approved when the taxpayer has no other method of financing this debt (such as a credit card cash advances, home equity loan proceeds, business loans, etc.) The taxpayer must remain in compliance with City and County tax codes during the term of the payment plan.
Payment Plan Requirements
Generally, there is a $25 set up fee for a payment plan. The Revenue Division may discuss payment plan options and give approval to the taxpayer, provided the options meet the criteria established below.
- If you can pay the full amount you owe within 12 months, you can avoid paying the fee to set up the payment plan agreement.
- If a payment plan agreement of more than 24 months is needed, the set-up fee increases to $50 and supervisor approval is needed.
If terms outside these are requested, Revenue Division management will review the proposed alternate terms on a case by case basis.
The payment plan due date is the 10th or the 25th of the month, at least 16 days after the date the payment plan was set up. Interest continues to accrue during the repayment period.
All payments must be made by the due date. Failure to pay any installment of the payment plan by the due date will result in the payment plan being considered in default and any outstanding balance will become immediately payable.
Payments not received within five (5) business days after the due date will be considered late. The Revenue Division will allow one late payment. A second late payment will cause the entire outstanding balance to become immediately due and any penalty waiver granted under the Revenue Division’s penalty assessment policy would be immediately reinstated to the outstanding balance.
If payment for taxes due nor a protest to increased taxes is timely received, the Revenue Division may assess additional interest and penalties, including civil penalties of $500 per violation of the City and County tax codes. The Revenue Division may also begin collection activity for the balance due for your account.
If the Revenue Division refers your account to a third-party collection agency, additional fees up to 25% of the total balance due may be added to your debt, and you must contact the collection agency about your debt.
If the Revenue Division refers your account to the City Attorney's office, additional court or legal fees may be added to your debt.
Certificate of Compliance
The Revenue Division may issue or otherwise provide access to either an electronic or printed “Certificate of Compliance” upon registration to assist businesses in proving their compliance to regulatory agencies or to the public.
To view your Certificate of Compliance online, you must register for a Revenue Division Tax Account. If you already have registered for an account, you can log in to Portland Revenue Online (PRO) to view and print your Certificate of Compliance.
To request a printed copy of your Certificate of Compliance, please contact the Revenue Division by phone or email.
Refunds for the City of Portland and Multnomah County business taxes are generally issued within 8-10 weeks after the complete Combined Tax Return (with supporting tax pages) is filed. Due to high volumes of mail, Combined Tax Returns filed in March/April and September/October may require additional time for a refund to be issued.
Refunds will be issued only in the event of overpayment, duplicate payments, or a payment made when no tax was due. All requests for refund must be made in writing.
An online payment made Monday through Friday may be voided on the same day it is made by canceling the payment before 4 pm Pacific Time.
Closing your Revenue Division tax account(s)
When a business is sold, closed, or no longer operates within the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and/or Metro's jurisdiction, they should notify the Revenue Division to close their business tax account(s). When a business tax account is closed, a taxfiler should:
- File a Combined Tax Return for the final year the business operated in the City, County and/or Metro.
- Complete the Out of Business form (or a statement with the same information) and attach it to the Combined Tax Return. Make sure to provide:
- The new owner's name and address (if the business or property has been sold)
- Whether you ceased all business activity or only activity in the City of Portland, Multnomah County and/or the Metro jurisdiction
Don't close the business tax account if:
- There is contract (installment) sales from the sale of the business. This income is considered continuing business income and will require annual filings.
- A taxfiler owns real property and intends to rent or lease it to others.
Temporary Business Licenses
If your business meets the criteria below, you must apply for and obtain a temporary business license certificate:
Seasonal vendors operating in a temporary location and conducting limited, seasonal sales (i.e., Christmas tree and fireworks sales). Fees: $10/day/location, not to exceed $100/location.
Special events vendors selling event-related merchandise. Fees: $10/day/vendor, not to exceed $100/location.
Film production companies filming in the City of Portland for no more than 3 business days per calendar year.
Promoters of commercial entertainment doing business in the City of Portland for no more than 3 business days per calendar year. Fees: $25/day.
Vendors in temporary structures for no more than 14 days. Fees: $10/day/vendor, not to exceed $100/location.
Amusement ride operators not in the same location for more than 14 days. Fees: $10/day/vendor; and $10/day for each ride operated.
If your business does not meet the eligibility for a temporary business license, you must register for a Revenue Division tax account.