• City of Tacoma QA
  • City of Tacoma OpenData

Late Filers

How do I know if my license fee was paid on time?

The due date for license renewals is printed on the document itself. Licenses are considered timely if the USPS postmark cancellation stamp is dated no later than the date the license fee is due.


What is my penalty if I file or pay a license fee late?

The City assesses a late penalty when a license fee is not paid on or before the due date.  Late penalties are assessed at 20 percent of the license fee the day after the license fee is due. Late penalties are not assessed on licenses with an administrative fee (gross under $12,000, branch, 501(c)3).


License fees issued prior to 2024 were assessed as follows: 

   • 20 percent penalty is assessed if paid within the month after the license fee is due; 

   • 50 percent penalty is assessed if paid after the last day of the month following the due date.  
   • Note: The minimum penalty for late payment is $25.


Does Tax & License grant penalty waivers?

Yes, Tax & License has the authority to waive delinquent or late penalties under limited circumstances when the underpayment of a license fee, or the failure to pay any fee by the due date, was the result of circumstances beyond the control of the taxpayer. 


Lack of funds, being unaware that the fees were due after becoming licensed with the City, or not receiving the license renewal notice in the mail are generally NOT considered circumstances beyond the control of a taxpayer and would not qualify for a penalty waiver.


How do I request a penalty waiver?

If your payment is late and you feel you have a qualifying situation that was beyond your control, you may request consideration for a penalty waiver.  Prior to any penalty being waived, your account must be current.  Your request may be sent to Tax & License or attached to a payment for license or tax.  Be sure to include or attach any information that should be considered when the penalty waiver request is being reviewed.  If no reason is included in the request for waiver, the waiver will be denied. 


***The taxpayer has the burden of proving that the penalty waiver request is valid.***