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Old 08-14-2008, 04:13 PM
 
1 posts, read 8,761 times
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Hello.
I have a questions regarding city of Oakland business tax. We just moved our small software company (5 employees’ office) from Emeryville to Oakland.
According of city of Oakland tax classifications we are under code F (professional office). But the tax rate is insanely high, its $ 3.60 per every $ 1000 of gross receipts, it seems very excessive. Basically it's 10 times more that we paid in Emeryville. We would have to pay $ 7,000 plus on gross receipts, although we hardly have any profit from the business.
Did anyone succeed in contesting their business tax classifications? Is it any other way to qualify for taxes based on gross payroll?
Can someone recommend a CPA or tax lawyer who can help us to reduce city of Oakland tax bill LEGALLY.
Thank you so much for any help.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Oakland CA
7,608 posts, read 10,636,054 times
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I deal with the Oakland Business tax yearly, and I have to say, as a college educated somewhat savvy business person -- they have the MOST convoluted verbiage on how to do their business taxes I have EVER seen. It makes doing your Fed tax return -- with all the additional schedules -- CHILD'S PLAY.

You can call the office and ask for help. They HAVE to be used to it. In fact, that's how I finally figured out how to do it.

I just pulled my copy of the tax declaration and my rate is listed as 1.80 per 1000. If you flip the form over there is a box ('m doing this from memory because I didn't keep a copy of the whole thing) to calculate your gross reciepts. It's a percentage of of your earnings and a larger percentage of your earnings that you take in in the city limits proper (at least for me -- we own a janitorial company, and not all industries have to do that -- it becomes clearer on the back of the form)

For instance -- we bill out and recieve 100,000 bucks. We do the formuila and end up with gross reciepts of 30K. Multiply 30K by .0018 and you get 54 dollars... but the minimum is 60 bucks. Write them a check for 60 bucks.

On the back of your form (if it's the PDF online) it doesn't say what gross reciepts are -- but if you look at your tax return from last year what was the profit on your business? You could use that number to start...
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:26 PM
 
14,199 posts, read 26,359,148 times
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Service Industry City of Oakland Business Tax must be different than other classifications.

I pay Oakland Business Tax on Rental Property... If I collect 10,000 in rent, the tax is based on the full $10,000 Gross Receipts.

Oakland could care less if it is a loosing money proposition... as in the mortgage interest and expenses are greater than the 10K... they want a cut of every dollar I collect.

I'm familiar with at least a dozen companies in the last several years that have left Oakland and the Business Tax was always cited as one of the top 3 reasons...
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:39 AM
 
1 posts, read 8,264 times
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Can we file business tax declaration online and pay the tax online by credit card
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Oakland CA
7,608 posts, read 10,636,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vjain1 View Post
Can we file business tax declaration online and pay the tax online by credit card
I don't know -- but call them and ask.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:51 PM
 
14,199 posts, read 26,359,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
I don't know -- but call them and ask.
Good Luck trying to get through...

The phones lines have been jammed and the website was down almost a day a couple of weeks ago.

If you really need an answer that you can count on, I've found there is no substitute for going to City Hall and spending a couple of hours to get a resolution.

Anyone notice the Business Tax now requires business to round up to the next highest $1000?

So if my business collects $5,001... I must pay tax as if I had collected $6,000.

I complained to the Mayors office and the City Manager in January... so far no response

This is on the heels of the Declaration Fiasco... the city mailed out thousands of Business Tax Declaration forms to wrong addresses... in my case, each of my Tenants received bills for Business Tax and Rent Arbitration Program fees...

I'm third generation Oakland and even I have lost faith at how inefficient the city is...
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:47 PM
 
1 posts, read 8,304 times
Reputation: 12
Default Oppressive Oakland Business License Tax

I moved my 2 person office from Alameda to Oakland last year to save on rent and to my great surprise my business taxes went from $500 per year to over $5500. Needless to say I am moving my business to my home in Alameda. They will not get another dime from me. I guess the higher business license taxes in Oakland are to pay for their inept mayor, rampant police corruption, gang violence, and growing number of homeless and vagrants.
Thanks but no thanks.
Good luck Oakland, you will soon go the way of Vallejo (bankrupt)
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:01 PM
 
2,987 posts, read 4,825,951 times
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You can get a form online and then fax it to them. They don't do electronic submissions. But I wouldn't do the fax thing as it is always best to go in person and make sure it gets done. Otherwise the fax will be sitting there forever.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:46 PM
 
14,199 posts, read 26,359,148 times
Reputation: 8357
Quote:
Originally Posted by billboic View Post
I moved my 2 person office from Alameda to Oakland last year to save on rent and to my great surprise my business taxes went from $500 per year to over $5500. Needless to say I am moving my business to my home in Alameda. They will not get another dime from me. I guess the higher business license taxes in Oakland are to pay for their inept mayor, rampant police corruption, gang violence, and growing number of homeless and vagrants.
Thanks but no thanks.
Good luck Oakland, you will soon go the way of Vallejo (bankrupt)
I know several small businesses that pulled up stakes and moved to the county... places like Castro Valley.

The Oakland Business License has far reaching tentacles and it's something you don't want to get caught up in.

It's entirely possible for a Landlord to be charged between $30 to $40 per month per rental in Business Taxes in Oakland and this is regardless if the property sees a dime of profit during the year.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,647 times
Reputation: 10
Default Oakland biz tax

How does Oakland decide what business category to put you in anyway? I have a startup business that manufactures and sells sunglasses. Are we a therefore manufacturer no matter what?

We contract out for the lens mfg (though we design them here), and the frames we just buy off the rack from abroad. Eventually we will have most everything done in China, though we could possibly stick some % of the lenses in the frames in Oakland if need be- especially in the short term.

Bottom line, @ .12% (for Mfg) Oakland's tax is competitive with Emeryville's .08%. At .36% it is not.

thanks!
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