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January 20, 2023

One-year statute of limitation closing soon for filing refund claims for City of San Francisco and Los Angeles business taxes for tax year 2021

Companies engaged in business in San Francisco and Los Angeles should consider reviewing their San Francisco Annual Business Tax (SF ABT) filings and their Los Angeles Business Tax (LABT) renewal before February 28, 2023, the expiration date for each city's one-year statute of limitation for filing refund claims for tax year 2021 (LABT renewal period 2022).1

For tax year 2021, SF ABT filings include reporting and payment of the Gross Receipts Tax (SF GRT) or Administrative Office Tax, the Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax or the Homelessness Administrative Office Tax, and the Commercial Rents Tax.

In Los Angeles, the 2022 LABT renewal (which is based upon 2021 calendar-year activity) included reporting and payment of the Los Angeles Gross Receipts Tax (LA GRT).

Tax Alert 2023-0128 dated January 19, 2023, discusses the due dates for filing the 2022 SF ABT return and the 2023 LABT renewal.

San Francisco

The rules surrounding San Francisco taxes, as well as the city's economic nexus standard, are unique and complex. Companies should consider reviewing the filing requirements, proper industry classifications, and NAICS codes selected and the methodology used to calculate reported San Francisco gross receipts. For those classifications that require allocation or apportionment of a company's gross receipts based on payroll-expense ratios, companies should consider reviewing their methodology for determining San Francisco payroll expenses and whether payroll expenses of employees who have worked outside of San Francisco during the reporting period, such as employees working from home, have been properly excluded.

In general, claims for SF GRT refunds must be filed within the later of one year of (1) the alleged overpayment; (2) the original due date of the return accompanying the payment; or (3) the date on which the amount requested on a return, amended return, or request for refund timely filed under Section 6.15-1(g) was denied under subsection (g).2 For 2021 SF GRT filings, companies will have until February 28, 2023, to file amended returns or refund claims.

Los Angeles

For LABT filings, companies should consider:

  • Reviewing the business classifications selected and how gross receipts were calculated
  • Reviewing their methodology for determining where employees perform services if their business classifications require them to analyze employees' locations to calculate gross receipts sourced to Los Angeles
  • Whether they properly excluded the payroll expenses of employees who worked outside of Los Angeles during the reporting period as a result of the pandemic3


Companies should consider analyzing their prior year's SF ABT and LABT to determine if a refund claim is appropriate and file a claim before the February 28, 2023 deadline.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
State and Local Taxation Group
   • Allan Holzer (
   • Tyler Caldwell (
   • Ladan Golkar (

Published by NTD’s Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Jennifer A Brittenham, legal editor



1 For Los Angeles, the 2022 renewal pertains to 2021 calendar-year gross receipts.

2 SF Business and Tax Reg. Code Section 6.15(1)(a)&(g).

3 LA Business Tax Ordinance Section 21.07.