Culver City Observer -



October 7, 2009

On September 14, the City Council authorized the waiver of penalties under the Tax Amnesty Program (resolution 2009-R074). From September 21, 2009 through November 30, 2009, Culver City business entities that have not registered with the City of Culver City and have not paid their business license can benefit by applying under the Business Tax Penalty Amnesty Program. Chief Financial Officer Jeff Muir has explained this program as “the carrot” in the City’s newly-adopted business license enforcement program. “The stick” will be employed subsequent to November 30, 2009, when the amnesty program expires.

Following the amnesty period, Culver City will vigorously pursue a range of enforcement measures, including:

Expanded audit program

Expanded on-site investigations

Data match to tax returns filed with the California Franchise Tax Board

by individuals (Schedule C), corporations, partnerships and nonprofits

Assessment of unpaid business license taxes for each calendar year

Assessment of a late payment penalties ranging from 20% to 100%

Referral to outside collection and reporting agencies

Possible legal action by the City Attorney

Today, unregistered Culver City business entities have two choices – (a) pay the tax NOW [by November 30, 2009] or (b) pay the tax LATER plus a significant penalty. The only entities exempt from obtaining a business tax certificate to operate in Culver City are homeowners associations and employees of a business.

The waiver application states the following conditions:

Pursuant to City Council Resolution 2009-R074, I hereby request a waiver of penalties under the Tax Amnesty Program. I further acknowledge that this request is contingent upon my accurately and completely reporting all required information, and submitting the request and payment for outstanding tax and renewal fee(s) to the Finance Department between September 21, 2009 through November 30, 2009.

Here is a recap of the business tax amnesty mechanics:

(a) File two forms with the Finance Department at City Hall –

(1) Tax Amnesty Program – Application for Business Tax Certificate

(2) Tax Amnesty Penalty Waiver Application or “short form”

(b) Pay the business license annual renewal fees and taxes –

(1) Generally, $1 or $3 per $1000 of gross receipts (depending upon business type) for each calendar year

(2) $65 renewal fee for each calendar year

(3) $65 waiver application fee

(c) Waiver application years are 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008

(d) Amnesty program information and answers to questions are available online at and by calling (310) 253-5870.


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