City of Seattle Permits
City of Seattle Admission Tax Permits for Public Shows(Reprinted by permission)
The Seattle Municipal Code (SMC), Chapter 5.40 states: Any person conducting or operating any place to which an admission charge is made shall file an application to conduct such activity prior to the commencement of any such activity, on a form prescribed by the Director.
Required LicensesCity of Seattle Business License – $90.00 per year
Admission Tax Registration
Ticketing RequirementsIt is unlawful to charge admission without issuing a serially numbered ticket showing the established price.
The following items must be shown on the ticket separately, conspicuously and indelibly printed, stamped or written on the face or back part of the ticket taken up by the management of the place to which admission is gained:
- Name of the person or persons conducting the event
- The established price
- Service charge
- City tax
- Total price of admission
It is unlawful to charge a service charge on an admission ticket unless the purchaser is fully informed of the purpose of such charge by published or posted notice in advance of the ticket sale.
Anyone who is admitted at a reduced price to any place or for any event for which other persons pay a regular, higher admission charge shall pay an admission tax measured by the regular, higher charge unless one qualifies for the exceptions of this section. Anyone who is admitted free of charge to any place or for any event for which other persons pay an admission charge, shall pay an admission tax measured by the full admission charge subject to certain conditions.
A donation is regarded as a free will offering, of an amount determined only by the donor and shall not be a requirement for entry to any event. The amount of a donation shall not be stated on any invitation, signage, advertising, or other literature. Any ‘donation’ amount suggested or requested in conjunction with an event will be treated as an admission charge subject to tax.
Admission price or cover charge posted. A sign must be posted in a conspicuous place at the entrance or ticket office that breaks down the admission charge as follows: Established Price; Service Charge (if any); City Tax; and Total Price.
Payment of TaxA separate set of tickets is required for each price to be charged and each performance to be held. A certified copy of the ticket invoice or manifest showing the number of tickets printed for each price category must be provided at the close of each performance.
The tax must be paid on all tickets missing from the original compliment printed. Records of complimentary tickets must be provided. Unless otherwise agreed to in advance, the tax must be paid at the close of each performance. Records of all ticket sales must be made and retained for a period of five years, unless written permission is given to destroy the unsold tickets at the time of preparation of a box office statement.
The 5% admission tax must be collected, held in trust and remitted to the City no later than the last day of the following month.
Calculations of Admission and B&O Tax
Admission Tax Due:
B&O Tax Due:
- Admission tax rate is 5%.
- Value of complimentary tickets issued must be included in amount subject to tax.
- Divide gross value of all tickets by 1.05 to back out tax before multiplying by .05.
- If gross receipts do not exceed $50,000 in a calendar year, no Business & Occupation Tax is levied.
- If gross receipts exceed $50,000 in a calendar year, the Business & Occupation Tax is levied at the following rates:
- Service – use this classification for ticket sales & booth rental fees: Subtract only actual Admission Tax paid. Gross ticket sales less Admission Tax multiplied by 0.00415 equals B&O tax due.
- Retail – concessions, programs, novelties, T-shirts, etc: Gross receipts multiplied by 0.00215 equals B&O tax due.
Liability of Location Owners and OperatorsThe owner, lessee or custodian of the premises is liable for collection and remittance of admission taxes if the person conducting a temporary or transitory event upon their premises fails to collect and remit the same.
Note: See Fire Regulations for City of Seattle fire permitting information and application forms.