Change The Date Initiative

February 12th, 2018

Each year, unbeknownst to many who are self-employed, business owners, or independent contractors, the City of Los Angeles requires everyone conducting business within the city limits to register his or her business and file a Business Tax Registration Renewal by February 28th. The major tax filings, Federal and State, on the other hand, are not due until either mid-March or mid-April. This discrepancy is a source of continued and needless confusion for law abiding tax payers throughout the city.

During the busy rush toward tax season, as individuals and businesses are preparing their prior year’s documents for their accountants and other tax professionals, the dates foremost in their minds are the State and Federal filing deadlines. They must set aside time to contact, meet with, and confer over the various complexities that arise with regard to their taxes each year. Often, information becomes available and such meetings are held within days of the March or April deadlines. It makes no sense, and can serve no purpose other than to create “gotcha”-type penalties, to have the deadline for the comparatively minor requirement of the Business Tax Registration Renewal fall over a month before the date most people keep in their minds with regard to taxes.

This bizarre discrepancy in filing deadline also creates an unnecessary burden for tax professionals who are first in line for the panicked calls and emails from clients who receive contact from a tax authority they have had no prior dealings with.

For the forgoing reasons, we are petitioning the City Council to change the deadline for filing a Business Tax Registration Renewal to match the deadline for Federal and State tax filings (generally April 15th). Such a change would allow most filers to organize their yearly tax responsibilities around a single date and would save time and effort for all involved.