The City of Boulder welcomes your feedback. Use our Inquire Boulder customer service tool to tell us what’s on your mind.

  • Boulder Revised Code
  • Finance Contacts
  • Budget Division
  • Purchasing Division
  • Tax and Licensing Division

Sales and Use Tax

Our new online sales tax operating system is on track to launch in February of 2020.  We are very excited to provide you with a more user-friendly, efficient, modernized and accessible way to pay taxes. Our goal is to make this transition as easy on you as possible. 


What this means to you 

If you have sales tax payments to submit from now until Jan. 31, 2020 you will continue to follow your current process. When the new system is launched in Feburary, you will receive a letter with instructions on how to create a login and file on-line.  More information on transition to a new online sales tax software is available at:

The Sales & Use Tax/Business license application will be unavailable February 1 - February 9, 2020. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

Online filing will be unavailabe February 1 - February 9, 2020. We will still accept paper tax return forms during this time


Important information about new sales tax policy and system changes in 2020 

New - City Manager Rule Defining Postmark Date as Proof of Timely Filed and Paid pdf

For the purposes of determining penalties and interest, timely remittance of a return and payment may be evidenced by the postmark date if mailed. Section 3-2-4, "Vendor Liable for Tax,"B.R.C. 1981

New - City Manager Rule Establishing Minimum Requirements for an Application for a Sales and Use Tax License (Business License) or Exempt Institution License pdf

Any statement on a license application that is later found to be incorrect, false, misleading, or incomplete, shall be considered cause to revoke the license. Chapter 3-17, "General Provisions for Tax Compliance," B.R.C. 1981


Pay Online

Taxpayers can pay sales and use tax using the city's current payment portal system through January 31, 2020.

Online Payment Instructions

Payment Questions

If you are still experiencing difficulty related to online filing or other sales tax issues, please email us at:  [email protected] . Please call 303-441-3050 for general tax topics information or to speak directly to a sales tax staff member.  

Sales Tax FAQs

Guidance Regarding Marketplace Facilitators

Background : The 2019 Colorado General Assembly passed, and the governor signed HB19-1240, the legislation that implements an economic nexus standard remote (out-of-state) sellers and that imposes new tax collection responsibilities on both in-state and out-of-state businesses. This legislation pertains only to state-collected taxes and does not impact locally collected home-rule taxes such as the city of Boulder’s salestax.

The Colorado Department of Revenue has implemented a portion of this legislation with respect to Marketplace Facilitators – an online business that contracts with local businesses to facilitate local businesses’ sales on the Marketplace Facilitator’s internet platform, and that collects payment from purchasers/customers and then transmits it to the local business. These new Marketplace Facilitator rules are effective October 1, 2019.

More information on the new State rules for Marketplace Facilitators can be found here

Additional information on the state’s implementation of HB19-1240 can be found here

City of Boulder Nexus Standards for Online Retailers and Marketplace Facilitators:

The City of Boulder is a home rule city that collects and administers city sales tax locally. The city has not amended its code or otherwise changed its physical presence standards. However, the City of Boulder is aware that several marketplace facilitators are changing their tax collection methodology in light of the State of Colorado’s implementation of HB19-1240. While the City of Boulder has not amended its nexus standards, any business that voluntarily collects City of Boulder taxes must remit those taxes directly to the City of Boulder.

Guidance for Marketplace Facilitators:

Marketplace facilitators that voluntarily elect to collect City of Boulder taxes for their sellers may choose to remit said taxes to their sellers, or directly to the City of Boulder. If a marketplace facilitator chooses to remit taxes directly to the City of Boulder, it must apply for a City of Boulder Sales and Use Tax (Business) license. Please indicate that the business is a marketplace facilitator voluntarily remitting taxes on behalf of its sellers in the “Nature of Business” section of the application. 

Guidance for Boulder Businesses Using Marketplace Facilitators:

City of Boulder businesses that use marketplace facilitators have a responsibility to confirm with their marketplace facilitators that the marketplace facilitator is licensed with the city and collecting and remitting city of Boulder sales tax on all sales sourced to Boulder. Local businesses that make sales of tangible personal property and taxable services are ultimately liable for the sales taxes due on those sales.

Using a marketplace facilitator does not relieve a City of Boulder licensed business from the responsibility to file tax returns. Please indicate any sales conducted through a marketplace facilitator in the following deduction fields:

• For Sales and Use Tax Returns: “Sales to Other Licensed Dealers for Purpose of Taxable Resale”

• For other return types: “Other”

For any questions, please feel free to contact Sales and Use Tax staff at [email protected]

Does my business have nexus in Boulder? (Wayfair)

Boulder is a locally-collected/administered home-rule city, and as such the state's new rules do not apply to the city's nexus criteria.

The City of Boulder has not amended its code or otherwise changed its physical presence standards.

Currently, the City of Boulder has not followed or otherwise conformed with Colorado's approach to changing its nexus standards and licensing requirements. However, Boulder and other Colorado home-rule cities are currently in discussions about the implications of Colorado's emergency rule for home-rule city tax collection by remote sellers.

Our nexus standards are still outlined in the city code as follows:

BRC 3-1-1. - Definitions Engaged in business in the city means performing or providing services, or selling, leasing, renting, delivering, or installing tangible personal property for storage, use, or consumption within the city.

Engaged in business in the city includes, without limitation, any one of the following activities by a person: (a) Directly, indirectly, or by a subsidiary, maintaining a building, store, office, salesroom, warehouse, or other place of business within the city; (b) Sending one or more employees, agents, or commissioned sales persons into the city to solicit business or to install, assemble, repair, service, or assist in the use of its products, or for demonstration, or for any other reason; (c) Maintaining one or more employees, agents, or commissioned sales persons on duty at a location within the city; (d) Owning, leasing, renting, or otherwise exercising control over real or personal property within the city; or (e) Making more than one delivery into the city within a twelve-month period by any means other than a common carrier.

If you choose to become licensed voluntarily, these city nexus standards notwithstanding, access the license application .

What does the Sales & Use Tax Staff do?

Our main purpose is to provide customer service in order to assist the Boulder taxpaying community with sales, use and various other tax reporting requirements required by Chapters 3-1 through 3-7 of the Boulder Revised Code (B.R.C, 1981). The division provides business licensing services and collects and accounts for a variety of tax revenues.

Key Functions of the Sales & Use Tax Division include:

  • Collection of sales, use and other taxes; provide tax return preparation and business licensing assistance; process and account for tax returns filed.
  • Provide construction use tax reconciliation return filing support; process and review tax returns.
  • Tax collection and delinquent filing processes - contact delinquent taxpayers and work with them to bring the accounts into compliance.
  • Conduct tax audits - the division has an active audit program designed to educate taxpayers in order to improve reporting compliance and to recover unpaid tax revenue.
  • Conduct new business reviews - an educational opportunity between the taxpayer and the City to educate and assist businesses in understanding tax reporting requirements they may not be familiar with and to answer tax related questions.
  • Provide information - answer various tax related reporting and licensing questions from taxpayers.
  • Provide information regarding the sales and use tax portion of the Boulder municipal code.

Why do I need a license to start a business?

The City of Boulder Revised Code requires that all types of businesses in Boulder be licensed and approved by the City before operating. If a business has more than one location in the city, each location needs a separate license.

When is my tax return due?

Regardless of the filing frequency, tax returns are due by the 20th of the month following the period collected. A zero return must be filed to satisfy the filing requirement even when there is no tax due. If the return is not filed, or filed after the due date, penalty and interest will accrue. Please note the City of Boulder does not accept postmark date as proof of timely filing.

What is my filing frequency?

Filing frequency is determined by average tax due. Please notify us via email if the business needs a filing frequency change.

If average tax due is: Filing Frequency:
$300 or more per month File Monthly
$15-$300 per month File Quarterly
$15 or less per month File Annually

On which types of sales should I charge sales tax?

Sales tax should be charged on all retail sales of tangible personal property, rentals, and leases of equipment. Some services such as cable TV, telephone, maintenance contracts, gas and electric are also taxable.

When do I renew the Sales & Use Tax/Business License?

City of Boulder business licenses are valid for the life of the business and do not require renewal (except in cases when the business is restructured, sold, or moves physical location).

What is use tax?

Use tax information can be found here: TR 43: Use Tax.

How do I file an amended return?

To amend a Sales & Use Tax Return, please send an email with a copy of the correct tax return to: [email protected]

How do I print filed tax returns?

Please contact the Sales Tax Division to request a copy of a tax return.

Watch a Boulder Tax Seminar


Now available ON DEMAND! Watch the entire Tax Seminar at your convenience by clicking on the link below.  The City of Boulder's Sales Tax Seminars are designed to give the viewer/attendee an over-view of the Sales/Use Tax code for the City of Boulder as well as filing requirements.  - Marijuana Tax Seminar

If you have any questions regarding topics covered in the webinar, feel free to give us a call Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 303-441-3051.