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  • Tax and Licensing Division

Sales and Use Tax

Due to unusually large call volumes, please leave us a voicemail or email us at [email protected] and we will respond to requests in the order received. 



It's quick and easy to pay sales and use taxes online using the city's new payment portal system. For questions about online payments, please review our  Sales Tax Online Filing Instructions pdf.

You MUST enter zeros in front of your account number to equal a total of 6 digits in order for your account to be found and added to your profile.

Your location must be typed exactly as it is written on your business license without city, state, or zip code.

If you are still experiencing difficulty related to your Online Filing or other Sales Tax related issues,  please email Staff at  [email protected]  

Please put your Business Name in the subject line.


You may email us at: [email protected] . You may also call 303-441-3050 for general tax topics information or to speak directly to a sales tax staff member.

While the city is aware that the State of Colorado has implemented an emergency rule for all state-collected taxes (Wayfair), the City of Boulder has not changed its code and has not changed its licensing requirements. Our nexus standards are still outlined in the Boulder Revised Code (B.R.C. 1981) as follows: 

BRC 3-1-1  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.

Sales & Use Tax FAQs

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.

What other tax types does Boulder recognize?


Type of Tax Tax Rate Example of taxable service
Food Service Tax 0.15% Food and beverage prepared and served by food service establishments. This tax is not applied to food purchased for home consumption from grocery/convenience stores.
Admissions Tax 5.00% Admission to an event (nightclubs and theatres)
Accommodations Tax 7.50% Leasing or renting any room, hotel/motel room, or other public accommodation located in the city and used for overnight lodging purposes.
Short-Term Rental Tax 7.50% Leasing or renting properties from Boulder homeowners for less than 30 days at a time

For information on Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax, please visit: Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax.

For information on Disposable Bag Fee Tax, please visit: Disposable Bag Fee.

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.

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