For Service Providers ~ How to Make Your Annual Report to the City of Seattle (for B&O Taxes)

Good News!  For MOST people, this hoop is easy and free.  :)

If your business is strictly service-oriented...and NON-retail, it's pretty easy to make your report to the city and to the state. 

If you are a retail business, or a combination of service + retail, click here to read a different walkthrough.  (Coming soon.)  To learn more about Service vs. Retail Services, click here.

Due: January 31st
Time Required: 5 - 30 minutes
Frustration Factor: If you use the SELF Portal, 2 out of 10.  If you use the FileLocal, 6 out of 10.
Cost/Taxes Due:  If you earned under $100K, then you will not pay any taxes.  To read about tax rates for over $100K with Seattle, click here.
Type of Tax:  B&O (business and occupation)

Summary of the Task

1. Log in
2. Find the ONE correct box in the SELF portal.
   Or, the 2 - 3 boxes in the FileLocal portal.
3.  Enter your gross sales.
4. Click next until you're done.

Here's what you'll need to get ready:

• Gross Sales—The total amount of money you collected from your work.  (That's it, no need to figure out deductions yet.)  Can also referred to as Gross Service Receipts.
• Log In + password to either FileLocal or the Seattle SELF Portal.

Note:  If you don't have a FileLocal or Seattle SELF Portal account, you'll need to set one up.  The SELF portal is getting phased out, so the city is encouraging everyone to use the FileLocal.  It takes some time to create this account, because FileLocal wants all of your numbers (UBI, EIN, etc.  Click here to learn more.)

Recommendation + Note

The Seattle SELF Portal is more straightforward, so if you have that account, I suggest using it.

When I used the FileLocal portal, I got an error message at the end.  I'll be calling the city next week, and will add notes once I know more!

Screenshots of both are below.  You can pick which one you want to use.

>> If you get stuck, or if something doesn't work, call the city at 206.684.8484.

Option 1 - Making Your Report Using the Seattle SELF Portal

The start, click here to go to the Seattle SELF Portal


Find your business, and click on it.  Note, if you're a sole proprietor, your own personal name is your business's legal name too.


For some reason, I always have to read this question a few times!

If you earn LESS than $100K, click Yes.


Enter your total Gross Sales in this box, and then click Next.


This is your confirmation page.  If everything looks good, hit Submit.


You'll get a screen that I forgot to capture....if offers you a chance to Print your Confirmation page.  Also, you should get an email confirmation too. 

ProTip:  Set up an email folder for all Legal + Tax stuff.

Voila!  You're all done!  :)


Option 2 - Making Your Report Using FileLocal

Click here to go to FileLocal.


For ANNUAL filers (most or all of you) ... we select December of the desired year.


After you answer these questions, the worksheet will expand.  Note:  you are NOT an employee; you're the owner.


As far as I can tell, you need to enter your Gross Sales (or Gross Service Receipts) in two places:

- Total Worldwide
- Total Seattle

If you did all your work in Seattle, these should be the same. 

If you worked in different cities, I suggest calling the city  to walk you through this part.  206.684.8484

Here's the same worksheet with some numbers filled in.  Enter the amounts in lines 1 and 7.  The worksheet will populate with more numbers.

Line 12 says, "Seattle Taxable Receipts".  This should match the amount of total sales for your business that happened in Seattle.

(Little note:  I apologize if these notes sound confusing.  I found this form to be surprisingly non-intuitive compared to past forms, and am still trying to wrap my own head around it.  Remember, if you get stuck, call the city!)

After you hit "continue" it takes you back to the screen you were on.

Where the pink lines are, it shows my Total Sales ......and then the tax due.  Your tax due will be ZERO if you earned less than $100k.   Note: I'm not sure why there's an amount here for me.  Perhaps it calculated the tax, but it didn't make me pay it? ...because I earned under $100K?

Review, and if things look good, hit Next.

When everything looks good, hit File Now.

Note ~ The first two times I hit Yes, I got an error screen!  I waited a few days, tried again....I logged in, all my numbers were still there, and then it worked!  Who knows why.

Here's what the confirmation page looks like, plus you'll get an email confirmation. 


Well done!  One important hoop is over.  Reporting your gross sales is a great moment ... you get to see all of the business you accomplished over the last year.

: )  Jenny Girl Friday

P.S.  Did this help?  I hope so!  Pretty please share with any friends, or post on Facebook.  I think self-employed folks are keeping the soul in Seattle.  I want to make the chores of business easier, so you can all keep being awesome and shining your light.  

P.S. 2   Are you signed up for Sidekick Services via email?  Get reminders and links to how-tos delivered right to your email inbox.  :)