Standardized Occupational License Forms
On July 1, 2017, Kentucky finalizes the transition to a standardized occupational license tax forms for business reporting. Instead of trying to locate and select between different forms for over 200 taxing districts, businesses will now be able to use standardized forms to file with the local tax districts in which they owe taxes.
HB 277 of the 2012 Kentucky General Assembly established a process to phase in standardized forms for occupational license tax reporting. The legislation was a compromise between the business community and the local government associations to make filing easier for businesses while also ensuring that cities maintain taxing independence. The legislation was implemented in several phases, culminating in the requirement for local governments to accept approved standardized forms by July 1, 2017.
As the first step in implementing the legislation, the Secretary of State gathered all occupational license tax ordinances and forms from tax districts throughout the state. The ordinances and forms of each local taxing jurisdiction were placed on the Secretary of State’s website in November of 2012. Businesses have since been able to download these documents from the Secretary of State’s website, instead of having to contact various tax districts to access them. The Secretary of State maintains updated ordinances and forms as well as a spreadsheet of all occupational license tax rates by city and district. These rates are in a readily searchable format on the website, Microsoft Excel.
In the next phase, the Secretary of State worked with tax preparers and local tax administrators to create standard forms for tax districts that collect taxes for a single district. This single reporting form, complete with instructions, was codified in an administrative regulation in November 2016 and is available on the Secretary of State’s website at http://app.sos.ky.gov/occupationaltax/ as form OL-S Single Tax District, Occupation License Fee Return. And on March 3, 2017, the Dual Tax District Occupational License Fee Return was developed by the Secretary of State and codified in an administrative regulation, with instructions. It too is available on the Secretary of State’s website linked above. There are six districts effected by this change, which are Boyle County/Danville, Daviess County/Owensboro, Henderson County/City of Henderson, Jessamine County/Nicholasville, Rowan County/Morehead, and Taylor County/Campbellsville.
All tax districts that collect for either a single district or dual districts are required to accept the forms effective July 1, 2017.
For those tax districts that collect multi-district occupational taxes, the Secretary of State’s Office is working with stakeholders on the development of another form or forms. Until such a form or forms are adopted formally through the regulatory process, however, businesses reporting in these jurisdictions will likely want to continue using the multi-district return forms developed by local authorities in Boone, Kenton, Campbell, and Scott counties. KLC will make sure to update our members when there are additional developments on this work.
Local Occupational License Tax Information Available on Secretary of State Website
In the 2012 regular legislative session, the General Assembly enacted HB 277, which creates new sections of KRS 67.750 to 67.790 to facilitate efficient collection of local occupational license taxes.
It is important to note that the new law only applies to cities, counties, school districts and special districts that impose an occupational license tax on net profits or gross receipts. If your city only collects a payroll tax, the new law does not apply.
HB 277 required each tax district that imposes an occupational license tax on net profits or gross receipts to submit the following items to the Secretary of State before November 1, 2012:
1) an electronic or hard copy of its occupational license tax return form or forms;
2) accompanying instructions; and
3) a copy of its occupational license tax ordinance.
If your city has not submitted the documents listed above, please do so immediately. Missing the filing deadline could result in denial of services and funding from any state agency.
If your city did submit the required documents by November 1, 2012, but has since amended the tax ordinance or form or has plans to do so, the city must provide a copy to the Secretary of State within 30 days of the amendment.
Hard copies of the tax documents should be mailed to:
700 Capital Avenue
State Capitol Building, Suite 152
Frankfort, KY 40601
ATTN: Noel Caldwell
Electronic copies should be emailed to:
The legislation also requires the Secretary of State to post the local tax ordinances and forms on its website. Please visit this site to find listings of the filed documents, searchable by city name.
For more information on the requirements of HB 277, contact KLC’s Member Legal Services Department.