New website to help San Francisco businesses take advantage of tax credits

San Francisco has launched a website to help businesses apply for tax credits for the employees they hire.

The move is one step toward correcting the criticism that The City is tough for businesses because of all the paperwork and departments that owners must navigate in order to get up and running and take advantage of tax credits.

“We absolutely recognize that a business’s time is valuable,” said Todd Ryan, executive director of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “That’s why anything we can do to help make it easier for businesses to take advantage of tax credits is of value and we will do it.”

The website, which launches today at sfezapp.oewd.org, allows businesses in the “Enterprise Zone” that qualify to manage applications in one place. They also can apply for tax credits, as much as $37,000 per employee.

Ryan noted that many businesses often submit applications for multiple employees; the new website eliminates the need for multiple paper applications.

The Enterprise Zone was created in 1997 and includes existing and new businesses in Bayview-Hunters Point, Chinatown, the Mission, the Mission Bay Project Area, Potrero Hill, South of Market, the Tenderloin, the Western Addition, and some portions of North Beach and the Financial District.

Once businesses get approval from San Francisco on the employee tax breaks, they are still required to send notice to the California Franchise Tax Board, but the new website should make the process easier.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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