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The Vehicle Rental Business License Tax is authorized under San Mateo County Ordinance Code Chapter 5.150. The County ordinance provides that the County of San Mateo collect Vehicle Rental Business License Tax from associated businesses operating in the unincorporated areas of the county. Operators are required to obtain a “Vehicle Rental Business Registration” within thirty (30) days after commencing business. Once registered, the operator must post the Vehicle Rental Business Registration in a conspicuous place on the premises at all times.
The current Vehicle Rental Business License Tax rate, effective July 1, 2012, is two and one-half (2.5%) percent of gross receipts. Each operator shall, on or before the last day of the month following the close of each calendar quarter, or at the close of any shorter reporting period established by the Tax Collector, complete a tax return. The tax return is used to report the total gross receipts, and the amount of applicable tax. All Vehicle Rental Business License Tax reporting forms are provided on our website. The full amount of tax due shall be remitted to the Tax Collector at the time the return is filed. A tax return must be filed even if no tax is reported, otherwise, your tax will be estimated for you. Operators are required to keep and preserve, for a period of three years, all records necessary to determine the amount of tax. The Tax Collector shall have the right to inspect these records at all reasonable times. The Tax Collector is authorized to record a “Certificate of Delinquent Vehicle Rental Business License Tax Due” lien with the County Recorder against any operator or other person who fails to remit taxes, penalties or interest due within stipulated timeframes.
Any operator or other person who violates any of the provisions of the County ordinance, or who renders a false or fraudulent return, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is punishable as otherwise provided pursuant to 5.150.140 of the Ordinance Code.

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