As a Home Rule City, Centennial administers and collects its own sales tax.

The Centennial Municipal Code imposes a sales tax upon the purchase price paid for tangible personal property and certain taxable services purchased, sold, leased or rented in the City. 

Retailers are responsible for collecting the City sales tax and remitting it directly to the City of Centennial on the City’s sales tax return. Even those retailers without a commercial establishment in Centennial may be engaged in business and responsible for the collection and payment of Centennial sales tax.

Combined Sales Tax Rate

The following is the breakdown of the combined sales tax rate for Centennial. The total rate is 6.75 percent which is comprised of the following:

City of Centennial 2.5 %
State of Colorado* 2.9 %
Regional Transportation District (RTD)* 1.0 %
Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (CD)*   0.1 %
Arapahoe County* 0.25 %
Total 6.75%

* This tax is collected and remitted to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Additional information may also be obtained on the Colorado Department of Revenue’s website.

Filing Returns

Every business required to collect sales tax must file a sales tax return monthly, quarterly or annually; depending on their average tax liability.  Generally, sales tax returns are due on the 20th of the month following the end of the period unless that date falls on a weekend or holiday in which case the due date is the next business day. Please note that if a return is not received by the 20th, timely filing is only evidenced by a USPS Postmark. The City does not accept a meter mark as proof of timely filing. As the USPS does not usually postmark metered mail, the taxpayer who uses a private postage meter must ensure that the returns and payment are received on the due date by placing such privately metered mail in the USPS in sufficient time to assure timely delivery.

Returns must be filed with the City even if the tax liability is zero.  A minimum penalty of $15.00 is applied on all late returns, including zero returns filed late.

Sales Tax FAQs

When are the sales tax payments due?

Sales tax returns are to be filed and payments are to be made no later than the 20th day of the month after each filing period unless the 20th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday. In those cases, the return and payment are due the following business day. Payments will be considered late if they are mailed after the due date. Proof of mailing date must be from a USPS Postmark, not a private meter mark. The City accepts USPS Certificate of Mailing with a valid USPS Postmark as proof of timely filing. However, the City does not accept a Certificate of Bulk Mailing as proof of timely filing. All returns filed after that date are considered late and therefore delinquent. Penalty and interest is imposed on the delinquent tax.

When is the filing period?

Each business that has a Retail Sales Tax License will have a filing period appropriate for the volume of Centennial sales tax collected. Some businesses might have a significant volume of sales for the State of Colorado to warrant filing the sales tax return each month. However, that same business might have a smaller volume of Centennial sales tax collected and might only need to file each quarter. The determination about how often a business files sales tax returns is made by the City. Requests for change in filing status should be made in writing and sent to the City.

What businesses are required to have a Retail Sales Tax License?

All operation “Engaged in Business” in the City is required to obtain a Retail Sales Tax License and collect and remit City sales taxes. This includes businesses that have a physical location inside the City and businesses located outside of the City. If you have questions on determining if your business should be licensed, please contact the City at (303) 325-8000.

The license application wants me to put down a NAICS Code and list lots of information about my business that doesn’t seem to apply to Sales Tax. Why does the City need to know that information?

The questions about NAICS, square footage of the business, type of business, etc. relate to the registration of the business and help the City by gathering information that assists the City’s planning and economic development efforts.

The license application asks for my Social Security Number. I don’t want to provide that unless I understand why that’s important to the City.

Since Sales Tax is a tax paid by the customer to the City and held in trust by the vendor/retail business, the information requested on the license application is required so that the City has the necessary information in the event the retailer does not remit the sales tax to the City. The answers to all of the questions in Section Two on the second page of the application are considered to be highly confidential and are not part of the City’s public records policy. Information provided in Section Two of the license application is treated with the same confidentiality as the information on the returns that are filed by the vendor.

Why does my return and payment get mailed to a P.O. Box in Denver?

The City has contracted with a local bank to provide lockbox services. Lockbox services allow the City to focus on the recording of sales tax, customer service, audit services, and business registration management. A lockbox receives the license applications, sales tax returns and payments, and all other correspondence. The service records the receipt of the information and transmits that information to the City electronically. The sales tax payments are deposited directly into the City’s bank account. The lockbox process is allowing the City staff to focus time and resources on Sales Tax Administration and not cash receipting.

Can I just file and pay the taxes through the website?

Vendors may file the Sales Tax Return and pay sales tax collected to the City of Centennial through the City’s Web site. Payment of the Sales Tax is through an ACH (Automated Clearinghouse) payment from the vendor’s bank account. The on-line file and pay feature can be accessed through the City’s Web site by visiting the Online Payments page. Click on the “Online Sales Tax Filing” on the left column, then the “Access Centennial’s Online Portal to complete a transaction” link.

Can I pay the sales tax with a credit card?

The City has made the decision not to provide the ability for vendors to pay sales tax due with credit cards. The credit card companies require that the City pay a percentage of the sales tax to the merchant service provider for the ability to use credit cards. Some cities pass that cost on to the vendors as a convenience fee. Centennial has decided not to pursue that method of payment at this time due to the cost to the City and/or the vendor.

Does the City have a General Use Tax?

The City of Centennial does not have a General Use Tax. The City does have a Use Tax on Motor Vehicles and Construction and Building Materials.

What other taxes does the City have?

Property taxes are levied by local governments on all privately owned real property regardless of use. The amount of the taxes levied are based on the assessed valuation of the property and the City’s mill levy. The tax is assessed by multiplying the assessed valuation by the mill levy rate. Assessed valuation is established by the Arapahoe County Assessor. To look up your property's assessed value, visit the County Assessor's Parcel Search.

The City’s Property Tax is collected by the Arapahoe County Assessor. Questions regarding Property Tax should be directed to the Administration Office of the Arapahoe County Assessor at (303) 795-4600, or information regarding property taxes can be found at the Arapahoe County Assessor's Office.

Where do I file my return and pay the sales tax in person?

To pay in person go, to the Civic Center at 13133 E. Arapahoe Road and ask for the Sales Tax Department. You can also file online or mail to the Lockbox address – P.O. Box 17383, Denver, CO 80217-0383.

Quick Contact Info:

City of Centennial
13133 East Arapahoe Road
Centennial, CO  80112

(303) 325-8000 - 24-Hour Citizen Response Center
(720) 488-0933 - Fax Number

 

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