Deadline extended for Lyft, Uber drivers to register as businesses

The San Francisco Tax Collector’s Office on Tuesday announced a brief reprieve for drivers working for ride-booking services, who were told earlier this year that they would need to register as businesses and pay penalties for late registration.

The deadline for drivers to register as a business has been extended to August 31, officials with the tax collector’s office said Wednesday.

In addition, drivers who have registered and found themselves charged with penalties for late registration will have those penalties refunded. No penalties or interest will be charged to those who register by the August deadline, officials said.

The tax collectors office notified 37,000 people identified as drivers for transportation network companies in April this year that as independent contractors they had 30 days to register as a business with the city. Around 8,000 have registered so far, officials said this week.

However, Treasurer and Tax Collector Jose Cisneros on Tuesday said that ongoing litigation regarding the employment status of the drivers “has resulted in significant confusion about business registration requirements in San Francisco.” “In consultation with the City Attorney, given this lack of clarity, we are allowing drivers to register without penalty for prior periods if they take action before August 31, 2016,” Cisneros said in a statement.

Anyone engaging in business in the city is required by law to register as a business within 15 days of operation, and must renew their registration annually. Registration fees for new business can cost anywhere from $75 to $35,000, depending on the type of business and its annual gross receipts.