Business Tax Administrative Rule 610.16-1
De Minimus Business Activity for Freight Carriers
"De minimus" means activity that is trivial or of little importance or significance. If a person’s activities within the City of Portland or Multnomah County in their entirety are defined as "de minimus", they would not be subject to the City of Portland Business License Tax (including the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax applicable to tax years 2016 through 2019) or the Multnomah County Business Income Tax. However, any business having a physical location, owning or leasing property, or maintaining any constant business presence within the City of Portland and/or Multnomah County will not be considered "de minimus".
Pick-up or delivery services performed by freight carriers within the City of Portland and Multnomah County are considered sufficient contact to create a taxable presence in the City/County and would not be considered "de minimus", regardless of how seldom they may occur in a tax year. However, for purposes of the City of Portland Business License Law and Multnomah County Business Income Tax Law, some minimal activities may be considered "de minimus" -- assuming such activities are the sole activities within Portland or Multnomah County.
If the only activities of a person (defined as the tax filing entity that would otherwise be subject to the City/County business taxes) are limited to the following, they would not be subject to the City of Portland Business License Tax (including the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax applicable to tax years 2016 through 2019) or the Multnomah County Business Income Tax:
- Driving through the City/County without actually making any stops
- Stopping in the City/County only to refuel
Example 1: ABC Trucking has its headquarters in Bend, Oregon. Their trucks drive through Portland on their way to make shipments to customers in Washington, but they do not make any pick-ups or deliveries in Portland. They have no other business activity in Portland. They would not be subject to the City of Portland Business License Tax or the Portland Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVT).
Example 2: Parent Corp owns a commercial building in Portland as well as a trucking company in California. Parent Corp files a consolidated City/County business tax return. If any of the trucks are subject to Oregon’s heavy vehicle tax and those trucks drive on streets owned or maintained by the City of Portland, Parent Corp is subject to both the Portland Business License Tax and the HVT (even if no pick-ups or deliveries are made to customers in Portland).
(PCC 7.02.610 A/ MCC 12.610 A)