Monday, November 2, 2015

Decatur sends bills to over 250 lawyers for occupation taxes

Lawyer invoicing:
Decatur sent bills to local attorneys late last week for occupational taxes owed for 2015. If you practice locally and you do not receive a bill by November 6, please contact our office to confirm your account information and mailing address. The bills are based on existing city records and state bar directory records. The annual bill is for $400 plus a $25 administration fee. Revenues are used to provide quality services to the public. If you no longer practice law in the City, please let us know. You may also check the state bar directory at and update their address record for you if necessary.

Payment options:
Attorneys are encouraged to pay this tax online. Our website allows for payments by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or PayPal. No additional fees are charged for paying online—just the $425 amount. There is no registration process, no login or user name, no passwords, and no PINs. Just go to, click on “Occupation Tax” on the upper left, select 2015 as the year, enter your name as it appears on your bill and click “Go.” Once you’ve accessed your record, you’ll see your option to pay. Payment is due by Dec. 31, 2015. If you prefer, payments can be made in person at 509 N. McDonough St. by cash, check, or credit card; or by mail to City of Decatur, PO Box 220, 30031. If paying by mail, please enclose the bottom portion of your invoice so we can apply your payment to the right record.

New prompt-pay incentive
Decatur’s occupation tax ordinance has been amended recently. If you pay your tax by Nov. 30, the City of Decatur will waive the $25 administration fee. Please pay online or mail in a payment of $400 by Nov. 30 to take advantage of this discount. Payment of $425 will be necessary if paying after Dec. 1.

Authority to tax:
Some attorneys practicing law in Decatur have questioned the City’s occupation tax on the basis of Barnes v. City of Atlanta. Barnes holds that such taxes must be revenue measures only, not regulatory in nature. Decatur’s occupation tax ordinance expressly states that the occupation tax is levied “for revenue purposes only and is not for regulatory purposes” (Sec. 22-15).

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