Archive for April, 2010

City of Los Angeles Business Tax Online E-File

Monday, April 26th, 2010

As of writing this article, the site for filing businesses taxes online at is broken. I’ve tested the site across 3 browsers, chrome, firefox, and IE, and none of them will pass the professional activity code validation check. I’m amazed that such a bug could’ve even passed a decent QA process. In fact, when the user e-filing throughput has dropped significantly after the code release, that should’ve been an instant red flag. I was able to e-file anyways, but I definitely had to bypass the 6-digit activity code violation, even though I did enter a 6 digit business code.

So how was I able to e-file despite the bug in the code? The answer is “Firebug”. So the trick is, whenever you encounter that invalid 6 digit professional activity code error message, you pop open firebug, modify the form’s “onsubmit” attribute, and blank it out. This way, it’ll be programmed to bypass the validation, and that’s it! I’m still annoyed that I had to do that though.

City of Los Angeles, if you’re reading, you can hire me to fix the site for you, I’ll get it done in 5 minutes, and you can just not charge me tax for the next 10 years.