Effective for Tax Year 2017, the City of Philadelphia has unveiled the Sustainable Jump Start tax credit. It allows new, sustainable businesses to use a 0% rate on Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) for their first three years after they register.

The City of Philadelphia cares about the environment, health, and under-served residents. We hope Sustainable Jump Start will help like-minded businesses take off.

New businesses should apply before filing their first BIRT returns with the City. Plus, starting in Tax Year 2018, businesses will also receive a 0% rate on the Net Profits Tax (NPT). New companies can potentially save thousands of dollars.

Some companies starting in 2017 meet eligibility for the original Jump Start program. We recommend applying to that program for the first year to get the 0% rate for both BIRT and NPT. You can switch to Sustainable Jump Start in your second year.

Beyond green

To take part in Sustainable Jump Start, owners must commit to hire at least two full-time employees. They must also show they have made sustainability a priority. Examples include producing goods that respect the environment, or providing services to low-income neighborhoods.

The Department of Revenue and the Office of Sustainability will review applications in the order received. The City will pick a limited number of businesses each year, so don’t wait!

You can find out more on Sustainable Jump Start’s web page. It includes information on how to get certified as sustainable.

Who is eligible?

Businesses that have not been required to file a BIRT return in the last five years are eligible for Sustainable Jump Start. But, owners of an existing business, who launch a different kind of business, may also apply.

Businesses that hold, sell, lease, transfer, manage or develop real estate are not eligible for this program.

Photo credit: Peter Tobia