Hundreds of Philadelphia taxpayers visit the Municipal Services Building (MSB) to make payments every day. The COVID-19 health emergency has meant fewer visitors, and many more challenges in the way we welcome and interact with them.
The Department of Revenue’s cashiering team has worked hard to make sure we continue serving everyone as quickly and safely as possible. But we realize the new rules and procedures are still unfamiliar to many of our customers.
Payment Processing Clerk, Kristin Ricci, breaks down everything you should know when coming to the MSB to make a payment. Be sure to make your list and check it twice!
- What should a customer bring when they come in for a payment appointment?
Customers should bring:
People tend to forget their actual bill or invoice. Unfortunately, we cannot process a tax payment without the physical bill. A bill is not required to make a water bill payment unless it is a Help Loan or water repair bill. Cashiers can look up water bills by account number and/or property address.
2. What types of payments are accepted at the MSB?
Both tax and water payments can be made in cash, check, money order, and with a debit or credit card.
Cash, check, or money order payments have no fee, but a service fee of $3.95 is charged for personal debit and credit card water bill payments. Business cards pay a fee of 2.25% of the total payment amount – this fee applies only to tax payments, and is collected by our payment-processing vendor. Revenue does not keep any part of this fee.
You should be aware that Visa debit/credit cards are not accepted for in-person water payments or Refuse Tax bill payments.
Visa cards can, however, be used for online water payments.
3. Do you have any helpful tips to make a payment transaction successful?
- Tip #1 – If you are unable to bring a coupon, stop by Bill Services first. It’s located on the Concourse level of the MSB opposite Cashiering. Once Bill Services provides you with a payment coupon, you can proceed to Cashiering to complete your transaction.
- Tip #2 – Know the exact bill amounts you are paying. Many times, water bills are generated before the previous month’s payments are posted resulting in a double bill.
It’s important to let a cashier know if you are paying a different amount than what is listed on the bill. It’s also a good idea to write the amount you are paying directly on the payment coupon.
- Tip #3 – Make sure the numbers listed at the bottom of the payment coupons are visible. If the numbers are not legible, the coupon will not scan and you may have to visit Bill Services to obtain a new payment coupon.
4. Why can’t cashiers look up tax balances for customers who want to pay off their back taxes
Cashiers have limited access to taxpayer accounts. We take your privacy and security very seriously Our cashiers cannot look up detailed account information and must refer taxpayers to speak with a customer service representative. Often, customers ask us to view the year in which they owe taxes, but we’re unable to view that information.
- Is there anything taxpayers should know when making a payment in the MSB right now due to COVID-19 restrictions?
Yes, customers must make a payment appointment to minimize wait times and to keep themselves and others safe. You can make appointments both online and via telephone at (215) 686-6442, for property taxes or (215) 686-6600 for business taxes. On the day of, try arrive as close to your appointment as possible.
Once you’re in the building:
- When waiting in line, please follow and stand on the yellow markings that have been placed six feet apart for your protection.
- Please wait to approach the cashier window even if a light is on. The next available cashier will flash or blink their light when ready.
- You’ll need to provide the cashier with the phone number used to make the appointment to check-in.
6. What else do you think would be helpful for taxpayers to know?
Customers don’t have to come in person to pay their bill! There are many convenient ways to pay:
- Online – Secure and fast, the best way to pay.
- By mail – We accept payments with a personal or cashier’s check, or money order. Don’t forget to include a payment coupon!
Mail tax payments to:
Philadelphia Dept. of Revenue
P.O. Box 8409
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8409
Mail water payments to:
Water Revenue Bureau
P.O. Box 41496
Philadelphia, PA 19101-1496