The New Year is underway, but the COVID-19 health emergency continues to present countless challenges for Philadelphia taxpayers and water customers. The Department of Revenue understands these are difficult times. Even as the pandemic has forced us to change policies and procedures, we’ve worked to serve the public as efficiently and safely as possible.

As 2021 starts off, we’re providing this overview of our most important COVID-related updates, including links to find extra information. We’ve covered:

  • Making payments and filing taxes
  • Tax and water bill assistance
  • Refunds
  • Water
  • Visiting our offices

We expect 2021 will bring more tax and water bill updates. Be sure to check our COVID-19 tax guidance webpage, and Philly water updates for ongoing policy and procedure news in response to the pandemic.

Making payments and filing taxes

The best way to pay taxes or water bills is always online. Need to file taxes? Online is also the best choice. If you don’t have one, registering for a Philadelphia tax account is easy and secure.

We continue to accept payments by mail, and over the phone too.

In early March 2020, we stopped in-person payments to keep staff and taxpayers safe.  We have since adjusted that restriction to allow tax and water customers to schedule an in-person payment appointment.

When coming in for a scheduled payment appointment, it’s important to bring:

  • A physical bill and payment coupon – Payment coupons are also required when making a payment on a Real Estate payment agreement.
  • A government-issued photo ID card – We are unable to process card payments without proper identification.

Tax and water bill assistance

Many businesses did not have back taxes before the pandemic but are now struggling to pay them. If this is your case, you can take advantage of our Business Recovery Payment Agreement.

If your situation is more complicated, we have other business payment agreement options to get you back on track.

We also have affordable plans for property tax and water bill accounts. If you have questions about any form of assistance, please call our hotlines between 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

  • (215) 686-6442 about property tax,
  • (215) 686-6600 about all other taxes,
  • (215) 685-6300 about your water service or bill

Or, email:

You can also request a telephone call back from a Revenue representative.

Refunds, amending returns, and fee delay

In 2020, many businesses were ordered to close or limit operations. Many employees were also ordered to work from home. As a result, Philly employers and workers may need to request refunds for Wage Tax, Use & Occupancy Tax and 2020 BIRT estimated payments.

We’re provided guidance for all of these cases on our COVID tax webpage. We will also provide information for a new, streamlined process for employer-requested 2020 non-resident Wage Tax refunds soon.

Property owners who haven’t paid their Annual Refuse Collection Fee now have an additional six months to pay this bill. The due date for this year is now June 30, 2021.

To receive these kinds of updates directly in your inbox, sign up for our email updates.

Water bills and service

The City of Philadelphia has extended its water shutoff protection measure through April 1, 2021. This is for both residential and commercial water customers.

We’ve also paused all penalties and late fees for unpaid water bills. While shutoffs have been suspended, your balance will continue to grow if you don’t pay your bill.

If you can’t afford your water bill, now is the time to apply for assistance.

Visiting Revenue offices

Our two satellite offices remain closed until further notice. While we are working hard to provide digital and telephone customer service, we know some people need help in person.

As mentioned above, if you want to come to the Municipal Services Building, you must schedule an appointment first. During your visit, please know:

  • All customers are required to wear masks.
  • You will be required to share the phone number used to make the appointment.
  • Follow safety protocols, including standing on yellow markings and waiting to approach cashier windows until your turn.

If you have questions about liens, judgements or other legal issues, you can make an in-person appointment with a Law Department representative by calling (215) 686-0500.