UPDATE (November 2, 2021): The City’s new tax filing and payment website, the Philadelphia Tax Center, is now live. From now on, please complete online returns and payments for most City business taxes on the new website. Check out our online tax center guide for help getting started and answers to common questions.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: (6/24/21): Because of the high volumes of requests, processing times for refund is now 8 to 10 weeks.
IMPORTANT UPDATE (2/8/21): We’ve published all 2020 Wage Tax return forms, including simplified and online versions, on our website. Businesses can now upload (submit) employer-requested refund forms on our eFile/ePay website.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused huge disruptions to Philadelphia businesses and workers. Many employees have been ordered to work from home, or are struggling with income loss. The Philadelphia Department of Revenue expects hundreds more 2020 Wage Tax refund requests this tax season. To smooth the process, we’ve introduced:

  • An employer-requested form.
  • New online forms.
  • Streamlined paper forms for income-based refunds.

Employer-requested refunds

In the past, only an employee could apply for a Wage Tax refund. For Tax Year 2020 only, because so many people were ordered to work from home, businesses can submit a refund request on behalf of a group of their non-resident employees.

To do so, we’ve created a new form employers can download at www.phila.gov/documents/2020-wage-tax-refunds/. The employer must provide accurate and complete tax information for each of their non-resident workers. We’re providing instructions on how to calculate the refund amount for each employee. We will only accept these requests, when a business has used our own Employer-requested form. We are unable to capture information from other forms.

Once completed, employers must upload the form on our eFile/ePay website. Upload the form by selecting the “Wage File” option at the bottom of the website’s navigation menu. We will mail refund checks directly to employees, so please ensure mailing addresses are current.

Submit your forms online

If your employer is submitting a petition on your behalf, DO NOT submit a petition yourself. But if you need to submit on your own, you should use one of our online Wage Tax refund petitions.

The first online form is for non-resident employees who were required to work from home by their employer. It is a streamlined petition, but like paper filing, must include:

  • A letter from your employer for the dates you were required to work outside Philadelphia.
  • A full copy of your W-2, which includes taxes paid to Philadelphia.

City residents cannot get a refund for Wage Tax withheld in 2020.

The new forms described above are for non-resident employees who work a normal, full-business day. The new forms:

  • Do NOT account for overtime.
  • Are NOT for refund requests that include travel, stock options, and/or business expenses.

If this is your case, you must continue to use the longer paper forms.

The second online form is for income-based petitions. It can be signed by the employee or a preparer, and must include:

  • A full copy of your W-2 for each employer (if you have more than one).
  • A copy of the PA SP 40 form you filed with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

New, simplified income-based form

Recent legislative changes mean your income-based Wage Tax refund amount could be higher this year. We’ve also done our best to simplify the 2020 income-based paper forms, both for residents and non-resident petitioners.

All taxpayers should also note that we will accept digital employer signatures and have created a uniform travel worksheet.

We realize many taxpayers were anxious to get the new forms, and we thank you for your patience. If you have questions, please email refund.unit@phila.gov, or call us at (215) 686-6574; 6575 or 6578.

Picture credit: WOCinTech Chat