Are you a Philadelphia taxpayer who recently became aware of a past unmet tax obligation? The best thing to do is to take advantage of the City’s Voluntary Disclosure program to become compliant. Whether you are an individual taxpayer or a new business owner, this program is your opportunity to attain good tax standing with the City.

Here’s how it works

Some Philly taxpayers may be unsure about the taxes they are liable for, while some new businesses may be operating in Philadelphia without a City tax account. These are possible contributors to unfiled returns or missed tax payments. But once you become aware of any outstanding taxes or unfiled returns, you can come in willingly and report them to the Department of Revenue.

The Voluntary Disclosure program allows individuals and businesses to declare their missed tax liabilities. Don’t wait for the Department of Revenue to contact you before acting on it.

Examples of taxes disclosed voluntarily are Business Income & Receipts Tax, Net Profits TaxSchool Income TaxWage TaxEarnings Tax, and Use and Occupancy Tax.

You will be accepted into the program if you:

  • Voluntarily or self-report your unfulfilled tax obligations,
  • Are open about what you owe for up to six years, and
  • Pay the full amount of the tax you owe and interest within 60 days of the bill date.

You do not qualify for the Voluntary Disclosure program if you need a payment plan to clear your debts.

Benefits of the program

In exchange for your honesty, the Department will not audit or bill you for taxes disclosed for any years before the six-year disclosure period. We will also waive any penalties accrued within the disclosure period.

Nevertheless, if you continue to ignore the situation until it is discovered through the Department’s own efforts, you will be responsible for all tax, interest, and penalties. You may also be audited for any prior years. The longer you wait, the higher your charges will be.

How to apply

When you are ready to come forward, please email to make a request to join the program. Make sure your letter contains a brief description of your business activity in Philly and the taxes involved. Also, indicate that you are self-reporting your liabilities or unfulfilled tax obligations.

If you would rather send a letter in the mail, send it to:

Tax Discovery Unit
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Room 440
Philadelphia, PA 19102

For questions or additional information, please email or call (215) 686-6614

Photo credit: marcus_jb1973 | flckr