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What’s changing

What’s changing

The Philadelphia Tax Center will require you to file and pay a few taxes a little differently. This includes the retirement of previously-used websites, some new filing frequencies, and other differences. Below is a detailed description of important changes to keep in mind as you start using the Philadelphia Tax Center.

Real Estate Tax

If you own a property in Philadelphia, you are responsible for paying the City’s Real Estate Tax. Starting in October 2022, property owners should use the Philadelphia Tax Center to look up their balances and pay their bills.

You must go directly to the Philadelphia Tax Center to search your property and pay your bills, starting with your 2023 property tax bills. This is the quickest and most convenient way to search and pay this tax moving forward. Please note:

  • The property balance search website will redirect your searches to the Tax Center.
  • Although you can still look up your property on the phila.gov website, the “View the Tax Balance” link will take you to the Tax Center.

You can search and view past balances for up to six prior years on the Tax Center. You need your street address or 9-digit OPA number to access your property on the Philadelphia Tax Center.

To Search

To look up your property tax bill on the Philadelphia Tax Center:

  1. Go to tax-services.phila.gov
  2. Pick “Search for a property” under the “Property” panel
  3. Enter your street address on the “Search for a property” screen and hit “Search.” Select your property’s OPA number on the right side of this same screen. This action takes you to the next screen, where you can view a summary of your property account. Here, you can “Make a payment,” “View period balance,” “Apply for real estate assistance programs,” and “View liens and debt.”

The Tax Center also allows you to “Make a payment” after searching your property. With this option, you can choose to pay your balance in full or by period.

The “View period balance” link also shows any credits you may have on your property tax account – check for a column called “Credit.” Please be aware that if your account shows a credit balance for a previous year that you weren’t the property owner and did not pay for, you cannot claim a refund for that credit, even if you see it in this section of your account.

To pay

  1. Select “Make a payment” under the “Payments” panel from the Tax Center’s homepage.
  2. Pick “Yes” to pay a current year bill. Using the Letter ID found at the top of your bill makes paying online easiest. You can also go to the Property panel to see and pay all balances on a property, including balances from prior years.
  3. If you are paying past due bills: Choose “No” on this same screen and use the dropdown menu to select “Real Estate Tax.”

Follow the onscreen directions to complete your payment. You don’t need a username and password to look up and pay your bills on the Tax Center. If you need help or have questions, please call (215) 686-6600.

Real Estate Tax assistance programs

Like Real Estate Tax, you can also use the Tax Center to apply for the following Real Estate Tax assistance programs:

You don’t need a username and password to complete and submit applications to these programs through the Tax Center. Follow the “Search for a property” steps described above to find applications to these programs on the Tax Center.

Police Resource requests

Starting in October 2022, all Philadelphia Police Resource requests must be submitted through the Philadelphia Tax Center. The new website allows you to:

  • Request police resources,
  • Cancel police resource requests,
  • Register new accounts, and
  • Manage contacts.

Please be aware that although the Reimbursement Overtime Workflow System (ROWS) website remains available; it will redirect users to the Tax Center after October 3.

Eventually, we will phase out the ROWS website. You will need to go directly to the Philadelphia Tax Center to submit or cancel your police resource requests, register for new accounts, or manage your contacts online. Remember to update your bookmarks.

You don’t need to create a Tax Center username and password to access these services, but be ready to share your Federal Employer ID or Social Security Number. You will need your new account number and the email address associated with your account.

The Department of Revenue sent an email notification to all active users with their new account number. If you did not see this email, check your spam folders. If you are unsure or need help retrieving your account number, please call (215) 686-6600.

To request police resources:

  1. Go to the Philadelphia Tax Center’shomepage
  2. Under the “Police resources” panel, select “Request police resources.”
  3. Carefully read the “Terms and conditions” and hit “Next.”
  4. Enter your new account number, Federal Employer ID or Social Security Number, and email address on file.
  5. Follow the onscreen prompts to complete and submit your request.

Eight taxes with online payment and filing requirements

The following Philadelphia taxes can ONLY be filed and paid electronically after October 3, 2022:

  • Parking Tax
  • Valet Parking Tax
  • Hotel Tax
  • Amusement Tax
  • Mechanical Amusement Tax
  • Vehicle Rental Tax
  • Outdoor Advertising Tax
  • Use & Occupancy Tax

The short return for Valet Parking Tax, Hotel Tax, Amusement Tax, Vehicle Rental Tax, and Outdoor Advertising Tax will mimic the original coupons you previously used for payment.

Parking Tax filers must complete and submit a worksheet in addition to filing a return. You must be logged in to download the worksheet.

Previously, taxpayers did not need to file a return for Parking Tax, Valet Parking Tax, Hotel Tax, Amusement Tax, Mechanical Amusement Tax, Vehicle Rental Tax, and Outdoor Advertising Tax.

Also, except for Mechanical Amusement Tax, you could pay the above-listed taxes online or by mail with a coupon that also acted as a return. However, you must use the Philadelphia Tax Center to file and pay these taxes from now on. We no longer accept coupons or mailed checks.

While you don’t need a username and password to pay taxes at the Philadelphia Tax Center, you must be logged in to file these returns. Keep in mind that paying these taxes online does not satisfy their electronic filing requirements. You will receive a non-filer notice if you only pay online and fail to file these returns electronically.

The payment and filing frequencies for these taxes remain the same. If you need help or have questions, please call (215) 686-6600.

Get Tax Clearance

If you need to get a Philadelphia Tax Clearance certificate, you must visit the “Tax clearance” section of the Philadelphia Tax Center to submit a request.

You must use the Philadelphia Tax Center to request tax clearance certificates starting on October 3. The Tax Compliance System website will redirect you to the Philadelphia Tax Center after that date. Remember to update your bookmarks.

You don’t need a username and password to request tax clearance on the Tax Center. However, creating a username and password can streamline the resolution of tax clearance issues. Once logged in, you’ll have access to direct information about missing returns or payments.

To request a tax clearance certificate:

  1. Go to tax-services.phila.gov
  2. Find the “Tax clearance” panel at the foot of the homepage and select “Request a tax clearance certificate.”
  3. Carefully read the “Warning” and select “Accept.”
  4. On the “Tax clearance request” screen, choose the tax clearance type you need and be ready to share your Federal Employer ID or Social Security Number. Enter your name and hit “Search.”
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete and submit your request.

Commercial Trash Fee

Starting on October 3, customers using the City’s trash and recycling service for their small business, multi-unit, or mixed-use property must use the Philadelphia Tax Center to pay the annual Commercial Trash Fee (previously known as the Refuse Collection Fee). The website you have used will no longer be available after October 3, 2022.

You can also use the Philadelphia Tax Center to:

  • Apply for a Commercial Trash Fee Exemption, and
  • Look up your bills using your OPA number or address

The annual trash collection fee of $500 and payment due dates remain the same. You can pay the $500 fee at once, or in two $250 installments. If you split your payment into two, you must pay the first $250 by December 31 and the second $250 by June 30.

The easiest and fastest way to pay is online at the Philadelphia Tax Center. You don’t need to create a username and password to make payments on the Tax Center:

  • Go to tax-services.phila.gov.
  • Find the “Payments” panel on the Tax Center’s homepage. Select “Make a payment.”
  • If you are paying a bill for the current year: Under “Payment options,” pick “Yes” to pay a bill you just received. You will now use the Letter ID found at the top of your bill to pay this fee online. Be aware that your trash bills will not have notice numbers from now on.
  • If you are paying past due bills: Choose “No” on this same screen and use the dropdown menu to select “Commercial Trash Fees.”

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete and submit your payment. If you have questions, bill-related inquiries, or need help, please call (215) 686-6442 or send an email to solidresources@phila.gov.

Your Philadelphia Tax Identification Number (PHTIN)

You may notice a change in the length and the name we give to your account numbers in the Philadelphia Tax Center. Don’t worry about this change: You can continue to use the old number, as well as Social Security Numbers or Federal Employer IDs to process 2020 (and future) returns, and make payments. Taxpayers who prefer to file on paper, and do not file electronically through the Tax Center, can also continue to file and pay using their previous account numbers. We understand if you no longer wish to use your Social Security number as an identifier.

We are calling your new, personal identifier a Philadelphia Tax Identification Number, or PHTIN. The PTHIN is longer than your old number, but the new system will recognize both the old number or PHTIN when you file or pay a tax. Longer numbers allow us to improve security and support future capacity.

Also, when you log into the Philadelphia Tax Center, you may notice new numbers for each of your accounts. For example, your BIRT account and your Wage Tax account will have different numbers. Don’t worry about this change. They work as reference numbers when you contact the Philadelphia Department of Revenue. They are good to have on hand if you call us: A representative can look up a specific account faster, and respond to questions more accurately. Our staff can also look up accounts using your old account number.

Philadelphia Beverage Tax

Starting on November 1, distributors of sweetened beverages in Philadelphia must use the Philadelphia Tax Center to file and pay the Philadelphia Beverage Tax (PBT). You should also use the new website if you need to:

  • Become a registered dealer, and
  • Search for a registered distributor.

The website taxpayers have used to file and pay PBT will no longer be available after November 1, 2021. You can file and pay PBT on the new site for periods prior to November 2021.

The filing frequency for PBT remains the same. You should file and pay this tax by the 20th of each month, for your prior month’s activity. If you are registered to pay PBT, you will need to file a return every month, even if you have no business activity.

If you sell sweetened beverages in Philadelphia, it remains your responsibility to know if your beverages distributor is registered to pay PBT. To search for a registered distributor:

  1. Go to the Philadelphia Tax Center’s homepage.
  2. Under the “Registered Distributors” panel, select “Search for a registered distributor.”
  3. Search for a distributor by name or address.

Taxpayers have been required to file and pay the Philadelphia Beverage Tax electronically since its creation. That remains the same. There are no paper returns or payment coupons for PBT.

Liquor Tax

Like the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, Liquor Tax can ONLY be paid and filed electronically after November 1, 2021. To pay and file Liquor Tax, you must use the Philadelphia Tax Center from now on. Please note:

  • We are not issuing and mailing you monthly coupon books for Liquor Tax.
  • You can not download payment coupons from our website.
  • Taxpayers can not pay this tax by mail.

The frequency for filing Liquor Tax returns is also changing. Please read on for more details.

To pay

To pay your monthly Liquor Tax on the Philadelphia Tax Center:

  • Log in with a username and password, OR
  • Pay as a guest without logging in (see the Payments panel on the homepage).

Please note: Creating a username and password requires receiving a verification letter in the mail. It may take 5-10 business days to receive that physical letter, and a week or more to complete the process. We do this to keep your tax and personal information safe.

Liquor Tax is paid by the 25th day of each month, for the previous month’s activity. The tax rate and payment due dates for the Liquor Tax are not changing.

For years before 2021, payments are made towards the annual filing period.

For 2021 specifically, all payments for the year go to the 12/31/21 period.

For 2022 forward, put all payments towards the quarterly period.

To file

You must file quarterly returns for Liquor Tax starting in 2022. The first filing due date in the new schedule is May 2, 2022 (for the January – March period). In the past, returns were filed annually.

You will need to create a username and password to file Liquor Tax returns. You cannot file returns as a guest. To file your quarterly Liquor Tax returns in the Philadelphia Tax Center:

  1. Log in.
  2. Find your Liquor Tax account in the Summary page.
  3. Select the “File, view or amend returns” link.

To register

If you are starting a new business in Philadelphia, you may need to register for a new Liquor Tax account. To register:

  1. Go to https://tax-services.phila.gov.
  2. Select the “Register a new taxpayer” link, under the panel New taxpayers.
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to create a login and register for a Liquor Tax account.

You will receive an email when your request is reviewed.

As a new taxpayer, you will not receive a verification letter in the mail. Once approved, simply log in to file your Liquor Tax returns as they become due.

File Wage Tax quarterly and electronically

Starting in 2022, you must file quarterly Wage Tax returns online through the Philadelphia Tax Center. We no longer accept paper returns. W-2 forms are not required until the end of February of the following year.

Also, this tax must now be paid electronically on the Philadelphia Tax Center. We no longer accept Wage Tax payments on our old website, or by ACH Debit (over the phone). Payments are due separately from the quarterly returns and are determined by the amount of Wage Tax you withhold. Please visit our Wage Tax page to determine your payment frequency.

The new quarterly filing due dates for 2022 are provided below.

Quarter Period begins Period ends Due date
First quarter 1/1/2022 3/31/2022 5/2/2022
Second quarter 4/1/2022 6/30/2022 8/1/2022
Third quarter 7/1/2022 9/30/2022 10/31/2022
Fourth quarter 10/1/2022 12/31/2022 1/31/2023

For existing Philadelphia taxpayers who haven’t already created a Tax Center profile, you must first create a username and password to request a verification letter from us before filing Wage Tax online. It may take 5-10 business days to receive the letter. This step-by-step video will guide you through the process.

Earnings Tax

Earnings Tax filers have the option to complete and submit their returns electronically in the Philadelphia Tax Center. Previously, taxpayers had to file Earnings Tax on a paper return.

It’s worth noting that you can file up to three prior years’ returns online in the Philadelphia Tax Center.

Philadelphia’s Earnings Tax applies to salaries, wages, commissions, and other compensation paid to you as an employee. It is a self-pay and -file tax. If your employer doesn’t collect and pay the City’s Wage Tax on your behalf, you need to file and pay Earnings Tax for yourself. The most common situation for filing and paying the Earnings Tax is when a Philadelphia resident works for an out-of-state employer.

The Philadelphia Tax Center will make filing and paying Earnings Tax more convenient than ever. On average, 11,000 Earnings Tax returns are filed by Philly taxpayers every year.

You can continue completing your Earnings Tax return or paper form, and mail it in, if that is your preference. But moving forward, the Philadelphia Tax Center will be the best way to file and pay Earnings Tax.

Stop using ACH Debit EZ-pay

We are terminating the ACH Debit EZ-pay system as part of the Philadelphia Tax Center’s implementation. After October 27, 2021 you can no longer use this pay-by-phone method for Phase 1 taxes. For a list of Phase 1 taxes, please review the project’s timeline.

You will be able to call in as before, but the system will reject any payments attempts for these taxes after October 27.

To remain current on these taxes, please make electronic payments using the Philadelphia Tax Center. You can make payments by:

  • Logging in with a username and password, OR
  • As guest, with no username or password required.

To pay as a guest, select the “Pay by eCheck” link under the “Payments” section on the homepage.

We encourage you to create a username and password for online payments. This will also allow you to view your tax accounts, update account information, and more.

Please be aware, creating a username and password for existing customers requires receiving a verification letter in the mail. This process can take a week or more to complete.

Submitting W-2s and 1099s

Employers and payroll service companies must submit W-2s to the City of Philadelphia. This requirement has not changed, but you can no longer submit W-2s through our old FTP site. From now on, please use the Philadelphia Tax Center to submit W-2s or 1099 forms.

  • If you have used the Philadelphia Tax Center already, Log in with your username and password.
  • If you have not used the Philadelphia Tax Center previously, go to the homepage and select “Create a username and password” under the “Existing taxpayers” panel. We have a video with step-by-step instructions on how to create a username and password.

Please be aware that completing the verification process for the first time can take a week or more.

Once you log in, select the tab “More options…” and find the “1099s and W-2s” panel. Select an option and follow the on-screen prompts to submit your W-2s or 1099s.

You can find full instructions on how to submit W-2s and Form 1099s on our website.


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