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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.

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
  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.

New Wage Tax filing frequency

Previously, Wage Tax filers submitted a reconciliation form once a year. They could complete an online or a paper return.

Taxpayers can submit their 2021 Wage annual reconciliation on the Philadelphia Tax Center from January 1, 2022.

Starting in 2022, they must file quarterly returns and use the Philadelphia Tax Center to do so, providing schedules based on their payment frequency. The first filing date in the new schedule is May 2, 2022. Paper returns will no longer available.

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).

The filing frequency has changed, but taxpayers should continue to make Wage Tax payments with the same frequency as before.

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.