of the admission charge
Who pays the tax
This tax is imposed on the admission fee charged for attending any amusement in Philadelphia. Amusements include any concerts, movies, athletic contests, night clubs, and convention shows for which admission is charged.
You are responsible for collecting and remitting the Amusement Tax if you:
- Operate or provide any amusement in Philadelphia.
- Promote any show located in Philadelphia.
Regardless of whether your Amusement Permit is regular or temporary, you are responsible for collecting and remitting the tax.
Holders of permanent Amusement Permits must file and pay the Amusement Tax by the 15th day of each month, for the prior month’s activity. This tax must be filed and paid electronically on the Philadelphia Tax Center. We no longer accept coupons or mailed checks.
If your Amusement Permit is temporary, you must both file and pay the tax within ﬁve days after the event is held.
Tax rates, penalties, & fees
How much is it?
Amusement Tax is imposed at the rate of 5% of the admission charge for the amusement venue or event.
What happens if you don't pay on time?
If you don’t pay on time, interest and penalties will be added to the amount you owe.
For more information about rates, see our Interest, penalties, and fees page.
If you collect Amusement Tax but don’t pay it to the Department of Revenue, the amount you collected will be subject to fines of $300 for each month of non-payment, in addition to the interest and penalties.
Discounts & exemptions
Are you eligible for a discount?
No discounts are available for the Amusement Tax.
Can you be excused from paying the tax?
Certain institutions, societies, or organizations may apply for an exemption from having to file and pay the Amusement Tax. Eligible groups include:
- Religious institutions. Encompasses churches, synagogues, chapels, convents, and certain religious orders.
- Educational institutions. To fit this category, an organization must offer instruction to students in a particular field. Clubs or societies organized within a school for social or athletic purposes are not exempt.
- Charitable organizations. Two criteria apply: (1) The organization’s typical services must be offered free of charge, or so nearly free of charge as to make the charges nominal; and (2) Those who benefit from or receive the organization’s services must be legitimately in need of charity.
- Cruelty prevention groups. Applies to societies for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
- Performing arts organizations. This category applies specifically to societies or organizations with the sole purpose of conducting symphony orchestras, opera performances, and artistic presentations. These organizations must receive substantial support from voluntary contributions beyond any income collected from entertainment events.
- City improvement groups. A society or organization in this category must show that its purpose is to improve a specific city, town, village, or borough in some way.
- Community centers. Applies to cooperative or community centers, movie theaters, and swimming pools. The society or organization must show that the center, moving picture, or swimming pool is open to all residents of the particular community in which the facility is located.
- U.S. military groups. This includes National Guard organizations, reserve officers’ associations, and war veterans’ posts or auxiliary units organized in Pennsylvania.
- Police and fire department benefit groups. These societies and organizations benefit the family members, dependents, or heirs of those who serve as members of police or fire departments. The police or fire department must be recognized as legitimate by the people it serves in Pennsylvania.
- Legitimate theater shows. Includes traditional forms of drama, comedy, musical comedy, tragedy, repertoire works, and dramatic recitation of recognized works of literary art.
In general, the exemption is for nonprofits, where all proceeds of the event solely benefit the nonprofit.
The organization holding the event must apply for the exemption and comply with all related provisions.
How to pay
File and pay online
You must file and pay Amusement Tax electronically on the Philadelphia Tax Center. We no longer accept coupons or mailed checks.
You must now file short monthly returns for this tax moving forward.
You can pay this tax online without creating a username and password. Nevertheless, you must be logged in to file your Amusement Tax return. If you haven’t done so already, you must create a username and password to file this tax on the Philadelphia Tax Center.
You can choose to pay and file your return later or complete both at the same time while logged in.