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Business & self-employment

Hotel Tax

Due date
15th
of each month, for rentals in the prior month
Tax rate
8.5%

of the total amount paid by the guest

IMPORTANT UPDATE: From now on, please complete online returns and payments for this tax on the Philadelphia Tax Center. For help getting started, and answers to common questions, see our online tax center guide. We no long accept payment coupons for this tax. You must now file short monthly returns for this tax moving forward.

Who pays the tax

If you temporarily use a guest room in a hotel, motel, inn, bed and breakfast, or any other building in Philadelphia, you must pay Hotel Tax. This includes rooms in private homes if the room is reserved for accommodations. The tax is collected by the operator of the hotel (or other building). It may also be collected and paid by a booking agent, as long as the agent confirms to the operator that the tax has been paid to the City.

Important dates

Hotel Tax filings and payments are due on the 15th of each month, for rentals in the prior month. For example, payments for rentals during the month of June are due by July 15.

Hotel operators who collect and pay Hotel Tax may still be subject to other City business taxes. Some possibilities include:

  • Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT)
  • Net Profits Tax (NPT)
  • Sales, Use, and Hotel Occupancy Tax
  • Wage Tax (Employers)

Tax rates, penalties, & fees

How much is it?

The City’s Hotel Tax rate is 8.5% of the total amount paid by the guest. The hotel operator is responsible for collecting the tax from guests.

In addition to the City’s Hotel Tax, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania imposes its own 7% Hotel Tax on the amount paid by the guest. The total in-state rate is 15.5%.


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.

In addition, you may be subject to a fine of $2,000 for each time (“occurrence”) you fail to file a return. A separate occurrence happens each month that a return remains unfiled.

Discounts & exemptions

Are you eligible for a discount?

No discounts are available for the Hotel Tax.


Can you be excused from paying the tax?

You can be excused from paying Hotel Tax if you have received rent from:

  • Someone who has stayed 31 or more days in a row.
  • Employees of the federal government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who are on official business.
  • Ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives of foreign governments recognized by the United States.

Some booking agents (including websites) agree to collect Hotel Tax on behalf of operators. If you have this agreement with a booking agent, you do not have to file.

How to pay

File and pay residential Hotel Tax online

If you do not already have a tax account number with the City and you rent out all or part of your residential property for temporary use, you’ll need to create a username and password  on the Philadelphia Tax Center. This presumes that you charge and collect the Hotel Tax yourself.

If you instead rent through a booking agent who collects and remits the tax on your behalf, you don’t need to file or pay the Hotel Tax yourself.

Keep in mind that while you don’t need to create a username and password to pay this tax on the Tax Center, you must be logged in to file your Hotel Tax. You can choose to pay and file your return later or complete both at the same time while logged in.

File and pay commercial Hotel Tax online

If you are renting out a commercial property such as a hotel or motel, you must file and pay this tax electronically on the Philadelphia Tax Center.

File and pay online

Use the “Payments” panel on the Philadelphia Tax Center’s homepage to pay your Hotel Tax. We no longer accept coupons or mailed checks.

You must now file short monthly returns for this tax moving forward. If you haven’t done so already, you must create a username and password to file this tax on the Philadelphia Tax Center.

 

Tax code

23

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