Payments, assistance & taxes

Filing caloric and non-caloric beverages

The Philadelphia Beverage Tax (PBT) covers the distribution of both regular sweetened (caloric) beverages and sweetened “diet” (non-caloric) beverages. While PBT includes both types of drinks, they are reported on separate lines on a PBT return.

Distributors, registered dealers and special dealers can refer to the information below if they are unable to report caloric and non-caloric products separately.

Obtain permission

The PBT online return provides fields for reporting the following information:

  • The volume of taxable ounces of non-caloric (diet) beverages supplied.
  • The volume of taxable ounces of caloric (regular) beverages supplied.
  • The volume of taxable finished non-caloric (diet) beverages produced from concentrates and syrups supplied.
  • The volume of taxable, finished caloric (regular) beverages produced from concentrates and syrups supplied.

Fill out all the fields that apply to your business. Some beverages may contain both caloric and non-caloric sweeteners. In that case they should be reported as caloric.

If it’s very difficult to report caloric and non-caloric beverages separately, you may obtain permission to report all sweetened beverages as caloric. Write to revenue@phila.gov to explain your situation and make the request.

PBT is calculated for concentrates and syrups based on the amount of finished beverage intended to be produced, using the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • For example, if the manufacturer says to dilute 1 tablespoon of powdered drink mix with 20 ounces of water, then each tablespoon should be treated as 20 ounces of taxable product. The tax would be 20 ounces times 1.5 cents for a total of 30 cents.
  • If you don’t follow the instructions, mixing the powder into a greater or lesser volume of water, you must continue to treat the tablespoon as 20 ounces.
  • If the manufacturer provides more than one set of instructions, calculate the tax based on the instructions that produce the largest volume of finished beverage.

The online return will calculate the amount of tax due for you automatically. It will also calculate late fees, if necessary.


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