Payments, assistance & taxes

Special PBT filing situations

The Philadelphia Beverage Tax (PBT) is filed and paid monthly on the Phila. Tax Services website. The information below helps distributors and dealers know how to file in some special situations.

Before filing and paying PBT

To file and pay PBT, distributors and registered dealers must create a user profile and register a PBT tax account on the Phila. Tax Services website.

Partnerships and sole proprietors should register with their Federal EIN numbers. If they don’t have an EIN, they can use a Social Security Number (SSN).

Businesses with an existing Philadelphia tax account number, can use the same EIN/SSN and account number to file PBT.

Distributors who sell to other distributors do not file and pay PBT. The distribution of sweetened beverages to other wholesalers is not subject to the tax.

Dealers with multiple locations in and outside Philadelphia may find it difficult to inform a distributor how much product is intended for retail sale in the city. In this case, a dealer can register to file and pay PBT to the City directly. These businesses are known as Registered dealers.

Amended returns and refunds

PBT is a tax on the distribution of sweetened beverages that are intended for sale in Philadelphia. For that reason, distributors are not entitled to a credit or refund when:

  • Dealers fail to pay them for the products supplied.
  • Products expire and must be destroyed.
  • Products are returned, or given away after sitting on the shelves.

Similarly, they are not allowed to reduce the number of ounces of product reported to the City to deduct for inventory that was damaged or stolen.

Distributors and Registered dealers may nevertheless discover they underpaid or overpaid PBT for a certain month.

In the case of an underpayment, they must file an amended return, and pay what is owed with interest and penalty from the due date.

In the case of an overpayment, they will claim a credit when filing their next return. They can only claim a refund if they are no longer required to file and pay PBT.

A dealer might notify a distributor that more product was held for retail sale in Philadelphia than first thought. In this case, a distributor can allow a dealer to recharacterize the sale as a Philadelphia sale. An amended return must be filed, and an additional payment made.

Dealers who don’t inform distributors they are purchasing sweetened beverages for retail sale in Philadelphia, must become a Registered dealer and pay the tax to the City directly.

If a distributor or Registered dealer overpays, they should contact a customer collections representative to request that a credit be applied to a future tax period. Contact a collections representative by:

There is no alternative tax calculation if the amount of the tax due is equal to, or more than, the retail price of a product. The tax is based on the volume of the beverage distributed and is unrelated to the price.

There is no annual reconciliation form for PBT.


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