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Payments, assistance & taxes

Request a Wage Tax refund

Wage Tax refund requests must be submitted through the Philadelphia Tax Center. You don’t need a username and password to submit a refund request on the Philadelphia Tax Center.

NEW FOR 2023 REQUESTS: Revenue has published updated instructions and templates for non-resident Wage Tax Refund requests. DO NOT EDIT THE TEMPLATE. You must submit the Employer Certification Letter as it appears in the template. Revenue will reject any requests with changes to the template.

VIDEO – this tutorial walks you step-by-step on how to submit a Wage Tax refund through the Philadelphia Tax Center.

There are three different types of refunds for Wage Taxes:

  • Wage Tax refund for employees who are salaried
  • Wage Tax refund for employees who are commissioned
  • Wage Tax refund for taxpayers who meet certain income requirements

Refunds for salaried or commissioned employees

Only non-resident employees are eligible for a Wage Tax refund for work performed outside of Philadelphia. Resident employees are taxable whether working in or out of Philadelphia. However, resident employees may apply for a refund for deductible, non-reimbursed business expenses.

All applicants must submit signed documentation from their employer and the date and location worksheet to verify any time worked outside of Philadelphia. The instruction and template sheet includes a template form for your employer to copy, complete, and sign, on their letterhead. This document replaces the employer letter requirement. The new template sheet also includes a worksheet for dates and locations. The information in these two documents must match.

Additionally, employees who request a refund for travel should use our date and location worksheet.

Any claim for refund must be filed within three years from the date the tax was paid, or due, whichever date is later.

Wage Tax refund requests can be submitted through the Philadelphia Tax Center, including for salaried or commissioned employees.

If you requested a refund on your return, you do not need to fill out these forms.

How to request a refund through the Philadelphia Tax Center

To request a refund, once in the Philadelphia Tax Center, you need to know your FEIN, SSN, or PHTIN. Additionally, you must provide the dates you were required to work in and out of Philadelphia using the provided template, your mailing address, W-2 information, and compensation, sales, and expense information.

To get started, see the “Refunds” panel on the lower-left side of the Tax Center’s homepage. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete your refund request. 

Once you submit your refund request, the Department of Revenue will review it. The normal processing time is six to eight weeks.

You can check the status of your refund online using the “Where’s My Refund” link under the “Refunds” panel of the home page. To access this feature, you will need an identification number like SSN or EIN and the exact refund requested amount. 

Online petitioners will see the status of their refunds faster than paper requestors. Filing on paper will delay the “Where’s my refund” search. If you submit a paper application, please allow 30 days before looking for the status of your refund on “Where’s my refund.”

Income-based Wage Tax refunds

If you file for Pennsylvania tax forgiveness through PA Schedule SP and are approved, you may also be entitled to receive a refund of City Wage Tax withheld by your employer.

Eligible applicants pay Wage Tax at a lower rate. Full instructions, along with a schedule of eligible income amounts and rate reductions, are included in the refund petition form. Applicants must use an additional petition if they have more than four W-2s.

We encourage all applicants to use the online Wage Tax refund petition. We process petitions submitted online faster and with fewer errors. Applicants may use a paper income-based Wage Tax refund petition if they prefer. If you are filing with an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), you can only submit your refund request on paper.

Non-Pennsylvania residents who work in Philadelphia but do not file a Pennsylvania income tax return must include a signed copy of their state income tax return to be eligible for the income-based rates.

Philadelphia employers are required to give an income-based Wage Tax refund petition form to employees by February 1. In most cases, employers provide the refund petition at the same time they provide employee W-2s or comparable forms. Anyone can also download a copy of the form.