The Sustainable Jump Start program allows new, sustainable, job-creating businesses to use a 0% rate on Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) for the first three years of operations.
New business owners can apply for this tax credit if they have not filed BIRT with the City of Philadelphia within the last five years. Owners of an existing business, who launch a different kind of business, can also apply.
To be considered, a business must:
- Be new,
- Be sustainable, and
- Hire and maintain at least two, full-time employees. They cannot be an owner’s family members and must work in Philadelphia at least 60% of their time.
The Department of Revenue will give Sustainable Jump Start status to a limited number of businesses each year.
Sustainable Jump Start is not for businesses that primarily hold, sell, lease, transfer, manage, or develop real estate.
A Sustainable Jump Start-accepted business uses a 0% rate on BIRT for three years once it joins the program. It must pay BIRT at the normal rate after three years. Businesses starting in 2018 will also receive a 0% rate on the Net Profits Tax. If your sustainable business started in 2017, consider entering the regular Jump Start program to maximize your relief; you can switch to Sustainable Jump Start later.
You can register online if you are not yet registered as a Philadelphia taxpayer. When you register for a BIRT account, the online form asks questions to determine whether you qualify for Sustainable Jump Start. If you do, we will automatically enroll you in this assistance program.
If you are already registered as a Philadelphia taxpayer, you can apply for Sustainable Jump Start online after creating a username and password. After logging in, you can apply for tax assistance programs from your “Summary” page.
If you have a registered BIRT account and limited internet access, you may complete this Sustainable Jump Start Eligibility Application. You can email it to BizTaxCredits@phila.gov or mail it to:
City of Philadelphia
Department of Revenue
Tax Credit and Assistance Programs (TCAP) Unit
Municipal Services Building – Room 480
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Applications must be submitted before the first BIRT tax return is due for the new business. Revenue will review applications in the order they are received.
A business is liable for unpaid BIRT if it is subsequently found that it was not eligible to join the program. A business can also lose its Sustainable Jump Start status–and be liable for unpaid taxes–if the number of employees drops below two.