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Earnings Tax (employees) in Philadelphia

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Who pays the tax

The Earnings Tax is a tax on salaries, wages, commissions, and other compensation paid to a person who works or lives in Philadelphia.

You must pay the Earnings Tax if you are a:

Philadelphia resident with taxable income who doesn’t have the City Wage Tax withheld from your paycheck.
A non-resident who works in Philadelphia and doesn’t have the City Wage Tax withheld from your paycheck.
The most common situation for filing and paying the Earnings Tax is when a Philadelphia resident works for an out-of-state employer. Out-of-state employers are not required to withhold Philadelphia’s Wage Tax if they don’t have a physical location within Pennsylvania or aren’t subject to the Business Income and Receipts Tax. When no Wage Tax is withheld, Philadelphia residents must file and pay the Earnings Tax themselves.

The City of Philadelphia is not a party to any reciprocal tax agreements with any other municipality. Residents of Philadelphia who are employed out-of-state may be required to file and pay a local income tax in that jurisdiction in addition to the Philadelphia Earnings Tax. Non-residents of Pennsylvania can’t claim a tax credit against Philadelphia Earnings Tax for income taxes paid to any other state or political subdivision.

If you are self-employed, you pay the following taxes instead of the Earnings Tax:

Business Income & Receipts Tax (BIRT)
Net Profits Tax
If you must amend an Earnings Tax return, complete a new return with the updated amount. Place an “X” in the box that indicates the form is an amended return.

Important dates

The Earnings Tax must be filed and paid quarterly, along with an annual reconciliation at the end of each calendar year.

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.

Discounts & exemptions

Are you eligible for a discount?
No discounts are available for the Earnings Tax.

Income-based Earnings Tax refund
If you’re approved for tax forgiveness under Pennsylvania 40 Schedule SP, you may be eligible for an income-based Earnings Tax refund. People who meet the criteria can receive a refund of up to 0.5% on City Wage Taxes that their employer withheld from their paychecks, or that they remitted quarterly on their Earnings Tax returns.

How to apply the reduction
You must attach a completed Pennsylvania Schedule SP to your refund petition, or an Annual Reconciliation of Employee Earnings Tax return, to be eligible to receive the income-based rates. The City of Philadelphia will check to make sure your Schedule SP matches the state’s records.

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.

Can you be excused from paying the tax?
You don’t have to pay the Earnings Tax if you:

Have the City Wage Tax withheld from your paycheck.
Are an individual or part of a partnership that files and pays the Net Profits Tax.
How to pay

To file and pay the Earnings Tax online:
Apply for an Earnings Tax account number.
File and pay quarterly on the City’s eFile/ePay site.
File and pay the annual reconciliation on the same site.
To file and pay the Earnings Tax by mail:
Fill out an Earnings Tax account application form.
The account application form is included in the resource links on this page.

Mail the application form to:
Philadelphia Dept. of Revenue
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
File returns and send quarterly payments to:
Philadelphia Dept. of Revenue
P.O. Box 1648
Philadelphia, PA 19105‐1648
File and pay the annual reconciliation by mailing it to:
Philadelphia Dept. of Revenue
P.O. Box 1648
Philadelphia, PA 19105‐1648

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