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30 Nov 2018

Ten ways tax pros can prep for tax season

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November 30, 2018 Category: Color Of Money Posted by:

By Joseph Bamat

Department of Revenue

The start of tax season is around the corner. Federal individual income tax returns for 2018 are due on April 15, 2019. That is the same due date for filing Philadelphia’s Business Income & Receipts Tax (BIRT), Net Profits Tax (NPT), School Income Tax (SIT), and Earnings Tax returns.

We know that as accountants and tax professionals, you’re are revving up those calculators. Here’s a countdown of 10 things to keep in mind as you approach the busy season.

10. The Department of Revenue unveiled a new eFile / ePay site in August. It has a new look, but offers the same registration, filing and payment services. Existing account numbers and PINs will continue to work as before.

9. Some taxes MUST be filed or paid electronically. The Philadelphia Beverage and Use & Occupancy taxes must be filed and paid electronically. Taxpayers who owe $5,000 or more on BIRT or NPT must pay those electronically.

8. If a client wishes to close a tax account, or change their address, they must submit a Change Form. This way, they will avoid non-filer penalties in the future.

7. Philadelphia residents must file an SIT return to report certain types of unearned income. We made a video with line-by-line instructions on how to file and pay SIT.

6. The Business Income & Receipts Tax (BIRT) rate on net income was reduced to 6.3% for 2018. For the gross receipts portion of the tax, the rate of 1.415 mills remains unchanged.

5. We participate in the IRS Modernized e-Filing (MeF) Program. Our website includes a list of approved software vendors you can use to file BIRT and NPT electronically.

4. We’ll be releasing videos with line-by-line instructions on how to file BIRT EZ and NPT returns electronically. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get a notification when the videos become available.

3. Be aware of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the US Supreme Court decision regarding nexus. The Department of Revenue has provided important guidance for Philadelphia taxpayers. We will continue to do so via our website and social media accounts.

2. When requesting a refund for 2018 BIRT, NPT, SIT and Earnings Tax, you don’t need to submit a separate Refund Petition. You can do it on the form itself. However, you will need to submit a separate petition for: Amusement Tax, Hotel Tax, Liquor Tax, Parking Tax, Real Estate Tax, Tobacco Tax, Use & Occupancy Tax; or for previous-year returns, and when correcting an error.

Please allow between eight and 10 weeks for processing.


1. If you have a thorny question about our tax law or regulations, and how they apply to a unique situation, email [email protected]. If you need help with account history or filing procedures, simply reach out to [email protected].

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