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How to Get Your 2021 City of Philadelphia Payroll Tax Refund

Are you still working for a Philadelphia company from your home out of town?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to claiming a city payroll tax refund.

Online forms went live Thursday and paper forms will be available this week, according to Rebecca Lopez Kriss, deputy commissioner of the city’s revenue department.

The city also allows businesses to make applications for all of their employees, but these will take longer than individual applications.

In November, the city launched its new online platform Philadelphia Tax Centerwhere you can create a web account to pay taxes and also request refunds, said Christopher Jones, a tax group attorney at Ballard Spahr.

“Due to COVID-19 remote work, the city last year began allowing employers to request refunds of city payroll taxes, and they will allow it again in 2021,” said said Jones.

1. If your business is not mass filing, you can request your own refund. You will need a letter from your employer or payroll to accompany your claim.

The letter—signed and on company letterhead—must include the dates you were scheduled to work outside of Philadelphia.

Here is a link to the city’s website:

Here is a link to the form itself:

2. Since November, all wage tax refund requests can be submitted online at the above site.

This includes all refunds from non-residents. You don’t need a username and password to request a rebate from the Philadelphia Tax Center, but it may be useful to create an account if you also have to pay other municipal taxes.

If you choose to go the old-fashioned way and use paper forms to claim your payroll tax refund, the city will release them online in the coming weeks.

3. For employees, you will need your payroll W-2.

And don’t forget this letter from your employer: non-resident employees who submit a refund request online must attach the “work from home” letter from their company.

4. Then it’s time to wait. Typically, it will take six to eight weeks for your refund to be sent. This is a Philadelphia tax center video from last year explaining the process:

“Although we always make paper forms available, submitting them through the Philadelphia Tax Center is the fastest way,” Lopez Kriss said.

The new system is mobile and available in Spanish. The city is working to add a feature for ratepayers to check the status of their claims, but it’s not live yet.

Note: You will not receive a refund if you owe overdue taxes or fees to the City of Philadelphia.

Finally, you have three years from the date of your return to obtain a refund of your payroll tax.

Still have questions ? You can email the Department of Revenue at [email protected] or call the following phone numbers: 215-686-6574/6575/6578.

If you have an awesome boss requesting a refund on your behalf, even better.

Employers will be able to apply for 2021 payroll tax refunds on behalf of their workers, just as they were for the city’s 2020 payroll tax refunds. Employers can mass file, but this system is still under development. The Department will make it available as soon as possible.