Philadelphia launches first tax amnesty program in more than two decades

For the first time since 1986, Philadelphia is offering individuals and businesses delinquent in paying city taxes an opportunity to settle up on what they owe.

The city has tax delinquents in almost all of the 50 states with the highest concentration in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Florida. While not a free pass, those who participate in, and qualify for, the Philadelphia Tax Amnesty program will have all of their tax penalties waived, as well as pay only half the interest owed. However, time is of the essence, as the Philadelphia tax amnesty period is only available for 54 days, May 3 to June 25, 2010.

“First and foremost, the city of Philadelphia thanks all of the responsible citizens who have been diligent in paying their taxes. And now is the time for us to also embrace those who have struggled to do their part in the past, by creating a solution that works for all of us,” said Michael A. Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia, in a prepared statement. “We are at a pivotal point as the economy begins to make its slow turnaround. The Philadelphia Tax Amnesty Program is our chance to come together in a time of common need, for the common good.”

The city is implementing an aggressive strategy to embrace as many individuals and businesses as possible with the opportunities of the tax amnesty program, as well as motivate them to take immediate action. Included in the outreach will be displays of numerous real and virtual Philadelphia Tax Amnesty count-down clocks to remind people of the urgency and help assure they take action before it’s too late.

“The Philadelphia Tax Amnesty offers great benefits to those who owe money, but people need to step up and take immediate action to reap them,” said Joan Krajewski, Philadelphia councilwoman.

In addition to generating awareness and participation, the city is taking special steps to help ensure that all qualified candidates for Philadelphia tax amnesty understand the program, as well as what they need to do to fully benefit from what is being offered.

“As with any tax process, the Philadelphia tax amnesty entails many specifications that must be understood and followed,” said Keith Richardson, M.B.A., commissioner of Philadelphia’s department of revenue.

Those who do not participate and settle up back taxes before the end of the amnesty period will have their tax debts turned over to lawyers or a third-party collection agency for further action, may be charged new penalties, including fines of up to $5,000, and may be subject to lawsuits and other actions allowed by law, including the seizure and sale of property.

Further details on Philadelphia Tax Amnesty, including what taxes are included and how to participate are available by calling (877) 645-4108 or online at Participants can apply and pay online or over the phone. Taxpayers also can visit the program Walk-in Site between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, located in Center City Philadelphia, at 1315 Walnut Street, Suite 1300, where they can complete the tax amnesty application, make payments, and get assistance in filing back tax returns.

You may like these other stories...

As anyone who's ever been through a divorce can attest, the pain of parting with your spouse isn't just emotional—the fallout from divorce can wreak financial havoc as well long after the dust in the courtroom...
Former DOJ Tax Division head Kathryn Keneally joining DLA Piper in New YorkGlobal law firm DLA Piper announced on Thursday that Kathryn Keneally, the former head of the US Justice Department Tax Division, is joining the firm...
OECD calls for coordinated fight against corporate tax avoidanceDavid Jolly of the New York Times reported that dozens of countries with the most advanced economies have agreed on principles for concrete action to prevent...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 21
Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience's communication style.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.