I had two people ask me this week “Do I have to file an income tax return in Philadelphia?”
The city is clear in this statement on its web site:
“If you are paid by W-2, confirm that your employer is withholding the City Wage Tax. If they are you have no filing obligation with the City.” I am aware that other information1 published online may be misleading.
On the other hand, if you have earnings not reported and paid through a properly designed payroll system then, yes, you do file a separate tax return with the City of Philadelphia. The PDF tax form for printing and mailing can be found here.
Most Pennsylvania residents or workers are required to file local income tax returns. More information is available though this web site.
1 Information on a TurboTax web page was still incorrect as of April 2018.
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