How do I file my yearly return if I do not have any Philadelphia sales tax to report?

Nov 30, 2016

I filed for a Philadelphia sales tax license, but I did not collect any. How do I file my yearly return?

Pennsylvania requires that all license holders still file timely returns, even for periods when you do not have any sales tax to report or pay. If no sales tax was collected, then you would indicate that on the return. These returns are known as “zero returns.” 

All new businesses must file quarterly returns during the first year of business. After the first year, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue will let you know how frequently you will need to file, depending on how much sales tax your business collects. Returns are due by the 20th of the month following the close of the previous period. There are semimonthly, monthly, quarterly, or semiannual filing schedules. 

If you are filing for the taxable …

  • monthly period of November, then the return and tax would be due Dec. 20, 2016.
  • quarterly period of October through December (quarter four), then the return and tax would be due Jan. 20, 2017.
  • semi-annual period of July through December, then the return and tax would be due Feb. 21, 2017.

Sales tax returns and payments, if any, can be filed electronically at or by telephone at (800) 748-8299. 

Check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator for more resources.


Answered by: James G. McGrory, CPA, and Stephanie K. Otake, CPA, are with Drucker & Scaccetti in Philadelphia.

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