In a bid to make filing taxes a little bit easier, the city of Philadelphia has launched a new cloud-based tax system.
In a press release, the Philadelphia Department of Commerce said the new system replaces an existing 35-year-old database and “equips local government with the technology it needs to collect essential revenue more efficiently in the future.” The city added that in addition to making it easier for residents and businesses to file and pay taxes, the new system will also improve government efficiency.
The city recently launched the first phase of the new system’s implementation, which included a new bilingual, public-facing website for filing and paying taxes – the Philadelphia Tax Center. The city said the new website provides taxpayers more control and insight into their tax accounts. It also allows Philadelphia residents and businesses to request assistance and communicate with the Department of Revenue more easily. The first phase includes the city’s major business taxes. Property taxes will be added in October 2022, as part of the project’s second phase.
“I’m incredibly proud of our entire team for developing this innovative new online system which has been years in the making,” said Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin. “The Philadelphia Tax Center vastly improves the online filing and payment experience for taxpayers and is the result of thoughtful consideration of and engagement with taxpayers and their needs. Taxpayers will benefit from improved self-service options, and our staff will have access to a streamlined, 21st-century system that is easier to understand and use.”
In addition to electronic filing and payment for Phase One taxes, taxpayers who create a username and password will be able to view and manage all their tax accounts in one place, apply for payment agreements online, and access their account history. Taxpayers will also be able to assign managers, like bookkeepers and tax preparers, to each account. If taxpayers choose to not create a username and password, they are still able to respond to letters or make payments as a guest. Residents and business owners can continue to file paper returns, pay in cash, and make in-person visits to the department.
“Improving customer service for residents and businesses is a top priority for the City,” said Commerce Director Michael A. Rashid. “The Philadelphia Tax Center will make doing business easier for the city’s small businesses, who are the backbone of our economy. By modernizing the system and also offering the website in Spanish, we will ensure everyone can live, work, and thrive in Philadelphia.”