Amnesty: A little brotherly love for Philly taxpayers

Philly If you have clients in Philadelphia, heads up: The City of Brotherly Love is jumping aboard the tax amnesty train.

Less than a year after Maryland gave delinquent taxpayers a two-month do-over, Philadelphia is doing the same. On May 3, the city launched a 54-day amnesty period that gives individual and corporate taxpayers the opportunity to come clean on their back taxes.

It's the first tax amnesty program in Philadelphia since 1986.

Anyone who lives, works, owns property or does business in Philadelphia can pay their debts without penalty until 11:59 p.m. on June 25. Those who participate will not incur any attorney fees or fines and will have their interest cut in half.

The debts must have been incurred in Philadelphia between Feb. 1, 1986 and June 30, 2009.

Taxpayers who are subjects of criminal investigations, defendants in criminal complaints related to Philadelphia taxes, or who have participated in a prior Philadelphia amnesty program are not eligible.

Tax delinquents who do not settle up before June 25 will have their debts turned over to lawyers or collection agencies, and that's just the beginning. Those who don't pay might face fines of up to $5,000, lawsuits and "the seizure and sale of property," city officials state.

Maryland officials were expecting between $5 million and $10 million in additional revenue as a result of last year's amnesty program. No doubt Philadelphia officials are expecting a similar windfall.

Get complete details and answers to frequently asked amnesty questions at or by calling (877) 645-4108.


Bill Sheridan