of the sale price of an alcoholic beverage
Who pays the tax
The Liquor Tax applies to every sale of liquor, wine, or malt and brewed beverages in Philadelphia. A seller is any business or person with a Pennsylvania-issued license or permit to sell or dispense alcohol. This includes:
- Retail stores
Liquor Tax is technically paid by retail customers at the point of sale. However, the seller is responsible for filing and paying the tax on a monthly basis.
Liquor Tax must be filed and paid by the 25th day of each month, for the previous month’s activity. Anyone who collects Liquor Tax must also file a completed annual reconciliation form by February 28 for the previous year’s activity.
Tax rates, penalties, & fees
How much is it?
The City’s Liquor Tax rate is 10% of the sale price of an alcoholic beverage.
What happens if you don't pay on time?
If you don’t pay on time, penalty fees and interest will be added to the amount you owe. Penalties accrue at 1% of the unpaid tax for each month or fraction thereof. The amount due will also be subject to monthly interest fee of 0.5%.
The City can also sue vendors to recover unpaid taxes. If you filed a return but didn’t pay the tax, the City has six years from the date it receives your return to bring a lawsuit. There is no statute of limitations for bringing suit if you fail to file the return.
Discounts & exemptions
Are you eligible for a discount?
No discounts are available for the Liquor Tax.
Can you be excused from paying the tax?
Certain alcohol sales are exempt from the Liquor Tax. These exemptions include:
- Sales from Pennsylvania Liquor Stores (e.g., Wine & Spirits, Fine Wine & Good Spirits).
- Sales from malt beverage distributors.
- Retail sales that are subject to Pennsylvania’s Sales and Use Tax.
Pennsylvania’s Sales and Use tax is imposed on many retail sales. Learn more about taxable goods and services in the Sales, Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax section of the Commonwealth website.
How to pay
Pay by mail
The Department of Revenue issues a Monthly Retail Liquor Sales Tax Coupon Book to simplify tax payments. You will be sent a coupon book after registering for the Liquor Tax. You can also download payment coupons from the City’s eFile/ePay website. (Look for the “Payment Coupon” link.)
Mail your monthly payment and coupon to:
P.O. Box 1018
Philadelphia, PA 19105-1018
Mail your annual reconciliation to:
P.O. Box 1670
Philadelphia, PA 19105-1670