Payments, assistance & taxes

Set up a Real Estate Tax installment plan

The Sustainable Jump Start program allows new, sustainable, job-creating businesses to use a 0% rate on Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) for the first three years of operations, and waives fees for many licenses and permits.


New business owners can apply for this tax credit if they have not filed BIRT with the City of Philadelphia within the last five years. Owners of an existing business, who launch a different kind of business, can also apply.

To be considered, a business must:

  • Be new;
  • Be sustainable; and
  • Hire and maintain at least two, full-time employees. They cannot be an owner’s family members and must work in Philadelphia at least 60 percent of their time.

The Department of Revenue will give Sustainable Jump Start status to a limited number of businesses each year.

Sustainable Jump Start is not for businesses that primarily hold, sell, lease, transfer, manage, or develop real estate.

Tax relief

A Sustainable Jump Start-accepted business uses a 0% rate on BIRT for three (3) years once it joins the program. It must pay BIRT at the normal rate after three years. Businesses starting in 2018 will also receive a 0% rate on the Net Profits Tax. If your sustainable business started in 2017, consider entering the regular Jump Start program to maximize your relief; you can switch to Sustainable Jump Start later.

Qualifying business will also receive many licenses and permits for free. Businesses are still required to apply for applicable licenses, but pay no fee.


To apply for Sustainable Jump Start, you need a Philadelphia Tax Account Number and a Federal Employment Identification Number (EIN). You can apply for a Philadelphia Tax Account Number online.

All current or future business owners must complete the Sustainable Jump Start Eligibility Application, and submit it by email to, or by regular mail.

The application includes instructions on how to get certified as sustainable. This is done through the organization B Lab, or the City’s own Office of Sustainability.

Applications must be submitted before the first BIRT tax return is due for the new business. Revenue will review applications  in the order they are received.

City of Philadelphia
Department of Revenue, Technical Staff
Municipal Services Building – Room 480
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.,
Philadelphia, PA 19102


A business is liable for unpaid BIRT if it is subsequently found that it was not eligible to join the program. A business can also lose its Sustainable Jump Start status–and be liable for unpaid taxes–if the number of employees drops below two.

If you’re having difficulty paying your taxes, the Department of Revenue will work with you to arrange a payment agreement and avoid legal consequences. (There is a separate system for setting up payment agreements for Real Estate Taxes.)

All payment agreements require a 20% down payment and have flexible term limits. The maximum length of a payment agreement is 60 months, but shorter agreements mean fewer—even zero—penalties.

All payment agreements require that you also file and pay your current taxes. You must pay your overdue taxes in addition to any taxes you normally owe.

There are two payment agreement types based on your previous agreement history:

  • Preferred – If it’s your first time with delinquent taxes, or you have one previous, completed payment agreement you will receive maximum discounts on penalties, and up to 60 months to pay.
  • Standard – All other taxpayers will receive a discount on penalties and have up to 48 months to pay.

If you don’t honor the payment agreement, you must pay accrued interest and penalty charges, and you may face legal action and fines.

You can estimate your down payment and monthly payments using an agreement calculator. Other payment term options may be possible.

Applying for a tax payment agreement

You can make an agreement in person at one of our three locations, or via mail, email, or over the phone at (215) 686-6600.

Forms & Instructions

Assistance programs available for owner-occupied households.

Submit a report to Philly 311 so that the Department of Licenses & Inspections (L&I) can inspect the home (residential) or business (commercial building). Inspections usually happen within 20 business days after the report is made.

If the inspector finds a code violation, a notice of violation is sent to the property owner. The owner typically has 35 days to fix the problem before L&I reinspects the property. If the owner does not comply, L&I will take additional steps, potentially including legal action. These processes take time. You can always call 311 for a status update on any L&I service request.

You can request smoke alarms through Philly311 (via the app or by phone), and the Fire Department will install them in your home. You should have one alarm on each floor of your home, including the basement.

To receive smoke alarms, you must live in the City of Philadelphia in a one- or two-family home that is occupied by the owner. If you live in an apartment building, or are renting a house, the landlord must provide smoke alarms on every level of the home. If your landlord has not provided smoke alarms, call Philly311 to report the violation.

It might take up to 60 days from the time of your request until the actual installation.

Philadelphia Fire Service paramedics save lives in emergencies. A paramedic will:

  • Respond to emergency calls from the public.
  • Provide life-saving treatment to permit safe transport to a full-service medical facility.
  • Comfort patients, family, and bystanders.
  • Cooperate with fire and police authorities.

Paramedics work on rotating shifts and may have to deal with difficult weather conditions. Their duties involve moderate physical effort.

The Philadelphia Fire Department recruits new paramedics about four times a year. The last recruitment period was September 2017. If you want to be notified when the next recruitment period begins, fill out the job interest form.

Hiring process

The Philadelphia Fire Department hires only state-certified paramedics.

1. Apply online through the city’s Office of Human Resources. That process includes submitting all relevant documentation, including college transcripts, licenses, and certifications. You must also provide a detailed description of your education, experience, and credentials.

2. Applicants will be evaluated and scored based upon their training and experience credentials.

3. The list of qualified candidates is published about two weeks after the application period closes.

4. After being appointed to the Fire Department, paramedics must complete a six-week training program at the Philadelphia Fire Academy.

5. Once paramedics have completed training, they are sworn in and assigned to a medic unit. Each new paramedic must complete a six-month probationary period.

Salary and benefits

As a paramedic’s career progresses, pay increases, and opportunities for advancement become available.

The yearly salary for a first year paramedic is $49,477. There are scheduled increases in pay to the present maximum of $75,588 a year.

Overtime is paid at the level of time and a half. There are opportunities for promotion, which include a raise in salaries. Paramedics are paid biweekly. Salary does not include your annual uniform allowance or holiday time.


  • Healthcare coverage
  • Retirement pension
  • Deferred compensation (457b Plan)
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Paid vacation
  • Paid training
  • Career advancement

Employment Requirements

High School graduate or GED

Physical and medical requirements
Ability to physically perform the duties and work in the environmental conditions required of the position.

You have six months after being hired as a paramedic to move into the City of Philadelphia.

You must be a state-certified paramedic with a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license. Anyone with a suspended or revoked driver’s license will not pass the background investigation. Any applicant who possesses outstanding fees for traffic violations in the City of Philadelphia must make payment arrangements with Municipal Court’s Traffic Division.

Applicants must be 18 years of age at the time of hire.

If you get a bill for care you received by our EMS personnel—including ambulance transport—you can ask questions by calling our billing company at (888) 987-1135.

You can get a job at the Fire Department as a firefighter, a paramedic, or a civilian. Teens can join our Fire Explorers program.

Fire Explorers is a program for teens and young adults interested in fire science, emergency medical services (EMS), disaster relief, emergency management, and military-related training. Fire Explorers will spend time learning about:

  • Firefighting/EMS basics.
  • Community risk reduction.
  • Fire prevention education.

In addition, the Fire Explorers program of study helps young people get community service hours and develop the following skills:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Social and professional networking
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-respect

Who can enroll

To enroll in the Fire Explorers program, you must be:

  • 14 to 20 years old.
  • Enrolled in at least 9th grade by the program’s April start date.
  • Willing to commit to two years in the program.
  • Able to speak, understand, read, and write English.
  • In good physical health and able to participate in physical activities.

To enroll, you need:

  • A copy of your birth certificate.
  • A copy of your most recent report card.
  • A parent or guardian who will sign a consent form and attend an orientation if you are under 18.

Fire Explorer applicants who are over 18 but don’t have a high school diploma or GED must be registered in a program geared toward the completion of a 12th-grade education.


Explorers must wear uniforms and maintain a neat and polished appearance at all times. They receive classroom instruction and hands-on training in fire service procedures from local and state agencies. Explorers must maintain a passing grade in behavior and academics in school.

Fire Explorers meet at the Fire Academy every other Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April through November. From December through March, Explorers might be requested to volunteer at certain events. Explorers who fulfill their two-year commitment receive points toward their civil service exams.

How to apply

Young people who want to become a Fire Explorer should fill out an interest form.

Visit the City’s eFile/ePay website to get a tax account number. This number is used to pay businesses taxes, as well the Earnings and Wage Tax.

If you’re a business, a tax account number and Commercial Activity License (CAL) are required for any business operating in Philadelphia. Once you have your tax account number, you can obtain your CAL from the Department of Licenses & Inspections.

If you cannot apply online, use the form below to apply for a Philadelphia business tax account number, Commercial Activity License (CAL), and/or Wage Tax withholding account.

Forms & Instructions

The child welfare system can be confusing. See a map of how the process works if your child is in foster care or another type of placement with Philadelphia DHS starting on page 16 in the Parent Handbook.

Quick Tips

  • Read through the Parent Handbook.
  • Keep track of your case manager’s and lawyer’s phone numbers.
  • If you have questions or concerns, call your case manager and other professionals who work with your family.
  • Attend all family meetings and court dates.

Community Umbrella Agencies

Philadelphia DHS works with organizations in your neighborhood, called Community Umbrella Agencies (CUAs). There are different CUAs for different neighborhoods—but they all provide the same services to you.

  • Case management Work with social workers to develop a plan for reuniting with your child.
  • Parent Cafés Receive support, share a meal and meet other parents at these informal parent-led groups.

Some CUAs also have food pantries and after-school programs.

Find your CUA

Locate your CUA using our map.

Achieving Reunification Center (ARC)

If you have children in out-of-home placement, the Achieving Reunification Center (ARC) can help you with your goal of getting your children back home. It is a “one-stop” support center with services that include:

  • Education/training.
  • Employment.
  • Housing.
  • Mental health support.
  • Budgeting/financial planning services.
  • Parenting classes.
  • Drug and alcohol services.

To learn more call (215) 683-4000 or contact ARC directly.
714 Market St., 5th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(267) 514-3500

Parenting Support Services

DHS offers free parenting classes and support groups to help parents improve their parenting skills and relationships with their children. Parenting classes and groups allow parents to connect with each other in a nurturing, safe, and informative environment. Classes and groups are for families currently receiving services from DHS, as well as those who are at risk of involvement with DHS. Sometimes these services are mandated by the court as a step toward reunification.

We have a wide range of parenting education programs conducted by more than 70 community-based agencies.

See a list of collaborative classes, or call (215) PARENTS.

Strengthening Families: Parent Cafés

Our Community Umbrella Agencies host parent cafes in 10 different neighborhoods throughout the City. These parent-led cafés create environments that are free of judgement, where parents from all walks of life can get together to share a free meal and talk. It’s a great way to discuss any concerns you may have as a parent whether your child is in placement or not. The goal of these cafés is to help parents feel supported and more confident in their experiences as parents.

To find parent cafés near you, contact your local CUA.