Payments, assistance & taxes

Sustainable Jump Start Tax Credit

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.

Eligibility

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.

Applying

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 BizTaxCredits@phila.gov, 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

Penalties

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.


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