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Temporary Business Income and Receipts Tax and Commercial Activity License

Businesses that will be selling at a special event, trade show or festival and will be doing business for 10 or fewer days are required to register their business with the City of Philadelphia and remit applicable taxes. To register your business with the City of Philadelphia you will need to apply for the following:

  1. Business Income and Receipts Tax application – Click on Register a Tax account number and complete each step
  2. Once you have your tax id, you can apply for the Commercial Activity License Click on Apply for Commercial Activity License and follow the steps to complete the application.
    • Additional licenses may be required depending on the event and the type of business.  Please refer to the Vendor Licenses page.
  3. Within 30 days of the festival, complete the Trade Show Vendor Tax Return. If you attend multiple trade shows during the year, The Trade Show Vendor Tax Return must be filed for each event.
  4. If this is the only festival in Philadelphia where you will be vending for this year, we recommend that you close the BIRT account by completing a change form.

Information on City of Philadelphia Taxes:

  • The Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) – Every individual, partnership, association and corporation engaged in a business, profession or other activity for profit within the City of Philadelphia must file a Business Income and Receipts Tax Return, whether or not they earned a profit during the preceding year. 1.415 mills on gross receipts; and 6.45% on taxable net income.

Beginning 2015, there is a tax exemption on the first $75,000 earned and in 2016 and every year forward, the exemption will be on the first $100,000 earned.  You will find this exemption calculated on Line 11 of the Trade Show Tax Return Form.

  • Net Profits Tax – The Net Profits Tax (NPT) is levied on the net profits from the operation of a trade, business, profession, enterprise or other activity by residents, even if business is conducted outside of Philadelphia and non-residents who conduct business in Philadelphia.