“It is a morass of bureaucratic inefficiency. And it’s killing business in our City.”

by pkerkstra on August 12, 2011

Forbes has a terrific piece today from a Philadelphia accountant on the saga of a poet – yes a poet – was was told by the City of Philadelphia that he owes $10,000+ in taxes for a single reading he gave at St. Joseph’s University in 2007. What immense fortune did the poet earn for that reading to warrant such a steep bill? $2,000.

The maze that is Philadelphia’s insane tax system is nearly impossible to navigate. I went on Revenue’s web site and counted four separate types of tax that may apply to individuals and fourteen separate types of tax that may apply to businesses. Keep in mind that these taxes are in addition to state and federal taxes.

E-filing? Forget about it – unless you happen to use Internet Explorer 5.0. You get the feeling that the entire system is, in fact, being run from a Commodore 64 in the basement of City Hall.

Philadelphia’s entire revenue system is indeed a wreck. Stay tuned, as there’s more to come on this in the Inquirer and PlanPhilly very soon.

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