Township of Lower Gwynedd, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Rules and regulations governing the collection of the business privilege tax were formally adopted by the Board of Supervisors by Res. 88-17, passed April 21, 1988.]
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Authority to enact — See Act. No. 511 of 1965, Sec. 2.
Annual reenactment unnecessary — See Act. No. 511 of 1965, Sec. 4.
Limitation on rate — See Act No. 511 of 1965, Sec. 8(2).
Township and special tax levies — See 2nd Class Secs. 905 et seq.
GENERAL REFERENCES
Tax Collector — See Ch. 240.
Mercantile license tax — See Ch. 888.

§ 886.01 Short title.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Business Privilege Tax of the Township of Lower Gwynedd," or just the "business privilege tax."

§ 886.02 Definitions.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988]
As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(a) 
Business, Trade, Occupation and Profession. "Business, trade, occupation and profession" means carrying on or exercising, whether for gain or profit or otherwise, within the Township, any trade, business (including, but not limited to, financial business, as herein defined), profession, vocation, service, construction, communication or commercial activity, or rendering services from or attributable to a bona fide office or place of business within the Township. Any person who has no office separate from his or her residence located in the Township shall be considered as conducting his or her business, trade, occupation or profession from his or her residence, but this provision shall not be construed as permitting any business in a location where zoning laws prohibit the conduct of a business.
The term "business, trade, occupation and profession" includes, without being limited to, any service or services rendered by any person as follows: advertising and public relations agencies, agents, apartment and rooming house operators, architects, barbershop operators, beauty shop operators, bricklaying, brokers, cable television operators, carpentry, certified public accountants, chemists, chiropractors, cleaning, pressing and dying establishment operators, commission merchants, consultants, contractors or subcontractors engaged in alteration, building, construction, maintenance or repair of any kind of real or personal property, dentists, electricians, engineers, equipment repair, factors, funeral directors, hotel operators, insurance brokrs and agents, laundry operators, lawyers, lessors of real and tangible personal property for commercial or residential purposes, excepting only the leasing of a single personal residence within the Township for not more than a one-year term by a person domiciled within the Township with the intent to preserve the property, management services of any kind pertaining to any real or personal property situate within the Township, manufacturers' representatives, motel operators, nurses, operators of places of amusement providing either passive or active recreation, optometrists, osteopaths, parking lot and garage operators, pharmacists, physicians, plastering, dry wall or insulation contractors, podiatrists, promoters, public accountants, real estate brokers, real estate developers, shoe repair shop operators, social workers, surgeons, tailors, teachers, therapists, travel agents, upholsterers, vending machine operators, ventilating, veterinarians and warehouse operators.
(b) 
Collector. "Collector" means the appointed or elected Business Privilege Tax Collector of the Township.
(c) 
Financial Business. "Financial business" means services and transactions rendered by banks, bankers, trust companies, credit and investment banking companies, holding companies and dealers and brokers in money, credits, commercial paper, bonds, notes, securities and stocks, commodities, options and monetary metals.
(d) 
Gross Receipts. "Gross receipts" means all gross receipts of cash, credits or property of any kind or nature received in cash or credit transactions, allocable or attributable to the Township, whether derived from within or outside the Township and regardless of the taxpayer's method of accounting, for services rendered by any business, trade, occupation or profession, without deduction therefrom on account of the cost of property sold, materials used, labor, services or other cost, interest or discount paid or any other expense, except as otherwise provided by this chapter. A receipt generally will be considered allocable or attributable to the Township if any part of the transaction or service giving rise to the receipt takes place within the Township.
The term "gross receipts" does not include:
(1) 
Refunds, credits or allowances given by a person to a customer on account of defects in services rendered or in goods, wares and merchandise sold or returned and deducted from the amount of the gross receipts of the person;
(2) 
Adjustments allowed to customers from gross receipts if they are deducted on the face of the invoice as a medium of adjusting the price or fee for the service and if they are not reimbursed to the person by his or her supplier or some other person;
(3) 
Federal, State and local taxes if they are collected from the customer and are separately stated on the evidence of charge or sale, or if the customer produces satisfactory proof of payment of the Federal, State or local taxes;
(4) 
Receipts from services performed from a place of business regularly maintained outside the Township by the taxpayer to a place of business regularly maintained outside the Township by the customer, provided that such performance is not made for the purpose of evading the tax. Services or deliveries to a residence located outside the Township do not qualify for this exclusion.
(5) 
In the case of a financial business, the cost of securities and other property sold, exchanged, paid at maturity or redeemed, or money received in payment of advances, credits and loans (not to exceed the principal amount of such advances, credits and loans) and deposits; and
(6) 
In the case of a broker, any portion of the fees or commission with respect to any transactions paid by him or her to another broker, underwriter or insurer on account of a purchase or sale of a contract for goods, commodities or insurance contract initiated by or exercised or cleared in conjunction with such other broker, underwriter or insurer.
(e) 
Person. "Person" means any individual, partnership, limited partnership, joint venture, association, syndication, corporation or other entity or taxpayer of any kind engaged in a business, trade, occupation or profession within the Township.
(f) 
Service. "Service" means any act or instance of helping or benefiting another for consideration.
(g) 
Tax Year. "Tax year" means the twelve-month period beginning January 1 each year, except that the tax year for 1988 shall be April 1, 1988, through December 31, 1988.
(h) 
Temporary, Seasonal or Itinerant Business. "Temporary, seasonal or itinerant business" means any business that is conducted at one location for less than sixty consecutive calendar days.
(i) 
Treasurer. "Treasurer" means the Treasurer of the Township or the Collector.

§ 886.03 Registration required; fee; application; assignments; replacement.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988]
(a) 
Every person desiring to engage in a business, trade, occupation or profession within the Township shall, on or before the seventy-fifth day of the tax year or prior to commencing business in such tax year, make application for registration for each place of business in the Township. If such person has no actual place of business in the Township, then one registration is required. Such registration shall be made by the completion of an application furnished by the Treasurer or the Collector and the payment of a fee of $10.00.
(b) 
Each application for registration shall be signed by the applicant, if a natural person, and, in the case of an association or a partnership, by a member thereof, and, in the case of a corporation, by an officer thereof.
(c) 
Each applicant shall receive a certificate of registration from the Treasurer, which shall not be assignable.
(d) 
In the case of a loss, defacement or destruction of any certificate, each person to whom the certificate was issued shall apply to the Treasurer for a new certificate, for which a fee of $2 shall be charged.

§ 886.04 Exemptions.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988]
(a) 
All persons required to pay a business privilege tax under the provisions of this chapter shall be exempted from paying such tax upon the same subject matter of taxation upon which such persons are required to pay a mercantile license tax under Chapter 888. Any person required to pay both a business privilege tax and a mercantile license tax may file one joint return. In addition, any portion of a taxpayer's gross receipts which is subject to a gross receipts tax under any other Township ordinance may not be taxed under this chapter.
(b) 
Persons employed for a wage or salary, nonprofit corporations or associations organized for religious, charitable or educational purposes, agencies of the government of the United States, the Commonwealth, the county and the Wissahickon School District and the business of any political subdivision, or of any authority created or organized under and pursuant to any act of Assembly, are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
(c) 
No such tax shall be assessed or collected on the gross receipts of any utility service to any person or company whose rates of service are fixed and regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission or on any privilege or transaction involving the rendering of any such public utility service.
(d) 
No such tax shall be assessed and collected on goods, articles and products, or on byproducts of manufacture, or on minerals, timber, natural resources and farm products, manufactured, produced or grown in the Township, or on the preparation or processing thereof for use or market, or on any privilege, act or transaction related to the business of manufacturing or the production, preparation or processing of minerals, timber and natural resources or farm products, by manufacturers, by producers and by farmers with respect to the goods, articles and products of their own manufacture, production or growth, or on any privilege, act or transaction relating to the business of processing byproducts of manufacture, or on the transportation, loading, unloading, dumping or storage of such goods, articles, products or byproducts.

§ 886.05 Tax levy and rate.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988; Ord. 320. Passed 1-23-1996]
There is hereby imposed on every person exercising the privilege of carrying on a business, trade, occupation or profession within the Township an annual business privilege tax at the rate of one mill on each person's gross receipts for each tax year. However, such annual gross receipts shall not be taxable unless they are in excess of $2,500 per tax year.

§ 886.06 Final return; forms; certification.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988; Ord. 338. Passed 2-10-1997]
(a) 
On or before April 15 after the end of the tax year, every person subject to the tax hereby imposed shall make a return to the Treasurer based upon the actual gross receipts from business transacted by the taxpayer during the period for which the taxpayer is subject to the tax. Such final return shall state the amount of gross receipts and the amount of tax due upon the final computation.
(b) 
Every return, as hereinafter required, shall be made upon a form furnished by the Treasurer. Every person making such return shall certify the correctness thereof under the penalties of perjury.

§ 886.07 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 886.07, Estimated return and computation of estimated gross receipts, was repealed 2-10-1997 by Ord. No. 338.

§ 886.08 Date of return; election re estimated and final returns.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988]
(a) 
On or before the April 15 after the end of the tax year, every person subject to the tax hereby imposed shall make a final return as required by Section 886.06(a).
(b) 
Any person whose gross receipts in any tax year are equal to or less than $25,000 may elect to file an estimated return under Section 886.07(d) and a final return under Subsection (a) hereof. This election is expressly conditioned upon the value of the cash, credits or property received by such person from any source allocable or attributable to any place outside the Township, or otherwise excluded from tax by operation of law, not exceeding $1,000. The Treasurer shall prepare a short form return to be filed by eligible taxpayers who elect to file under this section.

§ 886.09 Payment of tax.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988; Ord. 338. Passed 2-10-1997]
At the time of filing the final return, the taxpayer shall pay the total amount due as indicated on the final return for the applicable tax year.

§ 886.10 Duties of Treasurer; rules and regulations.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988]
(a) 
It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to collect and receive the fees, taxes, fines and penalties imposed by this chapter. It shall also be his or her duty to keep a record showing the amount of tax received by him or her and the date of payment. A receipt shall be given to the person paying the tax.
(b) 
If the Treasurer is not satisfied with the return and payment of tax made by any taxpayer under this chapter, he or she is hereby authorized to make a determination of the tax due from such person, based upon the facts contained in the return, or upon any information within his or her possession or that comes into his or her possession, and for this purpose the Treasurer, his or her deputy and his or her authorized agent are authorized to examine the books, papers and records of any such person to verify the accuracy of any return or payment made under the provisions thereof or to ascertain whether the taxes imposed by this chapter have been paid. The Treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to make and keep such records, prepare such forms and take such other measures as may be necessary or convenient to carry this chapter into effect and may, in his or her discretion, require reasonable deposits to be made by licensees who engage in a business temporary, seasonal or itinerant by its nature.
(c) 
If any taxpayer neglects or refuses to make any return and payment of tax required by this chapter, or if, as a result of an investigation by the Treasurer, a return is found to be incorrect, the Treasurer shall estimate the tax due by such person and determine the amount due from such person for taxes and for penalties and interest thereon.
(d) 
The burden is hereby imposed upon any person claiming an exemption from the payment of the tax hereby imposed to prove to the satisfaction of the Treasurer, by clear and convincing evidence, his or her legal right to such exemption.
(e) 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection (e) hereof was repealed 2-10-1997 by Ord. No.338.
(f) 
Any information contained on the returns of the taxpayer and any information obtained as a result of the examination of the books and records of the taxpayer shall be confidential except for official purposes and except for purposes of judicial order.
(g) 
The Treasurer is hereby authorized to make rules and regulations, consistent with the provisions of this chapter, relating to the interpretation or application of any section of this chapter or to any matter affecting the administration and enforcement of this chapter, including provision for the re-examination and correction of returns and the adjustment or refund of any overpayment of tax.

§ 886.11 Method of recovery; interest and penalty on delinquent payments.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988; Ord. 389. Passed 8-21-2001]
(a) 
All taxes due and unpaid under this chapter, as well as any applicable interest, penalties and costs of collection (including reasonable attorney's fees), shall be recoverable by the Lower Gwynedd Township Tax Collector and/or the Lower Gwynedd Township Solicitor as other debts due to the Township are now by law recoverable.
(b) 
To each civil complaint requesting payment for taxes, interest and penalties under this chapter, there shall be added a civil penalty of 10% of the tax or $300, whichever is greater, together with the costs of suit and reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the Township as provided by the Local Tax Collection Act, being the Act of May 15, 1945 (P.L. 1050), Sec. 21, 72 P.S. § 5511.21 et seq. Recognizing that much additional time is required of the Lower Gwynedd Township Tax Collector to prepare and file a civil complaint before the local District Justice, prepare for a hearing before the local District Justice, conduct settlement negotiations, prepare payment plans and other additional functions necessitated by the collection process and litigation, the Lower Gwynedd Township Tax Collector shall be entitled to additional compensation in the amount of $300 to be paid from the penalty portion of each fully paid settlement or judgment. All civil penalties lawfully levied and collected which are in addition to the minimum civil penalty of $300 shall be paid to Lower Gwynedd Township. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the award of attorney's fees for collection efforts.
(c) 
All taxes due under this chapter shall bear interest at the rate of 1 1/4% per month or fractional part of a month, from the day they are due and payable until paid.

§ 886.12 Nontaxable persons and businesses; severability; rules and regulations of Collector.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988]
(a) 
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to empower the Township to assess, levy and collect the taxes hereby imposed on any person or any business or any portion of any business not within the taxing power of the Township under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the commonwealth.
(b) 
The provisions of this chapter are severable, and if any of its provisions or exemptions are held to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional, or invalid or unconstitutional as to any part of the period designated herein as the tax year, the decision of any court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions of this chapter, or affect or impair its application as to any other part of such tax year, and the requirements as to the tax shall operate as of the effective date of this chapter and the computation of tax and payment thereof shall be applied and adjusted accordingly.
(c) 
The Collector is hereby authorized to make rules and regulations consistent with the provisions of this chapter relating to the interpretation or application of any taxing section thereof or with respect to any matter affecting the administration and enforcement of this chapter, including provision for the examination and correction of returns, and the adjustment or refund of any overpayment of tax within the time provided by law.

§ 886.13 Apportionment of tax for initial tax year.

[Ord. 249. Passed 2-16-1988]
The tax imposed by this chapter shall be imposed on the gross receipts for that portion of the tax year commencing with the effective date of this chapter (April 1, 1988), and the estimated gross receipts determined under this chapter shall be apportioned accordingly.

§ 886.99 Penalty. [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: See Section 810.99 for general Code penalty if no specific penalty is provided.