How to File Pennsylvania Local Taxes

Gather your paperwork before filing your local taxes.

If you live in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you are subject to not only federal income taxes but state and possibly local income taxes as well. The percentage of local taxes you must pay depends on where you live. Your employer is responsible for determining the local tax percentage in your municipality and withholding the proper amount of taxes from your paycheck. But you are responsible for submitting the required documentation and filing your local tax return.

Step 1

Obtain a copy of your W-2 from your employer. The company you work for should mail you a W-2 form sometime in January or February. Contact the human resources department at your company for a replacement if you do not have your W-2 by the end of February. If you worked for more than one employer during the previous year, you will need a W-2 for each one of those companies.

Step 2

Enter the local wages figure from your W-2 form on your local income tax return. If you filed local income taxes last year you should receive a new local tax return in the mail. Contact your local taxing authority if you did not receive a form. Your employer can help you find the contact information for your local tax bureau. Refer to box 18 of your W-2 form to find your local wages. Box 19 shows the amount of local income tax withheld from your paycheck.

Step 3

Record any non-wage income you received on your taxes. The instructions on the local tax return will list the types of income that are taxable. Read those instructions carefully and enter any additional taxable income you received during the previous year on the appropriate lines. Depending on the municipality where you live, you might be taxed on such things as business income and self-employment income.

Step 4

Enter the amount of local taxes you paid as listed in box 19 of your W-2 form onto the proper line of your local return. Compare that figure to your tax liability. If all you had was wage income from one employer, the amount you paid should equal your tax liability. If you had additional sources of income, you might owe additional money. If more than one employer withheld local taxes, you may be due a refund.

Step 5

Make a copy of the local tax return and any backup documentation for your records, then mail the competed return to the address listed in the instructions. Don't forget to sign and date your return before submitting it. Include a copy of the local version of your W-2 with your completed tax form. Each copy of your W-2 lists its purpose, i.e., federal filing copy, state filing copy, local filing copy and a copy for you to keep.


You may be able to file your local taxes online. Contact your local tax bureau for online filing instructions. All taxpayers in your county usually file at the same tax bureau.


Even if your employer did not withhold local income tax or withheld the wrong amount, you are responsible for filing a local income tax return and paying the applicable tax rate for your resident municipality.

Things You'll Need

  • Local tax return

  • W-2 form