Local Tax Information
Earned Income Tax Information
In Pennsylvania, the General Assembly has empowered political subdivisions of the Commonwealth, at the local level, to levy, assess, and collect certain types of taxes for general revenue purposes. The authority for levying these non-realty taxes was granted to local school districts and municipalities in 1965 through the passage of the Local Tax Enabling Act (LTEA), commonly referred to as “Act 511”. The rate of earned income tax for Thornbury Township (Delaware County) and West Chester Area School District is one percent (1%), and is levied on gross wages and/or net profits from a business or profession.
Keystone Collections Group is the appointed Earned Income Tax Officer for Thornbury Township (Delaware County) and West Chester Area School District. As the appointed Earned Income Tax Collector, Keystone is charged with the duty of administering the Township’s and School District’s taxes. This includes collecting the tax, establishing rules and regulations to fairly enforce such tax and creating accurate tax records and accounts for each taxpayer.
Questions and Answers about the Earned Income Tax
What is the “Earned Income Tax”?
The Earned income Tax, commonly called a “Wage Tax”, is usually a tax of one percent (1%) on gross wages and/or net profits from a business or profession. In Home Rule communities, the tax rate may vary and can even be higher than 1%. Typically, individuals who receive “earned income”, including salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, incentive payments, fees, tips and/or other compensation for services rendered, whether in cash or property, are subject to the tax. In addition, those who conduct businesses, professions and other activities for profit must pay tax on the net profit derived from their operation after deductions have been made of all costs and expenses incurred in conducting said businesses.
What income is specifically exempt from the Earned income Tax?
Unearned income such as dividends, interest, income from trusts, bonds, insurance and stocks is exempt. Also exempt are payments for third party sick or disability benefits, old age benefits, retirement pay, pensions – including social security payments, public assistance or unemployment compensation payments made by any governmental agency, and any wages or compensation paid by the United States for active service in the forces of the United States, including bonuses or additional compensation for such service. In addition, net profits of corporations are exempt under state law.
If the tax is withheld in another community where I work, do I also pay the district in which I live?
No, the tax withheld by your employer will be remitted to your resident taxing jurisdiction. It is still required that our Registration Form be answered by ALL residents.
Whose Earned Income Tax will be withheld by their employer?
Any individual working in a jurisdiction that levies the tax on residents and non-residents will have the tax withheld by their employer. If you work in a jurisdiction that does NOT tax non-residents, your employer is only required to withhold for those individuals who live in that jurisdiction. Occasionally, employers located in a jurisdiction where the tax is not levied will volunteer to withhold if your resident jurisdiction levies the tax.
From whom will the Earned Income Tax be collected directly?
The Earned Income Tax will be collected directly from those who are: 1) self-employed; 2) salaried but self-employed in a side business; or 3) work in a municipality where the tax is not in place. Those persons must file a declaration of the total of such estimated net profits or income, together with the total estimated tax due, with the Earned Income Tax Collector. Proper forms for reporting the quarterly payments will be sent to each person so liable.
Must all taxpayers file a final return?
Yes. Even if all tax is withheld, or quarterly payments are made, a Local Earned Income Tax Return must be filed by April 15 each year.
What happens if I neither file a return nor pay the tax due?
State law, as well as the local tax resolutions and/or ordinances, make it a summary criminal offense if a taxpayer fails to file a tax return as required, and subjects the taxpayer to a fine not to exceed $500.00 per offense, plus the cost of prosecution; in default of payment of said fine and costs, the taxpayer may be imprisoned for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days per offense. In addition, distress sale, wage attachment and/or civil suit proceedings may be used to collect any unpaid tax found to be due, and penalties and interest may also be assessed.
How do I change my mailing address?
Call Keystone Collects at 866-539-1100 to change your address.
School Tax Information
- West Chester Area School District taxes are due August 31st of each year.
- Bills for school taxes will be sent to your residence.
- All inquiries regarding school taxes should be directed to:
Willard McMullin, Tax Collector
15 Longview Drive
Thornton, PA 19373
School District Code:
West Chester Area School District code for income tax purposes is 15900.
Real Estate Tax Information
The County collects current year real estate taxes at the Self Tax Collection Office on the ground floor of the Government Center Building. Taxes can be paid over the counter, via mail, or electronically via E-Zpay.
TD Bank and Wells Fargo Bank (formerly Wachovia) will also accept tax payments. Treasurer's Office hours are from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday.
Tax certification claiming that taxes are Paid/Unpaid (County only) for the current year plus a three-year look back is available from this office. There is a service fee of $15.00. Send request with a self addressed, stamped envelop, check and property identification to the address above.
Taxes are for the current calendar year. Tax bills are mailed February 1st.
Taxes are payable:
- at a 2% discount for 60 days after mailing; February, March, April 1st.
- at full amount for the next 60 days; April, May, June 1st.
- at a 10% penalty until year-end; December 31st.
Unpaid tax bills at year-end are turned over to the county's Tax Claim Bureau for collection starting March 1st.Tax Claim is also the authorized agent for collecting delinquent Municipal and School District taxes.
The formula for taxes due at full amount is: $ of Assessment (times) the County millage rate.
Communicating with the County on Paid/Unpaid taxes is expedited by identifying the 11-diget property parcel number included in all billing and correspondence.
Example: *34-00-05432-01 aka / folio number; aka / property identification number
in this example:
*34 represents the Township/Borough, i.e. Nether Providence
00 subdivision of the larger municipalities
05432 local property ID
01 a subdivision
Of the 200,000 billable properties, 35 % of county taxes are paid via mortgage companies / banks. 65 % via direct mail-in by property owners.
Delinquent tax information can be obtained at Public Access.
The Tax Claim Bureau phone number is (610) 891-4285..
If you need to to change the mailing address for your taxes, you can do so via the online form on the County's website.