Frequently Asked Questions


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What is the Business Privilege and/or Mercantile Tax?

The Business Privilege and/or Mercantile Tax has been levied by the Municipality and/or School District in which a business is located and is based on the gross receipts of such a business.

What is a ‘Business’?

Carrying on or exercising for gain or profit, in the Taxing District, any trade, business, profession, vocation or commercial activity, or making sales in the Taxing District; a profession or vocation or any rendering of personal services in the Taxing District in any capacity, except as an employee of another, is a Business.

What are Gross Receipts?

Gross receipts means gross consideration received in any sale made or services rendered; or commercial or business transaction occurring in or attributable to the taxing district including cash, credits and property of any kind or of any nature without deduction on account of the cost of materials, labor, services or other costs, interest or discount paid or any other expenses whatsoever.

Are there ANY allowable deductions from total Gross Receipts?

Returns, refunds, any tax included in Gross Receipts and any exemption allowed by certain taxing districts are considered allowable deductions. Discounts offered and State Taxes are allowable deductions.

Is rental property subject to the Business Privilege Tax?

Yes. Where the lessor has acquired rental property, receipts from same are subject to the tax.

Is manufacturing subject to the Business Privilege and/or Mercantile Tax?

No. The sale of manufactured products made directly by the manufacturer, is exempt from the tax. However, third party sales of manufactured products ARE NOT exempt.

If you are not subject to the tax because you claim to be a manufacturer, the PA State Manufacturing Exemption Form, showing the amount of manufacturing receipts not subject to the tax, must be included when filing the Business Privilege Tax Form.

How can we register? 

Click here to complete our online registration form.

Note: Registration will add an account to our file for your business, however, the tax cannot be filed or paid online.

What documentation is required when filing the Business Privilege and/or Mercantile Tax Return?

A copy of a Federal Schedule C, 1120 or appropriate Federal Form used to file with the Federal IRS must accompany the local Business Privilege and/or Mercantile Return. If such form is not available, other documentation (such as a spreadsheet) used to determine gross receipts, must be included.

How do I get a License to post at my place of business?

Licenses are included with the mailing of the Tax Form and fees, if applicable, are due on an annual basis. A License must be posted at each place of business whether or not a License Fee is required.

What if I don’t file and/or pay the Business Privilege and/or Mercantile Tax to which I am subject?

A fine and/or imprisonment, or both can be imposed upon anyone neglecting or refusing to file and pay the tax due.

When is my BPT return due?

Due dates vary based upon the taxing jurisdiction.

Please send an email to or call our offices to obtain the correct due date(s) for your taxing jurisdiction.

What is the tax rate? 

Like most taxes, tax rates vary based upon the taxing jurisdiction.

Please send an email to or call our offices to obtain the correct tax rate for your taxing jurisdiction.

Where do I file and pay the tax due?

Make checks payable to: HAB-BPT (short for: H A Berkheimer-Business Privilege Tax)

BPT/MCT Tax Return

PO Box 21810

Lehigh Valley, PA 18002 

Mechanical Device Tax/Amusement/Admissions/Parking

PO Box 20087

Lehigh Valley, PA 18002

How to get a form?

You can request that a form be mailed to you by contacting us, click here or download a blank version by clicking here.

If you would like to view the most current edition of the Taxation Manual of the Commonwealth of PA in its entirety click here.   Click here to download a PDF of the Berkheimer Business Privilege and / or Mercantile Tax Rules and Regulations.

If you have additional/specific questions that are not addressed above, please click on the link to send an inquiry to our customer care department.

Please note that these are general frequently asked questions. If you have a specific questions, please use the Customer Care Department link above to contact us with your specific question(s).

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