Frequently Asked Questions
What if I moved out before the tax bill was issued?
If you moved out prior to the issue of the tax bill, please return the bill to our office with documentation of your new residence (example: copy of driver’s license, utility bill, tax notice) for the appropriate time period. You can also respond online, click here.
What should I do if the individual the bill is for is now deceased?
If the taxpayer who received the bill is now deceased please return the bill to us noting the date of passing and we will have the bill for that year cleared and the account noted properly so they will not receive one in the future. You can also respond online, click here.
What is the Per Capita tax?
The Per Capita Tax is a flat rate local tax payable by all adult residents living within a taxing jurisdiction. For most areas “adult” is defined as 18 years of age and older, though in some areas the minimum age may differ. This tax is due yearly and is based solely on residency, it is NOT dependent upon employment or property ownership. Municipalities and school districts were given the right to collect a $10.00 per capita tax under ACT 511, and School Districts an additional $5.00 under ACT 679 – School Tax Code.
What is the Occupation Assessment, Flat Occupation Tax?
Occupation taxes are assessed on all employed residents that hold an occupation. The Occupation Assessment Tax can be a flat tax rate or an assessed value depending upon your occupation.
How is my occupation value set?
Each county in the commonwealth establishes their own list of occupation codes and the value assigned to each. Those values are then applied to the millage rate (a mill is $1.00 of tax per $1000 of assessed value) to arrive at the tax amount due.
What do I do if I do not agree with the Occupation Value shown on my bill?
Many areas allow you to appeal the value you have been assigned. To do so you will need to provide proof of your current occupation (Copy of prior year 1040 form) and in some areas the appeal form designated by the taxing authority. Both should be returned to us along with a copy of the bill. The information will then be reviewed and a determination rendered. You will receive notification of the finding in the form of a new bill and/or letter of denial of your appeal request.
What is this tax used for?
Municipalities and school districts levying one or both of these taxes use the revenues generated by them to fund their programs offered to the citizens of the tax jurisdiction.
Do I pay these taxes if I rent?
Whether you rent or own, if you reside within a taxing district, you are liable to pay these taxes to that district.
Is this tax withheld by my employer?
The Per Capita Tax, Occupation Assessment or Flat Occupation Taxes are NOT withheld by your employer. The Occupation Assessment and Flat Occupation Taxes should not be confused with the Local Services Tax, which is in normally withheld by the employer.
Will my mortgage company pay the Per Capita Tax along with my property tax?
No. Your mortgage company will not pay your Per Capita Tax.
How many Per Capita and/or Occupation Assessment taxes do I have to pay?
Depending upon the district that you live in, the County, Township/Municipality and School District can each enact a Per Capita Tax and Occupation tax.
What is difference between an ACT 511 and ACT 679 Per Capita Tax?
ACT 511 Tax – is a Per Capita Tax that can be levied at a maximum rate of $10.00. It can be levied by a municipality and/or school district. If both do so it is shared 50/50.
ACT 679 Tax – is a $5.00 Per Capita Tax authorized under the PA School Code and is addition to the $10.00 Per Capita that can be levied and shared by your school district with your municipality.
If I pay this late is there a penalty applied?
Yes, a penalty of up to 10% of the face amount of the bill is applied if it is not paid within 120 days of the billing.
This is the first time I am being billed for this tax, why am I receiving this bill now?
There are several sources that your information may have been received from that resulted in you being billed for the first time. They are:
- Annually we perform a review of the Earned Income Tax rolls for each of the areas we collect the Per Capita and wage tax for. If a taxpayer is found to be missing, they are added and billed for the current year.
- Many areas require that the property owners who have rentals within them report the names of all tenants annually to them. Those lists are provided to us each year to be matched against the tax rolls.
- You have recently moved into the area, either buying a home or renting. As a new resident of the taxing area, you have been billed for the current year.
- You have reached the age of 18 and are now subject to the tax.
When are bills mailed?
County and Township bills are generally mailed out in February / March and cover January 1 to December 31. School bills are generally mailed out July / August and cover July 1 through June 30. The mail date depends upon the jurisdiction that your property is located in.
Check our Mailings page for a list of clients and the most recent mailing date of their Per Capita Tax / Occupation Tax bills. Click here to review the Mailings page.
If you do not receive your bill around this time, it is important that you request a duplicate copy at hab-inc.com/billrequest. Failure to receive your tax bill does not eliminate your need to make timely payments.
Can I apply for exoneration from this tax?
In most cases there is only one exoneration for the Per Capita Tax, under 18 years of age. If age exoneration is not 18 it will be noted on your tax notice. However, some areas allow an exemption for the Occupation Tax such as Students, Disabled Individuals and Active Military. To learn more, click here.
What should I do if I received two or more bills in the same name?
If you received multiple bills, please utilize the bill which has the name listed as you wish to receive it each year you are a resident of the taxing area. Please then detach the remittance stub from the duplicate bill and mark: DUPLICATE OF ACCOUNT # (list number from proper bill) and return it to us along with your payment and remittance stub for the proper bill. We will update the accounts accordingly. You can also respond online, click here.
What if I did not get a bill or lost my bill?
You may contact us for a duplicate tax bill. A duplicate tax bill will be issued to you within 10 days or can be emailed to you as well. Failure to receive your tax bill does not excuse or delay payment of taxes or avoid penalty, interest or charge for such a delay. You can also respond online, click here.
How much do I owe?
Quickly and easily check your balance using our Balance Inquiry self-serve option. To check your balance using your Account Number, Bill Number, Year & Zip Code, click here.
How can I pay this bill?
There are several ways to pay your bill by using your account number, bill id and zip code.
- Pay on your mobile device by downloading our BerkApp from your app store.
- Online by Credit Card or Bank Account (ACH). Click here to pay online using our Online Payments page. Choose the Per Capita Tax, Real Estate Tax and Utility Billing payment option. A 3rd party fee applies to electronic payments.
- Over the phone. You can call 866-225-8451 to make a credit card payment by phone. A 3rd party fee applies.
- Mail. Mail your stub(s) and money order or personal check to PO Box 25144, Lehigh Valley PA 18002
- Make your money order or personal check payable to HAB-MISC.
Please note: For the safety of our associates we do NOT accept cash payments for any taxes that we collect.
What if my payment is returned or rejected by my bank for any reason?
There will be a fee of at least $29 for returned payments.
How can I get a receipt?
Your cancelled check should serve as your proof of payment.
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.