Volunteering could get you a tax credit in Philly if a City Council bill becomes law

Tulips are pictured outside Philadelphia City Hall.

Tulips are pictured outside Philadelphia City Hall. (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

Want to volunteer? There could soon be a tax credit for that.

A proposal recently introduced in Philadelphia City Council would offer a tax credit against either the real estate tax or the wage tax for those who volunteer to work in the community.

If the bill is approved, volunteers who perform community service would be able to get a credit of up to $1,000 a year. The credit would be calculated at a rate of $5 an hour for every hour worked and certified by the community organizations.

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Council President Darrell Clarke said the idea was inspired by the White House.

“President Biden’s recent actions to make it easier for holders of student loans to access a public service loan deferment option, as well as by unpaid community services being done across Philadelphia,” Clarke said. “We wanted to be able to do something for these volunteers, and to inspire more volunteer community service across Philadelphia.”

To be eligible under the proposal, volunteers must not be paid for their volunteer work. The work must be beneficial in a “meaningful manner” to city residents or communities in need. It also must be managed by a “purely public charity” or government agency.

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