Philadelphia has already paid back more than $81 million in wage taxes to suburban residents who worked from home last year instead of commuting to the city — and officials are still processing refund applications.

As of mid-August, Philadelphia had sent checks to about 32,000 people, according to city spokesperson Kevin Lessard. And finance officials estimate they’ll refund a total of $105 million to nonresident commuters for 2020 by the time they’re done.

Those refunds are being issued as many suburbanites continue to work from home. Many companies are delaying plans to bring workers back to city offices amid a surge in coronavirus cases and the return of a citywide mask mandate. The budget approved in June projects that the city will pay $75 million in refunds for 2021.

Is it too late to apply for a 2020 wage tax refund?

Under city law, wage tax refunds can be requested as late as three years from the date of payment or the due date, whichever is later. That means there’s still time to apply for people who worked from home in 2020.

“We receive refund requests every day,” Lessard said. “The process won’t be complete as long as we continue to receive new 2020 wage tax refund requests.”

And many existing applications are still being reviewed as taxpayers await their refunds. As of last week, Lessard said about 1,000 requests were in process.

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