On October 30, 2017, Act 43 of 2017 replaced the old fireworks law. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards continues to perform licensing functions under the new law. The new law is effective immediately with a 90 day transition period for existing licensees to continue to operate (under the conditions of Act 204 of 2004). All consumer grade fireworks facilities must be licensed in accordance with the new law by January 28, 2018 or the date their license under the previous Fireworks Law expires – whichever is earlier. Once licensed in accordance with the new law, permanent consumer firework facilities and appropriate temporary structures may operate under the conditions of the new law.
The Department has developed an interactive map to assist potential applicants for Temporary Structure licensure to determine if a potential site is within the 5 mile exclusion zone (straight line distance from center of the property) of an existing Permanent Consumer Fireworks Facility. This map is the method the Department uses to determine if an applicant for a Temporary Structure license is outside the 5 mile exclusion zone.
Pennsylvania Consumer Fireworks Tax Info:
What is the Consumer Fireworks Tax?
On October 30, 2017, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 43 of 2017, establishing a consumer fireworks tax on each separate sale at retail of consumer fireworks within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The tax is imposed at a rate of 12% on the sales price of consumer fireworks. The 12% tax is in addition to the sales and use tax already imposed on such sales, see the attached FACT Sheet for more information.
What you need to know:
Sellers of consumer fireworks are required to apply for a Consumer Fireworks Facility License with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards. You can find more information by visiting the Department of Agriculture’s website at www.agriculture.pa.gov.
Important: Under the new law, your facility may continue to sell consumer fireworks under its current license for a period of 90 days (through January 28, 2018) or until the term of the current license expires, whichever comes first. You must apply for and obtain a new license under the new law to be able to lawfully sell consumer fireworks beyond this expiration date.
Filing and Paying Taxes
Licensees must submit a quarterly consumer fireworks tax return with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, even for periods where no taxable fireworks sales occurred. Consumer fireworks sales made during the fourth quarter of 2017 (October 30 through December 31) should be included in your first quarter 2018 consumer fireworks tax return, which is due April 20, 2018.
Beginning April 1, 2018, licensees can register their consumer fireworks tax account with e-TIDES, the department’s e-filing tax system for businesses. Licensees must file consumer fireworks tax returns electronically using e-TIDES. Paper tax returns are not available or permissible for this tax type.
If your Point of Sale system cannot handle charging two different taxes on one transaction, you can use one composite tax rate (18.72%), per sales transaction. However, when your tax returns are filed with the Department of Revenue the collection of the sales tax and fireworks tax must be reported separately on the respective return.
Calculation of the Consumer Fireworks TaxThe tax authorized will be imposed and collected at a rate of 12% on the sales price of consumer fireworks. The 12% tax will be in addition to the sales and use tax already imposed on such sales.