Oppose a Sales Tax on Legal Services
Please oppose a plan that would expand the Pennsylvania Sales Tax to include legal services.
Currently, legal services are exempt from the sales tax in Pennsylvania. However, Governor Wolf’s budget proposal would broaden the application of the sales tax to include many professional services, including most legal services.
The Philadelphia Bar Association believes that it is bad public policy to impose a sales tax on legal services. This is not a tax on attorneys. Rather, it is a tax on the individuals who seek legal help, often at a time when they are most vulnerable and stressed.
The proposed tax would be harmful to individuals, in that many people who are financially struggling may forego hiring an attorney and suffer the consequences inherent with lack of representation.
A sales tax on legal services would also be harmful to Pennsylvania’s law firms, as the tax would place an administrative burden on Pennsylvania lawyers in charging, accounting for and paying to the Commonwealth sums owed on fees collected from clients. Additionally, the administrative cost to Pennsylvania law firms would place those firms at a disadvantage in comparison with competing firms in neighboring states that do not have such a tax.
The Philadelphia Bar Association urges its members to contact their state legislators to discuss with them the negative implications of expanding the sales tax to include legal services. A personal contact, either face-to-face or by telephone, can be highly persuasive. An incisive letter is another effective tool to get your point across. Use the format letter on this page to get started. Be sure to personalize the letter to increase the likelihood that your point of view will be noticed. Take action today on the issues that will make Pennsylvania a better place to live and work.