13th St Pizza (a.k.a. Homo Hut) Shut Down for Operating w/o Food License

Without a food license? This is going to sound bizarre, but don't be surprised if it's for alleged back taxes that the owners never knew about.

In 2004, I mistakenly overpaid the BIRT (Business Income & Receipts Tax) by more than a grand. The city refunded the money after some time and I cashed the check. All is well, right? Wrong.

Fast forward to 2015. Earlier this year, I get a notice from the city that I owe over 3 grand in back taxes, penalties and interest. You guessed it, from 2004. My business license was then flagged as having a "potential" issue with the Philadelphia Revenue department. (not L&I) and I couldn't renew my license online. My accountant contacted both entities numerous times and couldn't get a straight answer. He visits in person and shows our paperwork (my records go back further than 2004), which has the overpayment, refund and all other pertinent information. The individual at Revenue then states that we have to go to tax court because they couldn't do anything. If I wanted to renew the license, I had to pay the amount in dispute upfront. I was left with little option but to pay it, or operate without a license. I paid it and am still awaiting for our opportunity to show our records.

This isn't the only instance that revenue has fucked up our returns. (including the time we were closed for a few months for major renovations, filed returns as required, showing zero revenue and they still question it and it STILL shows up in their records) This is after going before a judge in tax court, not once, but twice. Honestly, I don't know what the fuck is going on with the bureaucracy of our city, but the sheer ineptitude makes it even more difficult to do business here.

There is no accountability with the employees who push paper from one desk to another. You speak with one person familiar with your case, only to be handed off to another wholly clueless. So you get to start from scratch. Wash, rinse, repeat.

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