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Hotel Occupancy Tax – Guidance for U.S. Government Employees Traveling on Government Business 

If an employee of the United States government is staying in a Pennsylvania hotel on official government business, the room is generally exempt from Pennsylvania hotel occupancy taxes if the room is paid for by the government. Here are important facts to keep in mind:

  • The stay is exempt from PA hotel occupancy taxes if the federal government pays for the room directly at the time of the stay.
  • The stay is also exempt from PA hotel occupancy taxes if the employee pays for the room at the time of stay and is later reimbursed by the government.
  • In all instances, the employee must present the following:
    1. A Pennsylvania Exemption Certificate (REV-1220) (fill in Reason H under Box #2).
    2. A copy of the travel orders, a statement from a supervisor, or other evidence identifying the customer as a federal employee. The Department of Revenue will consider the "GSA SmartPay2" card as documentary evidence to identify the purchaser as an employee on U.S. government business.

Note: This guidance only pertains to the Pennsylvania state tax of six percent and additional one percent in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties, imposed on hotel occupancy in Pennsylvania. It does not address any additional taxes that local governments may impose on hotel occupancy.