Masonic Temple - Philadelphia, PA

Resources

Master Masons in Pennsylvania have many resources available to them. Whether it be information on Masonic Lodges recognized in Pennsylvania, forms for requesting a Masonic tag for your vehicle, or just information about programs that your Lodge can participate in, the Grand Secretary’s Office is here to help.

Pennsylvania Masons may only visit Lodges working under a jurisdiction recognized by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania maintains fraternal relations with those Grand Lodges that have requested recognition. All requests are referred to the Grand Lodge Committee on Fraternal Recognition. Final determination is granted by vote in the Grand Lodge.

There are several ways for a Pennsylvania Mason to determine whether or not a particular Lodge or Grand Lodge is officially recognized. Each Lodge Secretary has a copy of the List of Lodges (Masonic) published annually to identify those Lodges generally recognized by a majority of the regular Grand Lodges. If you intend to travel abroad, you may request a Travel Commission from the Grand Secretary’s Office. Please allow one month’s time prior to departure to obtain the Travel Commission.

No Pennsylvania Mason is permitted to correspond directly, in any form or manner, with another Grand Lodge or its Subordinate Lodges without prior approval of the respective Grand Secretaries in accordance with Masonic protocol. Requests to correspond with another Grand Lodge or its Lodges must be submitted to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

On June 30, 2007, the Grand Lodge Committee on Fraternal Recognition issued this cautionary statement:

“…as we have indicated in previous reports, irregular forms of Freemasonry continue to expand not only into unoccupied territories but also into jurisdictions where regular Freemasonry exists. We, therefore, emphasize the need to exercise caution when traveling and also in communication on the Internet. Lack of knowledge remains a major concern to world Masonic leadership, as well as to this committee.”

View the most recent list of recognized Grand Lodges (updated 11-18-2019)

Each Subordinate Lodge of the Grand Lodge is responsible for the correct filing of all tax returns unless otherwise notified specifically by the Grand Lodge. In order to assist the Officers of various Lodges to maintain an efficient filing of returns, an outline is presented below.

A. Federal and State Withholding

  1. Who must withhold and file tax returns?
    Each Subordinate Lodge
  2. Who is subject to Withholding?
    Every employee of each Subordinate Lodge
  3. Who are employees?
    All persons rendering services to the Lodge for a salary or wage, which are under the direction and control of the Lodge.
  4. How much must be withheld?
    – Federal: A table is provided by U.S. Treasury Department
    – State: 3.07% of the Compensation paid
    – Social Security Federal: Employer @ 7.65% / Employee @ 7.65%
  5. When must returns be filed and tax paid?
    For each calendar quarter with an annual reconciliation
    – January 1 to March 31: Due April 30
    – April 1 to June 30: July 31
    – July 1 to September 30: October 31
    – October 1 to December 31: January 31
    – Annual reconciliation is due: January 31

B. Unemployment Compensation Tax

  1. Who must file tax returns?
    Federal: Each Subordinate; Pennsylvania: Lodge with employees
  2. Who is required to pay the tax?
    Federal: The Lodge not employees; Pennsylvania: The Lodge
  3. What is the tax rate?
    Rates are set annually by the government
  4. Who are employees?
    Same as for withholding
  5. When must returns be filed?
    Federal: January 31 once a year; Pennsylvania: Same as Federal withholding
  6. When must tax be paid?
    Federal: When the return is filed; Pennsylvania: When the return is filed

C. Local Wage Taxes

  1. Who is subject?
    Many cities, townships, boroughs and other political subdivisions levy a tax on wages, salaries or compensation. Usually, the employer (the Lodges) are required to withhold the tax from the employees (the Secretary, etc.) and remit the tax periodically to the appropriate tax authority. In most cases a Lodge will be considered as an employer for withholding purposes.
  2. How taxing jurisdiction is determined?
    The Political sub-division in which the Lodge domiciled (located) will generally be the jurisdiction to which the Lodge is responsible for any requirement for withholding of tax. In most cases the domicile will be considered as the location in which the Lodge holds its stated meetings.
  3. Who is responsible for withholding?
    Each Lodge is responsible for determining whether it is required to withhold and remit wage taxes for its employees to the political sub-division in which it is domiciled.

D. Pennsylvania Sales and Use Tax

  1. Who is subject to tax?
    Each Lodge must pay the sales or use tax on taxable items purchased. No Lodge may give a sales tax exemption certificate for any reason whatsoever.
  2. What is subject to tax?
    Generally speaking, all items of tangible personal property and certain services with which tangible personal property is an integral part. Since specific enumeration of taxable and nontaxable items would cover at least nine pages in detail, the following general rule should be followed. If a vendor would charge another customer for an item the Lodge purchased, then the Lodge is subject to the tax. Subordinate Lodges can not claim an exemption from sales or use tax as either a “non-profit” or charitable organization. Certain items related to Lodge activities are set forth hereunder for your guidance. Fraternal accouterments and related articles are specifically subject to tax. Formal day or evening wear is subject to the tax. Aprons are exempt, unless the value of the lambskin is more than three times the value of the next most valuable component material of the apron. Jewelry is taxable; books are taxable; Bibles are non-taxable. All furnishings for a Lodge room are subject to tax.
  3. Must a Lodge secure a license?
    No Sales and Use Tax License is required by a Lodge, since Lodges are prohibited from engaging in commercial or business activities or making sales in commerce. Lodge dues and assessments and income from interest or dividends will not cause an incident of sales or use tax.

E. Federal Income Tax Returns

The Grand Lodge is filing federal non-profit tax returns Form 990 – entitled “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax” for and on behalf of each Subordinate Lodge as to the receipts and disbursements reported by the Secretary of each Lodge in the annual audit report. Therefore, no Subordinate Lodge will be required to file a federal non-profit tax return unless it is specifically advised to do so by the Grand Lodge. Each Subordinate Lodge is required to file an appropriate federal income tax for any ancillary organization, such as a Temple Association. The Grand Lodge must be notified of any situation in which no return is filed and furnished with an opinion from legal counsel of the Subordinate Lodge as to the status of the non-filing.

Masonic Road SignsShow your Lodge’s pride in being a cornerstone in the life of your community! Become a visible part of the network of Fraternal Brotherhood throughout the Commonwealth! These PennDOT approved signs not only help in raising the visibility of Freemasonry and your Lodge, they tell travelling Brothers where and when you meet, and remind your own members to go back to their Lodge! These are the only designs approved by Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

Masonic Signs Supplier: 

Walsh Equipment
796 Unionville Road
Prospect, Pennsylvania 16052
Phone: 724-865-9221
Fax: 724-865-9817

Specifications:

Reflective white lettering and border with reflective blue background on .080 gauge aluminum.

Price:

Large Symbol Signs

  • 24″ x 30″: $55.00 each

Information Signs

  • 24″ x 12″ (three lines of text)[Lodge Name, Lodge No., Meeting Day and Time]: $35.00 each
  • 24″ x 18″ (four or five lines of text): $59.00 each
  • 24″ x 24″ (six or seven lines of text): $75.00 each

Eagle Scout Commendation Certificates

Commendation Certificates from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and a letter signed by the R.W. Grand Master, can be requested in writing through the Grand Secretary’s office. Please include the following information:

  • Name of Scout
  • Scout Troop Number
  • Troop Location
  • Troop Charter Partner
  • Scout Council
  • Date of Eagle Scout Court of Honor
  • Name of Requester
  • Mailing Address of Requester

Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award

The Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award is given to a Master Mason who is currently a registered Scouter and active in a Scout unit, district, council, or national affiliate, and has displayed outstanding dedication to the Scouting program through:

  • Developing Scouting units
  • Assisting lodges in forming units
  • Exemplifying the Scout Law and Masonic virtues
  • Recruiting Scouting volunteers
  • Strengthening the relationship between Freemasonry and Scouting

Work accomplishment and dedication, rather than a specific number of years in Scouting, will be the criteria for this award.

The program is administered on behalf of the Grand Lodge by the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation. The application and additional details can be found at: http://pmyf.org/programs/scouting/

Masonic Eagle Scout Lapel Pins

At the request of R. W. Grand Master S. Eugene Herritt, the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation, in cooperation with the Boy Scouts of America’s National Eagle Scout Association, has designed and created a lapel pin which can be worn by ANY Freemason who earned the Eagle Scout Award as a youth.  These are available exclusively from the PA Masonic Youth Foundation, because of our careful and faithful administration of the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award since 2002.

Visit the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation website for more information and application for the Masonic Eagle Scout Lapel Pin.

PA Masonic License PlateInstructions for filing the application:

  1. Complete Sections A & D only.
  2. Attach check payable to “Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania” for $27. (Include cost for additional registration cards, if desired.)
  3. DO NOT MAIL IT TO THE BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLES.
  4. Mail completed application, and check or money order to:
    Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
    One North Broad Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19107-2598
  5. The Grand Secretary’s Office will validate your membership, complete sections B & C, and will forward it to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Click here for the Application for Special Organization Registration Plate

The State of PA has announced that effective July 17, 2014, specialty plates are now available.

  • Specialty plates are personalized versions of the Blue Lodge plates above, and cost $135 ($108 plus $27 for the registration).
  • Specialty plates can be up to 5 characters (alpha or numeric), and may contain one hyphen or space (but not both).
  • To order the specialty version of the license plate, please fill out this form, enclose $135, and send it to the Grand Lodge at the address above.

For questions, call Harry Rutter at 215-988-1957 at the Masonic Temple Grand Lodge Philadelphia.

The Lodge Locator will help you find out where and when the Masonic Lodges in Pennsylvania hold their Stated Meetings. Note that only Pennsylvania Lodges are included in the database.

Scottish Rite

York Rite

York Rite Invitational Bodies

Tall Cedars of Lebanon

Shriners

Grotto

High Twelve International

Amaranth

Eastern Star

Masonic Youth Groups

Masonic Research and Leadership

Misc. Links

For research and genealogy requests, please email GIR@pagrandlodge.org. Please review “Genealogy” and “Records” sections on our Library and Museum website.

Visit yourlodgewebsite.com for information on creating a Lodge website.

Download assets from the latest membership campaign on the downloads page.