Pennsylvanians encouraged to use electronic filing options for PA tax returns during COVID-19 pandemic
April 21, 2020
The Department of Revenue is encouraging Pennsylvanians to take advantage of electronic filing options for their Pennsylvania personal income tax returns (PA-40s). Even though the deadline for filing 2019 tax returns has been extended to July 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, filing now electronically is an option, including for Pennsylvanians who are expecting a tax refund.
“We want our taxpayers to know that you don’t have to wait until July. We’re still processing returns and issuing the majority of refunds that are requested,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. “If you’re expecting a refund and you’re able to electronically file your return from home, that will help us deliver your refund as quickly as possible.”
The department recently announced the extension of the filing deadline to July 15, 2020 for taxpayers to file their 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns and payments. The extension gave taxpayers an additional 90 days to file from the original deadline of April 15 as the commonwealth takes steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Despite its offices being closed, the department is processing the majority of the personal income tax returns that it receives electronically. The processing of paper returns and paper check payments submitted during the office closure will be delayed.
Electronic Filing Options:
• Padirectfile – Use this free, secure, state-only electronic income tax filing system that is available through the Department of Revenue’s website. For more information or to begin filing, visit Padirectfile at https://padirectfile.state.pa.us/authentication.asp
• Electronic Filing Free – Free electronic filing options are available to file state and federal returns using software from a reputable vendor (income limits may apply). More vendor information is available on the department’s website.
• Electronic Filing for a Fee – Paid tax preparers and commercial tax preparation software providers that offer e-filing for a fee are processing returns during the pandemic. E-filing offers advantages not available to taxpayers filing by paper, including error-reducing automatic calculators, instant confirmation of successful filing, faster refund processing and direct deposit options.
All taxpayers who received more than $33 in total gross taxable income in calendar year 2019 must file a Pennsylvania personal income tax return by midnight, Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
The Department of Revenue is reminding taxpayers that is also has:
• Extended the deadline to file informational returns related to PA S corporations, partnerships, and estates and trusts to July 15, 2020.
• Extended the due date for corporations with tax returns due in May to August 14, 2020.
• Removed the requirement for some businesses to make prepayments of Sales and Use Tax for April, May and June of 2020. Many larger businesses are required to make prepayments under normal circumstances.
• Announced a plan to offer taxpayers increased flexibility, additional time to meet their tax obligations, and a reprieve from several tax enforcement actions.
With the department’s call centers closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, taxpayers seeking assistance are encouraged to use the department’s Online Customer Service Center, available at revenue-pa.custhelp.com. You can use this resource to electronically submit a question to a department representative. The department representative will be able to respond through a secure, electronic process that is similar to receiving an email. Additionally, the Online Customer Service Center includes thousands of answers to common tax-related questions.
Taxpayers and tax professionals are encouraged to visit the Department of Revenue’s COVID-19 information page on http://www.revenue.pa.gov for additional guidance and updates on department operations. You can also visit the department's pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for real time updates.