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Don't forget: Wednesday is the deadline deadline to file 2019 personal income tax returns

The filing deadline was extended 90 days to July 15 to provide relief for taxpayers during the COVID-19 outbreak, the PA Department of Revenue said.
Income Tax forms close-up view.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state Department of Revenue is reminding Pennsylvanians that the deadline to file 2019 personal income tax returns is Wednesday. 

The filing deadline was extended 90 days this year to provide relief to taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the department said.

"With the tax filing deadline approaching this Wednesday, we are encouraging Pennsylvania taxpayers who have not filed their tax returns to take advantage of easy-to-use electronic filing options,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. "We also want to remind taxpayers that we are offering help over the phone and at our district offices for anyone who has a question or needs help filing their return.”

Here's a guide for those still looking to file:

Personal Income Tax Filing Options

Tax returns that are filed electronically are processed faster, leading to taxpayers receiving their refunds sooner. Pennsylvanians can file their state tax returns by using the following paper-less e-filing options:

  • Padirectfile

Padirectfile, a free, secure, state-only electronic income tax filing system, is available through the Department of Revenue’s website. For more information or to begin filing, visit Padirectfile.

  • Free Electronic Filing Options

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 offer e-filing for a fee. 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.  

How to get help on the phone or online

The Department of Revenue’s Customer Experience Center is available by calling 717-787-8201. The call center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays so that Revenue call center agents can assist taxpayers who need help with their returns. Taxpayers may also schedule a call at a time that is convenient for them.

The Department of Revenue also offers help through its Online Customer Service Center. This online option provides taxpayers with answers to specific questions about 2019 personal income tax returns and the department’s electronic filing, or e-filing, options. It also provides an option to submit a question to a Department of Revenue representative through a secure, electronic process that is similar to sending an email.

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Taxpayers can check the status of their income tax refunds online by visiting the department’s website and selecting the Where’s My Income Tax Refund? link on the department’s homepage. They can also check the status of their refunds by calling 1-888-PATAXES. Taxpayers will be prompted to provide their Social Security number and requested refund amount to obtain the current status. 

Free tax forms and instructions are available at www.revenue.pa.gov. You can also visit the department’s pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for helpful filing information.

Find In-Person Taxpayer Assistance

Taxpayers who need in-person assistance will need to schedule an appointment at one of the Department of Revenue’s district offices. The department is asking taxpayers to make appointments to assist with social distancing and other health protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Visit the COVID-19 information page on the department’s website for a list of the district offices that are currently accepting appointments. Assistance at district offices is available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and taxpayers are encouraged to bring their Social Security cards with them to facilitate tax filing. 

July 15 Deadline

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 extension of this year’s tax-filing deadline to July 15, 2020 applied to both final 2019 tax returns and payments, as well as estimated payments for the first and second quarters of 2020. Penalties and interest on 2019 personal income tax payments were also waived through the new deadline of July 15, 2020.

Filing Extensions

Taxpayers can request an extension to file a personal income tax return by submitting form REV-276. The department automatically grants an extension to file when an extension is granted by the IRS. 

As a reminder, an extension to file is not an extension to pay tax that is due. If you feel you will owe tax, you should send a payment for the amount of tax you expect to owe. Make sure you record your Social Security number on the check with the notation that you are making an "extension payment" for the tax year.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Revenue