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Department of Revenue offering assistance to tax filers ahead of July 15 filing deadline

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With the deadline to file 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns set for July 15, the Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers who need help with their returns to call the department’s main call center.

The department’s Customer Experience Center is available by calling 717-787-8201. The call center will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on non-holiday weekdays through Wednesday, July 15. Taxpayers may also schedule a call at a time that is convenient for them.

The deadline to file tax returns typically falls on April 15. However, this year taxpayers were granted an additional 90 days to file their 2019 returns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extension of this year’s tax-filing deadline to July 15 applied to both final 2019 tax returns and payments, as well as estimated payments for the first and second quarters of 2020. The department also waived penalties and interest on 2019 personal income tax payments through the new deadline of July 15. In addition to the assistance over the phone that is available by calling 717-787-8201, the Department of Revenue also offers help through its Online Customer Service Center.

As a reminder, 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 such paper-less e-filing options as: Padirectfile (https://padirectfile.state.pa.us/authentication.asp) and free electronic filing (https://www.revenue.pa.gov/OnlineServices/PersonalIncomeTaxe-Services/efile/Pages/Free-E-File-Vendors.aspx). Paid tax preparers and commercial tax preparation software providers offer e-filing for a fee.

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, www.revenue.pa.gov, 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.

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; or by calling 1-888-PATAXES to find out the status of their refunds. 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.

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