Pennsylvania Revenue Department Works to Ease Tax Filing as Deadline Nears
Extra Evening, Saturday Assistance Available to Help Late-Season Tax Filers
HARRISBURG, Pa., April 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Pennsylvania's April 17 personal income tax filing deadline fast approaches, Department of Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser reminded taxpayers how the department is working to improve operations and make tax compliance as simple as possible.
"Governor Corbett directed us to do all possible to improve taxpayer satisfaction, so over the past year we have made a concerted effort to enhance access to department resources and to provide the answers taxpayers are seeking," Meuser said. "By cross-training employees, adding staff to our call centers, improving phone scripts and allowing taxpayers to leave call-back messages, we have made significant improvements over the last year to our Taxpayer Service and Information Center.
"We understand that busy signals and longer-than-preferred wait times are sometimes unavoidable during peak filing seasons, so we've also taken steps to improve our online resources, notably our Online Customer Service Center, where robust and helpful information is only a few clicks away."
Filers in need of late-season tax help will benefit from extended service hours offered by the Department of Revenue's Taxpayer Service and Information Center. Personal income tax help is available through April 17 by visiting www.revenue.state.pa.us. Or, filers may call 717-787-8201 between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 14. The center will be closed Sunday, April 15.
The center's staff can answer questions about electronic tax filing options, including the department's two free options: TeleFile (by phone) and padirectfile, available through www.revenue.state.pa.us.
Electronic tax filing continues to gain in popularity, and based upon returns received to date, the department expects to set a new record for electronic filing this year. Through April 6, nearly 3.4 million Pennsylvanians filed state income taxes electronically – about 4 percent more than last year at the same time. More than 746,000 taxpayers have filed paper returns.
Electronic filing saves the state $3.48 in processing costs, per-return, and e-filing provides advantages to taxpayers not available to those filing by paper, such as error-reducing automatic calculators, instant confirmation of successful filing, faster refund processing and direct deposit options.
Through www.revenue.state.pa.us, taxpayers can file returns using padirectfile, make payments (including estimated payments), check the status of returns and refunds, update information, access online customer service, review answers to commonly asked questions and download tax forms.
"Also to improve customer service, over the last year we worked to enhance the clarity and consistency of tax communications, implemented a compromise process at the Board of Appeals to address certain tax challenges, began offering penalty abatement through audits and did all we could this past fall to assist in disaster recovery efforts following the historic flooding," Meuser said.
"We will build on our success to better serve taxpayers. We're pursuing further taxpayer-friendly appeals reform measures, addressing e-commerce retailers and their obligation to collect sales tax, seeking legislative changes that would provide for enhanced tax enforcement and upgrading our technology and processes with an integrated tax system.
"While implementing these enhancements, we remain committed to our obligation to be good stewards of the tax dollars we collect. From printing and mailing fewer tax booklets to consolidating operations, the department is planning to reduce its operating budget again next fiscal year."
For more information, visit www.revenue.state.pa.us.
Media contact: Elizabeth Brassell, 717-787-6960
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Revenue