Governor Rendell Reminds Western PA Residents, Businesses Only 10 Days Left to Save on Penalties, Interest on Back Taxes; Amnesty Ends June 18

Jun 08, 2010, 10:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

More than 138,000 Greater Pittsburgh-Area Residents Owe the State Back Taxes

PITTSBURGH, June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tax delinquents have only 10 days left to take advantage of PA's Tax Amnesty program, which waives all penalties and half the interest for anyone who pays delinquent Pennsylvania taxes by June 18, Governor Edward G. Rendell said today.

"Time is running out for businesses and individuals that owe back taxes to settle their debts with no penalties and half off the interest," Governor Rendell said, noting that during the last PA Tax Amnesty 14 years ago, 74 percent of applications and payments were submitted in the final two weeks of the program. "Only 10 days are left in our Tax Amnesty program that ends at midnight on June 18 -- and this is a hard deadline that will not be extended.

"We know that many people typically wait until the last minute to take advantage of Tax Amnesty offers, but I encourage anyone who is thinking about applying for PA Tax Amnesty to avoid the last-minute rush and apply now. Because not only does this offer disappear after June 18, but an additional 5-percent penalty will be tacked on to all outstanding tax delinquencies."

Governor Rendell also noted that the Department of Revenue will step up enforcement efforts on tax collections after PA Tax Amnesty ends on June 18.

"In coming months, Pennsylvania will get even tougher on tax delinquents who pass the buck. The Department of Revenue will more frequently garnish the wages of people who owe back taxes, hold more corporate officers personally accountable for taxes their businesses owe, issue more citations against businesses operating without sales tax licenses and publish all tax liens online for public review.

"It is obviously in the best interest of anyone who owes back taxes to act now and apply for PA Tax Amnesty."

To be considered for PA Tax Amnesty, online applications must be completed and submitted at www.PATaxPayUp.com by midnight EDT, Friday, June 18, 2010.

Tax Amnesty payments may be made through a variety of options: by electronic funds transfer, credit or debit card, check, money order or cash. Cash is only accepted at the Harrisburg district office in the lobby of Strawberry Square. All payments must be submitted electronically or postmarked by midnight, Friday, June 18.

Help is available by calling, toll-free, 1-877-34-PAYUP (1-877-347-2987) weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Revenue agents will also be available to answer calls to the hotline from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, and until midnight on Friday, June 18.

Taxpayers can receive assistance at any of the Department of Revenue's 17 district offices, which are listed in the blue pages of local telephone directories.  In-person customer service is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.

"The Revenue Department will have additional staff taking calls and processing Tax Amnesty applications in coming days, however I encourage people to apply now, rather than wait until the deadline," said Governor Rendell.

As of Monday evening, the PA Tax Amnesty program received more than 37,500 completed, or in-process, applications disclosing more than $101 million in previously unpaid Pennsylvania back taxes.  

In April, the department mailed notices to the last-known mailing addresses of more than one million tax delinquents, including more than 138,000 greater Pittsburgh-area residents.  

About Tax Amnesty:

For a limited time, the PA Department of Revenue is waiving 100 percent of penalties and half the interest for anyone who applies for Tax Amnesty online at www.PATaxPayUp.com and pays eligible delinquent taxes by June 18.

The 54-day PA Tax Amnesty program, created by Act 48 of 2009, is generally available to all individuals, businesses and other entities with PA tax delinquencies as of June 30, 2009.

The Tax Amnesty period began on April 26 and is expected to net $190 million for the current fiscal year budget by June 18.

After the program ends on June 18, eligible taxpayers who do not take advantage of the PA Tax Amnesty program to settle back taxes will have a 5-percent non-participation penalty added to delinquencies and may face other enforcement actions.

For more information, visit www.PATaxPayUp.com or call 1-877-34-PAYUP (1-877-347-2987) weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.  

Media contacts:

Gary Tuma, Governor's Press Office; 717-783-1116

Stephanie Weyant, Department of Revenue; 717-787-6960

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor



RELATED LINKS

http://www.governor.state.pa.us