Revenue Department Receives 5,900 Applications for $6.9 Million; Improves Customer Service
HARRISBURG, Pa., April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Revenue Secretary C. Daniel Hassell reported today that the PA Tax Amnesty program received an enormous public response in its first two-and-a-half days, and thanked applicants for their patience with high call volumes.
"The tremendous response to PA Tax Amnesty offer shows Pennsylvanians want to do the right thing by paying back taxes and reconciling outstanding issues with their tax accounts," said Hassell. "Through noon today – in just the first two-and-a half-days of the 54-day Tax Amnesty period – the department has received more than 5,900 completed or in-process Tax Amnesty applications disclosing nearly $6.9 million in previously unpaid Pennsylvania back taxes.
"We encourage each person who received a notice from the department to read the notice carefully, follow the instructions and first go online at www.PATaxPayUp.com to see why the notice was sent," Hassell said, noting that some of the most common questions callers are asking can be quickly answered by visiting the website. "While many people who received notices owe back taxes, some taxpayers may not owe anything and simply need to provide the Revenue Department additional information or file a return to settle their accounts in our records."
As required by the Tax Amnesty law, the department mailed more than one million notices to the last-known mailing address of people who have delinquent accounts with the department. In most cases, Hassell noted, the online Tax Amnesty application system will tell taxpayers exactly what the outstanding issue is, how much they owe – if anything – and how to resolve it.
Hassell noted the department answered 7,518 phone calls to the Tax Amnesty hotline, 1-877-34-PAYUP, through noon today, and it is responding to more than 3,900 e-mail inquiries.
"Although we've helped thousands of people in the first few days, we know there are more people seeking information from the department. To accommodate them, we've doubled the number of employees answering phones, and we're offering customer service for the next two Saturdays," said Hassell, acknowledging higher-than-expected call volume in the program's first days. "The staffing changes are already showing improved customer service, as we were able to answer 1,000 more calls Tuesday than we could on the first day of Tax Amnesty."
The call center operates beyond normal business hours on weekdays, offering assistance from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. to PA Tax Amnesty applicants. On the Saturdays of May 1 and 8, the call center will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"This program offers a rare opportunity that tax delinquents can't afford to pass up," said Hassell. "We strongly urge any business or individual that owes back taxes to Pennsylvania to pay up during the Tax Amnesty period."
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 between now and June 18.
After PA Tax Amnesty 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.
The 54-day PA Tax Amnesty program, created by Act 48 of 2009, is intended to net $190 million to balance the current year fiscal budget. The program is generally available all individuals, businesses and other entities with PA tax delinquencies as of June 30, 2009.
For more information, visit www.PATaxPayUp.com or call 1-877-34-PAYUP (1-877-347-2987).
Media contact: Stephanie Weyant, 717-787-6960
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Revenue