Legal Alert

PA DOR Announces Taxpayer Relief Measures Related to Coronavirus Crisis

March 23, 2020

In guidance available on its website, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced extensions for personal income tax (PIT) returns and payments due April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020 (conforming to similar IRS extensions).

Taxpayers who owe PIT (i.e., any person with more than $33 of Pennsylvania gross income) now have until July 15, 2020, to file PIT returns. Likewise, no interest or penalties will be imposed on any payments originally due April 15, 2020, that are made before July 15, 2020. The payment extension applies to PIT payments for the 2019 calendar year as well as to estimated payments for the 2020 year that would be due on April 15, 2020.

Although the deadlines have been extended, the Department is encouraging taxpayers who are able to file their returns electronically to do so as soon as possible to allow the Department to continue to process returns and pay refunds as quickly as possible. Taxpayers who need additional time (i.e., beyond July 15, 2020) still can file for an additional six-month extension to file. Such an extension will not allow additional time beyond July 15, 2020, to pay PIT owed to the Commonwealth.

The Department also announced relief for appeal deadlines because of the closure of offices effective March 16, 2020. A petition for appeal (for all tax types) will be accepted as timely filed if it is filed by the later of (i) 30 days after the reopening of the Board of Appeals offices; or (ii) the original appeal deadline.  Additionally, the Board of Appeals will treat any submission of requested information as timely as long as it is received within 30 days after the Board of Appeals’ offices reopen.

This relief does not apply to appeal deadlines that were prior to the closure of Commonwealth offices (i.e., before March 16, 2020). Additionally, the Board of Finance and Revenue (which is independent from the Department) has not yet announced any similar measures although it has advised taxpayers that it may be announcing adjustments to future public hearing schedules and deadlines.

The Department also announced that it is waiving penalties for businesses that were required to make Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) prepayments by the deadline of March 20, 2020. Additionally, for April sales tax payments, the Department is waiving the AST prepayment requirement and asking businesses to remit the sales tax that they have collected in March.

We will continue to monitor Pennsylvania state tax developments. If you have questions, please contact a member of the Ballard Spahr LLP Tax Group.

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This alert is a periodic publication of Ballard Spahr LLP and is intended to notify recipients of new developments in the law. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own attorney concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have.

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