The Department of Revenue announced the deadline for taxpayers to file their 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns is extended to July 15, 2020. This means taxpayers will have an additional 90 days to file from the original deadline of April 15. The Internal Revenue Service also extended the federal filing deadline to July 15, 2020.
The Department of Revenue will also waive penalties and interest on 2019 personal income tax payments through the new deadline of July 15, 2020. This extension applies to both final 2019 tax returns and payments, and estimated payments for the first and second quarters of 2020.
The filing deadline is being extended at a time when Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Under Pennsylvania law the filing deadline for personal income tax returns is tied to the federal income tax due date.
“This is a necessary step that will give Pennsylvania taxpayers extra time to file their returns and make tax payments during a difficult time for everyone,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. “Particularly for those who plan to meet with a tax professional to prepare their returns, the new deadline will help everyone follow the Governor’s guidance to stay at home as we all work to prevent the spread of the virus.”
Although the filing deadline has been extended, the Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers who are able to file their returns electronically to do so. This will enable the department to continue to process returns as commonwealth offices are closed. Additionally, if you are expecting a refund from the commonwealth, filing electronically will help avoid a delay in the release of your refund.
Taxpayers can electronically file their Pennsylvania tax returns for free through Padirectfile, a secure, state-only electronic income tax filing system that is available through the Department of Revenue’s website. For more information or to begin filing, visit Padirectfile.
Electronic Filing for Free
Free electronic filing options are available to file state and federal returns using software from a reputable vendor (income limits may apply). More vendor information is available on the Department of Revenue’s website.
Electronic Filing for a Fee
Paid tax preparers and commercial tax preparation software providers that offer electronic filing, or e-filing, for a fee are an option for Pennsylvania taxpayers.
E-filing offers advantages not available to taxpayers filing by paper, including error-reducing automatic calculators, instant confirmation of successful filing, faster refund processing and direct deposit options.
July 15 Deadline
All taxpayers who received more than $33 in total gross taxable income in calendar year 2019 must file a Pennsylvania personal income tax return (PA-40) by midnight on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
The deadline for taxpayers who make quarterly estimated personal income tax payments is also extended to July 15, 2020. That means estimated payments for the first and second quarters of 2020 will be due by July 15, 2020.
Any individual who expects to receive more than $8,000 of Pennsylvania-taxable income not subject to withholding by a Pennsylvania employer must estimate and pay personal income tax quarterly. Estimated tax due dates for individuals are typically April 15, June 15, Sept. 15 and Jan. 15, or the first following business day if any deadline falls on a weekend or holiday.
Filing for an Extension
If additional time to file is needed, taxpayers still have the option to file a request for an extension to file their Pennsylvania personal income tax return. The extension is available for up to six months. As an important reminder, an extension of time to file does not extend the deadline to make a payment if you owe taxes to the commonwealth.
Although the Department of Revenue is strongly encouraging taxpayers to electronically submit their personal income tax returns, taxpayers who file paper returns will still be able to do so. The returns will be considered timely filed as long as they are postmarked on or before the new deadline of July 15, 2020.
Taxpayers who do submit their returns via paper should know that there will be delays in the processing of their returns, due to the fact that Department of Revenue’s offices are closed as part of mitigation efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This could impact the processing of a taxpayer’s refund if they are expecting one.
Because commonwealth offices are currently closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, there will be additional time in certain cases for taxpayers who wish to appeal a tax assessment issued by the Department of Revenue or file a petition for a tax refund with the Board of Appeals. A petition for appeals of all tax types will be accepted as timely filed if it is filed by the later of the following dates:
- 30 days after the reopening of the Board of Appeals offices; or
- The original appeal deadline.
Please know that If the appeal deadline fell on a date prior to the closure of commonwealth offices (March 16, 2020), the original appeal deadline is still applicable. In other words, in these cases petitions will be considered as timely filed if they are filed by the last day of the appeal period. Additionally, the Board of Appeals will accept any submission of requested documentation as long as it is received within 30 days after the Board of Appeals offices reopen.
Visit the Board of Appeals’ Online Petition Center for further information on tax appeals.
Reach the Department of Revenue Online
With the Department of Revenue’s call centers closed due to the mitigation efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers to use its Online Customer Service Center, available at revenue-pa.custhelp.com. You can use this resource to electronically submit a question to a department representative. The department representative will be able to respond through a secure, electronic process that is similar to receiving an email. Additionally, the Online Customer Service Center includes thousands of answers to common tax-related questions.
For more information, visit www.revenue.pa.gov, where you can find free tax forms and instructions. You can also visit the department’s pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for additional information.