Pennsylvania residents who file personal income tax returns may begin filing electronically for the 2012 tax year this week, the Department of Revenue said today. Nearly 76 percent – or about 4.7 million – of the 6.2 million personal income tax returns received by the department in 2012 were filed electronically. In addition to being more convenient for taxpayers, “e-filing” generates processing cost savings for the department. Electronic filing also offers 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.
Free electronic filing options padirectfile and TeleFile (1-888-4PAFILE) are currently available through the department’s web site at www.revenue.state.pa.us. The Fed/State e-file service, available through tax preparers and authorized computer software, will be available on Jan. 30. If a taxpayer filed a return last year, he or she may file by phone with TeleFile by simply providing a Social Security number and five-digit ZIP Code. To file using padirectfile, each taxpayer will need to provide a Social Security number and one of the following: 2011 or 2010 tax liability; PA driver’s license or identification number; or a registered e-signature account with the department.
The Department of Revenue’s electronic filing systems are secure and protected with the industry standard for online banking and trading, 128-bit secure socket layer encryption.
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, pay taxes by credit/debit card, access online customer service, review answers to commonly asked questions and download tax forms.
To reduce printing and mailing costs, beginning this year, the Department of Revenue is no longer mailing Form 1099-G – the IRS form which details government payments, most commonly state tax refunds – to any taxpayer who does not specifically request a paper copy. Taxpayers and practitioners can access the 1099-G forms through the Personal Income Tax e-Services Center after Jan. 25.
The two primary state tax forms are the PA-40 Income Tax Booklet and the Fast File Booklet. The limited number of state tax forms mailed by the department should have arrived in taxpayers’ mailboxes earlier this month. Beginning next year, the department will no longer print and mail PA-40 booklets to taxpayers to further reduce printing and mailing costs. The department will continue to make the PA-40 IN and other preprinted forms available to all taxpayers who specifically request them. The PA-40 IN and all other department forms are available through the department’s web site and its Forms Ordering Services.
The department reminds all taxpayers who received more than $33 in total gross taxable income in 2012 that they are obligated to file Pennsylvania personal income tax returns by April 15.
Tax forms are available online at www.revenue.state.pa.us and after January 21, by calling, toll-free, 1-800-362-2050. Tax help is available by calling 717-787-8201, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Taxpayers with annual incomes of $35,000 or less may also visit a Revenue district office, listed in the blue pages of local phone directories, for basic personal state tax filing help. Help at district offices is available from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more information, visit www.revenue.state.pa.us.