PA Department of Revenue: State Electronic Income Tax Filing Systems Now Available

The 5.75 million Pennsylvania taxpayers who file annual state Personal Income Tax returns can start filing them electronically.

Taxpayers have until midnight, Monday, April 16, this year to file their tax return since the normal April 15 deadline falls on a Sunday, said state Department of Revenue Secretary Gregory C. Fajt, who noted that state electronic income tax filing systems are now available and state tax forms have been mailed.

The three primary state tax forms are the 2006 PA-40 Income Tax Booklet, the Fast File Booklet and the Payment Voucher Letter. The type of form taxpayers receive is based on how they filed their 2005 tax returns. Last year, 2.8 million taxpayers, or 48 percent of all taxpayers, filed their state income tax return electronically. "We strongly encourage taxpayers to file their tax returns electronically," said Fajt. "It is the most cost-effective method of filing a tax return and gives taxpayers more options and advantages compared to filing a traditional paper return."

Most taxpayers will not receive the traditional PA-40 tax booklet. Taxpayers who used the services of a tax preparer to file their return last year or filed electronically using PA/IRS e-file software or the Revenue Department's Web site will receive a payment voucher letter.

About 4.5 million taxpayers will receive the letter that includes instructions and a voucher to mail with their check or money order if a payment is due. About 878,000 taxpayers will receive the Fast File Booklet that includes instructions on filing taxes electronically and the TeleFile worksheet to use when filing over the telephone. About 333,000 taxpayers will receive the PA-40 Personal Income Tax Booklet containing the traditional "long form" to prepare and file taxes via a paper return.

The department offers two, free electronic tax filing options: TeleFile (over the telephone) and pa.direct.file (over the Internet). If a taxpayer filed a return last year, his or her Social Security number and five-digit ZIP Code are all that is needed to file over the telephone with TeleFile.

To file using pa.direct.file, taxpayers will need their SSN and one of the following: last year's tax liability; PA driver's license or identification number; or a registered e-signature account with the department. Also available is the PA/IRS e-file service (available through tax preparers or authorized computer software) that allows taxpayers to file state and federal tax returns together or separately.

Refunds from electronically filed returns are processed in about half the time of paper returns. Also, refunds can be directly deposited into a checking or savings account, which cannot be done with a paper return. The electronic filing systems perform math calculations and eliminate errors that can delay the processing of a return and/or refund. Plus, taxpayers receive instant confirmation that the department has received their return. Revenue's electronic filing systems are secure and protected with 128-bit secure socket layer encryption, the industry standard for online banking and trading.

Through the department's Web site, http://www.revenue.state.pa.us, taxpayers can file returns using pa.direct.file, make payments (including estimated payments), check the status of a return or refund, update information, pay taxes by credit card, access online customer service, and download tax forms. Forms are also available by calling the toll-free, automated forms ordering message service at 1-800-362-2050. Assistance is available by calling the Taxpayer Service & Information Center, (717) 787-8201, during office hours (7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday), or by visiting a Revenue district office. CONTACT: Steve Kniley Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (717) 787-6960

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