Electronic tax

Capitol Roundup: Revenue Department extends call center hours to help late filers

WILKES-BARRE — With the deadline for filing 2021 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns a month away, the Department of Revenue is extending its customer service hours for taxpayers to get help over the phone.

This will help taxpayers get the help they need before the April 18, 2022, deadline to file 2021 personal income tax returns, Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said.

“Pennsylvanians who sit down to file their taxes may have questions or concerns, so we encourage our clients to contact one of our personal income tax experts directly for assistance,” Hassell said. “We also have a number of other client resource options on our website, www.revenue.pa.gov, that can help our taxpayers answer their questions and get their returns filed on time.”

Taxpayer service and assistance

Starting today, personal income tax assistance will be available between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling 717-787-8201. This number will put customers in touch with the Ministry of Revenue’s Customer Experience Centre.

Personal income tax assistance is also available through the ministry’s online customer service centre. The online Client Service Center contains answers to hundreds of common income tax questions and allows taxpayers to securely submit a question to the department through a process similar to mailing of an email.

Department of Revenue district offices are also open to provide customer service. Taxpayers are encouraged to call ahead to schedule an appointment and bring their Social Security cards and photo ID to facilitate tax filing assistance. District offices are open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Taxpayers can check the status of their refunds online by selecting Where is my income tax refund? link on the ministry’s home page, or by calling 1-888-PATAXES. Taxpayers will be asked to provide their social security number and requested refund amount to obtain current status.

Use myPATH to file your state tax return

The Department of Revenue encourages taxpayers to electronically file their Pennsylvania personal income tax returns with the department’s state-only filing system available at mypath.pa.gov. myPATH is a free, easy-to-use option that allows most taxpayers to seamlessly file the Pennsylvania tax return (PA-40) and make income tax payments, as well as offering other services.

As a reminder, all taxpayers who received more than $33 in total gross taxable income during the 2021 calendar year must file a Pennsylvania personal income tax return by midnight, Monday, April 18, 2022. The deadline is extended. this year due to Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C. observed on Friday, April 15, which pushes federal and state filing deadlines to April 18.

To note: Taxpayers do not need to create a username or password to perform many functions in myPATH. This includes filing a PA-40 or paying, responding to service inquiries, and checking the status of a refund.

Toomey urges IRS to tackle concerns, delays

U.S. Senators Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley and their colleagues led a bipartisan, bicameral group of 100 colleagues this week in a letter that reiterates lingering concerns and urges the IRS to provide much-needed relief as the agency s strives to resolve customer service and processing issues. .

Toomey said the IRS’ lack of action is causing unnecessary confusion as the current tax filing season is underway.

“We remain concerned that the IRS does not have a comprehensive plan to address the many issues affecting taxpayers, despite the fact that this filing season is already well underway,” the lawmakers wrote to the IRS Commissioner. IRS, Charles Rettig. “For example, there is continued confusion about which notices can be suspended unilaterally by the IRS, beyond notices the IRS has already suspended, among other issues.”

In the letter, the lawmakers asked the IRS to state specifically which notices must legally be issued within a specific time frame and why some notices have not yet been suspended.

Toomey said the letter is supported by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA), Padgett Business Services, National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), National Society of Accountants (NSA) , National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP), National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA), Latino Tax Pro, Diverse Organization of Firms Advocacy Committee, National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants (NSBCPA), Prosperity Now and National Society of Tax Professionals (NSTP).

Financial security solutions offered for the elderly, people with disabilities

Chairman of the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging Bob Casey, D-Scranton, and Ranking Member Tim Scott, R-SC, held a hearing this week titled – “Unbanked and Credit Invisible: Building Financial Inclusion for America’s Underserved Populations” – which examined the challenges faced by older people and people with disabilities who do not have bank accounts and who have little or no credit history, and who therefore lack options for building wealth and access financial products and services.

President Casey highlighted his bipartisan ABLE Age Adjustment Act, which would give an additional 6 million Americans the ability to open an ABLE account and save for the future by expanding access to people who have acquired their disabilities. before the age of 46. The current threshold is 26 years.

Casey and Scott have also published a financial literacy booklet titled “Building Financial Literacy: Information and Resources for People with Disabilities” – which provides disability-specific strategies for opening bank accounts, building credit, managing employment benefits. disability and settling debt.

“Millions of older adults and people with disabilities remain stranded on the margins of our country’s financial system. We have a responsibility to right that wrong,” Casey said. “We need to help all Americans find opportunities to save and build wealth, which is why my bipartisan ABLE Age Adjustment Act would empower millions more people to build wealth and to enjoy financial security without worrying about losing their vital federal benefits. I urge my colleagues to support the passage of this bill and enable millions of Americans to become full participants in our financial system and save for their future.

Casey’s ABLE Act, signed into law in 2014, allows people who acquired their disability before they turned 26 to save money without risking losing their federal disability benefits.

The Wolf administration asks salary equity

The Pennsylvania Commission for Women, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and other stakeholders this week highlighted the importance of Equal Pay Day and the importance of eliminating the gender pay gap.

“Our commission has looked at the gender wage gap and its impact on women in Pennsylvania for years,” said commission executive director Moriah Hathaway. “Women make up 51% of Pennsylvania’s population and are vital to Pennsylvania’s economy, but are not compensated adequately. Because of the gender wage gap, every woman in Pennsylvania will lose an average of about $460,000 over her lifetime. Our goal is to help hardworking women across Pennsylvania and enable them to better support their families. We can achieve this by passing equal pay legislation and raising the minimum wage.

,Equal Pay Day marked until what time in the year women had to work to be paid as men were paid the previous calendar year. On average, women working full time are paid just 83 cents for every dollar men are paid, and nearly two-thirds of minimum wage earners are women.

Governor Tom Wolf has called for an increase in the minimum wage every year since he took office, and once again he’s asking the General Assembly to raise the wages of working Pennsylvanians.

The governor is asking for an immediate raise to $12 an hour on July 1, 2022, with annual increases until pay reaches $15 an hour. Further increases would be tied to inflation to ensure that working Pennsylvanians will never go without a 13-year increase in the cost of living again.

A $15 minimum wage would impact about 1.5 million workers, or 25% of all workers in Pennsylvania, either directly or indirectly. Of the nearly one million workers who would directly benefit from an increase to $15, 62.2% are women. This means an increase for 618,400 women, or 20.9% of all working women in the Commonwealth.

For many women of color, the gender pay gap is wider than for white women, compounded by the racial pay gap. According to the American Association of University Women, on average, Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid 75 cents for every dollar paid to white men. Black women earn 58 cents for every dollar paid to white men. Latin women earn 49 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

Contact Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.