Harrisburg, PA – The Treasury Department announced today that taxpayers must file their 2020 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns and extend final 2020 income tax payments through May 17, 2021. This means that taxpayers will have an additional month from the original deadline of April 15 to file their tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service also announced earlier this week that it would extend the deadline for filing federal income tax to May 17, 2021.
The IRS said in its announcement that the extension is another step the agency is taking to do whatever it takes to help taxpayers cope with the unusual circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Pennsylvania law, the deadline for filing state income tax returns is subject to the federal deadline.
“This is a positive move that will give Pennsylvania taxpayers extra time, many of whom have struggled over the past year due to the pandemic,” said Treasury Secretary Dan Hassell. “The new deadline will benefit many Pennsylvanians, including those who would like to meet with a tax professional to help them prepare their tax returns.”
To be clear, the extension means the Treasury Department will waive penalties and interest on final 2020 income tax returns and payments until the new May 17, 2021 deadline.
Those making estimated income tax payments should continue to do so using the same filing schedule that they would normally follow. This includes taxpayers with estimated tax payments due on April 15, 2021. Taxes are payable as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding tax or estimated tax payments.
Although the tax filing deadline has been extended to 2020, the Treasury Department is encouraging taxpayers who can file their tax returns electronically to do so as soon as possible. If you are expecting a refund from the Commonwealth, filing electronically will help you avoid a delay in your refund being cleared.
myPATH a free option for PA tax returns
The Department of Treasury encourages taxpayers to electronically file their Pennsylvania personal income tax returns to the department’s new state filing system, available at mypath.pa.gov.
myPATH is a free, easy-to-use option that allows most taxpayers to seamlessly file Pennsylvania (PA-40) income tax returns, make income tax payments, and provide other services.
There are many benefits to using the electronic filing option available through mypath.pa.gov, including:
- Fast and free return / refund
- The “Where’s my income tax refund?” System for tracking the status of a refund
- Immediate confirmation of a successful submission
- The advantage of error-reducing automatic calculators
- Easy-to-use options not available to paper-based taxpayers
- The ability to view a detailed income tax statement
Other important functions in myPATH
Taxpayers do not need to create a user name or password in order to carry out many functions in myPATH. This includes filing a PA-40 or making a payment, responding to requests for information from the department, and checking the status of a refund.
To file the PA-40, taxpayers must provide their social security number and either: (1) the tax liability for a previous tax year; or (2) your date of birth, Pennsylvania driver’s license / photo ID number, and driver’s license / photo ID expiration date.
If you create a username and password in myPATH, you can update / view detailed account information and notes. You can also manage third party access to your account, meaning you can give access to a tax advisor or other person to file your tax return and make payments on your behalf.
A detailed list of instructions can be found in the myPATH user manual [PDF]. myPATH replaced the department’s previous personal income tax filing system, PA Direct File.
Free electronic submission
Additional free electronic filing options are available for filing state and federal returns using reputable vendor software. Visit the Treasury Department’s website for more information on providers.
Electronic filing for a fee
Paid tax advisors and commercial tax preparation software providers offer electronic filing or electronic filing for a fee. For more information, see the list of vendors on the department’s website.
May 17th deadline
All taxpayers who received gross taxable income greater than $ 33 in calendar year 2020 must file a Pennsylvania income tax return by midnight Monday, May 17, 2021.
Filing an extension
If additional filing time is required, taxpayers will still have the option to apply for an extension to file their Pennsylvania personal income tax return. The renewal is available for up to six months, meaning the due date for those requesting an renewal is November 15, 2021. As an important reminder, extending the filing period does not extend the deadline for payment if you owe taxes to the Commonwealth.
PA Personal Income Tax Guide
Pennsylvania taxpayers with personal income tax questions are encouraged to read the PA Personal Income Tax Guide, an online publication produced by the Treasury Department that provides detailed information on a number of PIT-related topics.
Taxpayer service and support
Personal income tax assistance is also available through the department’s online customer service center and by calling 717-787-8201 Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The online customer service center has answers to hundreds of common income tax questions and enables taxpayers to securely send a question to the department, much like sending an email.
The Treasury Department’s district offices are open to a limited extent, with social distancing guidelines in place. Appointments are required to receive personal assistance. Please note the following.
- Taxpayers’ opening hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Appointments between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. are reserved for senior citizens.
- Taxpayers must wear a mask when making appointments.
- Taxpayers should know that the Treasury Department follows health and safety guidelines set by the Department of Health to promote a clean office environment.
Taxpayers can check the status of their refunds online by using the Where’s My Income Tax Refund option? Link on the department’s homepage; or by phone at 1-888-PATAXES. Taxpayers will be asked to provide their Social Security Number and the refund amount requested to keep track of their current status.
Free tax forms and instructions can be found at www.revenue.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeffrey Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
# # #