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Pennsylvania no longer mailing out paper state tax forms, encourages filing online

Updated: Thursday, February 20 2014, 06:02 PM CST
Reported by Jesse Knutson:

HARRISBURG -- Filing your taxes in Pennsylvania this year will be different than previous years, with the whole process moving online.

This year is the first year the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has eliminated the automatic printing and mailing of tax booklets to taxpayers across Pennsylvania. This move is saving the state money, and also hopefully making it easier for people to file their taxes using the Internet.

The new online tax-filing system called “PAfreefile” (www.pafreefile.com) allows taxpayers in Pennsylvania to pay both their federal tax return and their state income tax return simultaneously online, using companies like TurboTax, H&R Block, and many others, all without paying a cent.

“Everyone in Pennsylvania can file their taxes for free.” Elizabeth Purcell, Spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, said.

In order to use the free file tax software, the taxpayer must meet certain criteria, such as making less than $58,000 per year. If you make more than that, you can still fill out a computer based version of a PA-40 without using one of the tax companies, and it’s still free.

The PA Department of Revenue also added an interactive tool to the website that can help taxpayers find the best filing option for them.

“To help people navigate through the new filing options, we’ve developed an interactive tool where a taxpayer can answer a handful of very simple questions, and based upon their answers to those questions, we will help them figure out which free filing option is best for them.” Purcell explained.

One of the biggest benefits to the online-filing, other than saving money by not sending out paper booklets, is that all of the information, including the taxpayers’ refund, can be processed faster.

Still, many people find filing their taxes intimidating.

“It can be confusing, it can be stressful, it can even be scary.” Robert Miller, Owner and Operator of Liberty Tax Services in Enola, Mechanicsburg, Lemoyne, and Camp Hill, said.

That’s where companies like Liberty Tax come in, working with taxpayers to make sure all of their taxes are done correctly, so taxpayers won’t have the IRS knocking at their door.

“That’s what professional services like ours are here for,” Miller explained. “It’s to guarantee that it’s done accurately and professionally, and you get those guarantees with us, and the peace of mind that comes with that as well.”

No matter which way you go, experts suggest you start filing your taxes early, so if you come across a problem, you have time to seek assistance.
The PA Department of Revenue says if you still want the hard-copy forms of your tax-filing documents, you can print them out online, or you can get them directly from the PA Department of Revenue by giving them a call.

To visit the new PAfreefile website, go to www.pafreefile.com.Pennsylvania no longer mailing out paper state tax forms, encourages filing online


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