PA Department of Revenue Opens Personal Income Tax Filing Season for Tax Year 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. – With filing season now open, Pennsylvania residents can explore a number of electronic filing options to file their personal income tax returns for tax year 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced Wednesday.

For filers who want to get a jump-start on filing their taxes, the following e-filing options are available:

Padirectfile, a state-only personal income tax filing system, is available through the Department of Revenue’s website,

E-filing for a Fee
Paid tax preparers and commercial tax preparation software providers that offer e-filing for a fee may begin processing returns.

E-filing for Free
Free e-file options are available to file state and federal returns using software from reputable vendors. Some vendors impose income limits for free services. Information is available on the department’s website,

E-filing offers advantages not available to taxpayers filing by paper, including error-reducing automatic calculators, instant confirmation of successful filing, faster refund processing, and direct deposit options. E-filing is also more cost-effective for the department because electronically filed returns are less expensive to process and don’t require department printing or mailing.

April 18 Deadline
All taxpayers who received more than $33 in total gross taxable income in calendar-year 2016 must file a Pennsylvania personal income tax return by midnight, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The deadline is extended this year due to Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C., observed on Monday, April 17, pushing the federal and state filing deadline to April 18. The department expects to process more than 6.4 million returns this year.

Identity Theft and Refund Fraud
To detect identity theft and combat refund fraud the department launched a Fraud Investigation Unit last year by reassigning staff. The unit works with the Internal Revenue Service and other states to continuously strengthen automated fraud filters on tax processing systems and to help identity theft victims when bogus returns are filed in their name.

Of the 6.4 million returns filed in 2016, the unit suspended nearly 31,000 returns and asked the taxpayers to verify their identity through the department’s website. Approximately eight in 10 taxpayers who attempt the verification process are successful. The unit recovered $6.2 million in refunds from unverified returns.

Taxpayer Service and Assistance
Personal income tax assistance is available through the department’s Online Customer Service Center at and by calling 717-787-8201 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Taxpayers may also visit a Revenue district office, listed in the government pages of local phone directories, for basic state personal income tax filing assistance. Assistance at district offices is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and taxpayers are encouraged to bring their Social Security cards with them to facilitate tax filing.

Free tax forms and instructions are available at

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