The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has announced additional relief from tax enforcement and collection activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A complete list of newly announced relief for taxpayers is available at https://www.revenue.pa.gov/Pages/Relief-For-Taxpayers.aspx. Some of the highlights are summarized below.
Pause Payments for Existing Payment Plans
Taxpayers with existing installment payment agreements may request that payments be suspended without canceling the agreement by emailing a request to RA-RV-CEC-DPP@pa.gov. The department will not default any payment plans during this limited timeframe, even if new delinquencies or non-filed periods arise. However, interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid tax balances.
Flexible Terms for New Payment Plans
The Department will revise general payment plan guidelines to permit greater flexibility on payment amounts and the duration of installment payment agreements. Taxpayers will have the ability to request payment plans for outstanding liabilities without the Department imposing a lien. Also, the Department will not require financial disclosure documentation for payment plans that are under $12,000 and can be resolved within 12 months.
Collections and Enforcement Activities
Certain automatic enforcement actions will be temporarily reduced or suspended. There will be a significant reduction in the number of tax liens filed by the Department and license inspections, revocations and citations will be limited. In addition, no wage garnishment or bank attachment actions will be taken for new tax debts, and tax clearances and compliance checks will be conducted consistently with the more lenient debt collection/resolution approach.
During this limited period, the Department will generally abate penalties provided that taxpayers have remitted all outstanding trust fund taxes that they have collected.
Desk Review and Field Audit
During this period, the Department, through its Bureau of Desk Review & Analysis and Bureau of Audits, will not initiate new desk reviews or field audits in most cases. There may be exceptions if it is deemed necessary to protect the Commonwealth’s interest in preserving the applicable statute of limitations or as it relates to refund claims..
The Bureau of Audits will continue to work with taxpayers to complete audit work that is in process through correspondence where possible and avoid in-person meetings until at least July 15, 2020. The Department of Revenue will continue to take the steps necessary to protect applicable statutes of limitations. In instances where statute expirations might be jeopardized during this period, taxpayers are encouraged to cooperate in extending such statutes and the Department will also be flexible with taxpayers in granting requests to provide more time.
Audit Penalty Abatement and Interest Relief
The Department will broaden existing audit penalty abatement parameters for audits that are completed during the remainder of 2020. Additionally, to take into account the impact of halting field work, currently in-progress sales tax, fuels tax, and IFTA audits that are completed and assessed prior to December 31, 2020 will include up to 90 days of interest relief to address delays in fieldwork.