Pennsylvania Department of Revenue offers free tax filing

(The Center Square) –­ Just in time for the beginning of tax season on Monday, the state reminded residents of their free online filing tool.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue encouraged taxpayers to use their online portal, myPATH, to file their state income tax returns. The new system provides self-service options –such as registering new tax accounts, filing returns and making payments.

There is usually a fee for electronic filing with these methods, but the department said it will provide a link to free e-file vendors.

Acting Revenue Secretary Pat Browne said the tool “helps us deliver on Governor Shapiro's promise to keep costs down for Pennsylvanians and their families.”

About 200,000 residents filed personal income tax returns through myPATH in 2021, the department told The Center Square.

“The majority of taxpayers who file their state returns electronically use third-party tax preparation software,” said Jeffrey Johnson, the department’s communications director. “But we want those customers to know that they also have a free and simple option through myPATH for filing their state returns if they’re looking to save some money.”

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service also announced its IRS Free File Guided Tax Preparation service is live and ready to use.

IRS Free File is being offered through a public-private partnership between the IRS and the Free File Inc., formerly known as the Free File Alliance.

The partners include seven leading tax software providers who are making their online products available for free in both English and Spanish for taxpayer earning $73,000 or less in 2022.

Those who qualify can use the IRS’s Free File Fillable Forms (FFFF), an electronic version of the agency’s paper forms, but they note it is best for people who are comfortable preparing their own taxes.

Johnson said Tuesday the department “strongly” encourages residents to file electronically.

“That helps with processing and also ensures that a taxpayer who is requesting a refund will receive it as soon as possible,” he said. “Filing online is also a benefit for the customer because it avoids the time and cost involved with mailing in a paper return.”

The deadline to file 2022 personal income tax returns is April 18.

Anthony Hennen contributed to this report.

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