How to File a Pennsylvania Tax Return

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Residents of Pennsylvania can file taxes in several ways. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania makes it easy for eligible taxpayers to file taxes over the phone and online, while providing those with more complicated tax circumstances the ability to file taxes via paper form. But no matter which option you choose, you must gather income forms, receipts and other documentation before you begin.

Things You'll Need

  • Income documents
  • Receipts
  • Tax documentation
  • PA-40 form or tele-file worksheet

Filing Online

  • Log on to the website of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (See Resources). Click the "Individuals" link.

  • Click the "Personal Income Tax Return Filing" link to go to the PA E-File website. Log in if you already have an account; otherwise, click the "Register" button to create a new account. Enter your Social Security number and tax filing status to register.

  • Complete the tax form online. List all the reportable income for the state, as well as any work-related expenses and tax credits. Review the information carefully before submitting the finished application.

  • Sign the return electronically by entering your Social Security number in the confirmation section. You will then receive a confirmation code you can use to check the status of the return and track your refund.

Tele-File

  • Obtain a tele-file worksheet you can use to list your income and compute your taxes. If you filed by telephone last year, a tele-file booklet and form will be mailed to you. You can also download the form from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (See Resources). Click on the "Forms and Publications" tab and download the tele-file worksheet.

  • Enter all of your income and expense information on the worksheet. Do not call tele-file until the form is filled out completely.

  • Call 1-888-472-3453 to reach the tele-file hotline. Enter your social security number and your spouse's Social Security number, if applicable. The tele-file hotline will request an entry for each line of the worksheet. Enter each line as it is requested, then confirm your entry to move on to the next line.

  • Wait for tele-file to compute your taxes and give you the amount of your refund or the amount you owe. The tele-file system will prompt you to enter your Social Security number to electronically sign and file the tax return.

  • Write down the confirmation number tele-file gives you. This number is proof that you filed your taxes. You will need that number to check the status of your tax return or refund.

PA-40 Form

  • Obtain a copy of the PA-40 form from your local public library or legislative office. If you filed a paper form last year, you should automatically receive a new one in the mail near the beginning of the year.

  • Enter your income and allowable deductions on the form. Double-check your math as you go, then again after you have completed the form.

  • Compare the taxes you paid to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with your tax liability, then compute the amount of your refund or the amount you owe. Write a check for the amount owed, if applicable.

  • Sign and date the PA-40 tax return and mail it to the address listed on the form. Make a copy for your records before submitting the return.

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