Overview of the PA Department of Revenue
The PA Department of Revenue originated in 1927 and began operating in 1929. Its mission is to administer the tax laws of the commonwealth in a fair and equitable manner. The Department of Revenue also administers the Pennsylvania State Lottery, which generates funds for programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians.
The department is responsible for collecting Personal Income Tax, Sales and Use Tax, all corporate taxes, Inheritance Tax, Realty Transfer Tax, Motor and Alternative Fuel Taxes and all other state taxes. In addition, the department collects the Local Sales Tax for Allegheny and Philadelphia counties, the Public Transportation Assistance Tax and funds for the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority.
The department also administers the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program and the Public Utility Realty Tax reimbursement, prepares the tax expenditure portion of the Governor’s Budget and licenses distributors and manufacturers of small games of chance.
The Secretary of Revenue is the Department’s chief executive, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Secretary is a member of the Governor’s cabinet and the Board of Finance and Revenue. The Secretary directly supervises the activities of the Office of Chief Counsel, the Press Office, the PA State Lottery, the Office of Legislative Affairs and the Office of Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate. In addition, four deputy secretaries and the Chief Information Officer, who assist in directing the activities of various bureaus, report to the Secretary.
The Deputy Secretary for Taxation is responsible for the following bureaus:
Bureau of Business Trust Fund Taxes – Administers the Sales & Use Tax, Employer Withholding Tax, Malt Beverage Tax, Cigarette Tax and Pari-mutuel Tax.
Bureau of Corporation Taxes - Administers all corporate taxes including Corporate Net Income Tax, Capital Stock/Foreign Franchise Tax, Loans Tax, Bank Shares Tax, Mutual Thrift Institutions Tax, Insurance Premiums Taxes, Utility Gross Receipts Tax, Public Utility Realty Tax and Agricultural and Electric Cooperative Taxes. Responsibilities include corporate tax report processing, underpayment and underreporting assessment, maintaining accounts receivable, refunding, processing applications for certain restricted credit programs and processing Pennsylvania S Corporation “opt-out” elections and revocations.
Bureau of Individual Taxes - Administers tax programs related to individuals, Personal Income Tax and Inheritance Tax; administers the Lottery-funded Property Tax/Rent Rebate program; administers the Realty Transfer Tax; and reports writ taxes, marriage license taxes and commonwealth fines.
Bureau of Motor and Alternative Fuel Taxes - Licenses new accounts, examines tax returns and conducts enforcement programs for all Motor and Alternative Fuel Taxes.
Taxpayer Service and Information Center – Provides the central point of contact by phone and e-mail for business and individual taxpayers requiring assistance.
The Deputy Secretary for Tax Policy is responsible for the following bureaus:
Board of Appeals - Receives, hears, considers and renders decisions on administrative appeals filed with the department and referred to the board.
Bureau of Audits - Conducts field examinations for all taxes administered by the Department of Revenue.
Bureau of Research - Forecasts revenue collections, reports General Fund and special fund revenues and estimates the fiscal impact of legislative proposals and changes in economic conditions.
The Deputy Secretary for Administration is responsible for the following bureaus:
Bureau of Administrative Services – Provides general overall support functions for the Department of Revenue. This bureau manages the maintenance, storage, retrieval and customer service for all tax records; the purchasing, warehousing and distributing of all office supplies, service forms and equipment; the design of publications and forms; and the word processing and secretarial support services for the department.
Bureau of Human Resources - Implements and administers the commonwealth’s personnel policies, programs and procedures. Also works closely with management to ensure equality of opportunity and an unbiased working environment to department employees and persons applying for work in the department.
Bureau of Fiscal Management - Monitors the department’s expenditures and administers departmental contracts.
Bureau of Imaging and Document Management - Responsible for receiving, sorting, prepping, controlling and banking all remittances submitted to the Department of Revenue. This bureau is also tasked with creating a legal archival image of all tax returns, attachments and checks received by the department.
COMPLIANCE & COLLECTIONS
The Deputy Secretary for Compliance & Collections is responsible for the following bureaus:
Bureau of Collections and Taxpayer Services – Operates district offices throughout the state for the collection of delinquent taxes or returns. These offices are also responsible for taxpayer assistance.
Bureau of Compliance - Administers tax clearance, enforcement and discovery programs.
Office of Criminal Tax Investigations – Conducts criminal tax investigations, Cigarette Tax compliance and enforcement efforts and Property Tax/Rent Rebate fraud investigations.
Pass Through Business Office – Enforces pass through business and owner compliance with PA tax requirements. Reviews and reconciles information on individual tax returns of partners and shareholders and returns for partnerships and PA S corporations.
Bureau of Enforcement Planning, Analysis and Discovery - Administers the Discovery, Use Tax and voluntary compliance programs. Provides coordinated and proactive planning, decision analysis and project management for the Department's Compliance & Collections program.
CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER
The Chief Information Officer is responsible for the Bureau of Information Systems , which operates and develops computer technology; the design, reproduction, and distribution of forms; and telecommunications technology support. The office is also responsible for establishing priorities, controls and procedures to ensure the efficient use of resources and also provides administrative and technical direction in the operation of highly complex, large-scale computer systems.