In an unusual move, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a mid-year tax bill. The Act includes the 10-year statute of limitations for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (PDR) to collect outstanding liabilities, a sales tax exemption for a financial institution's purchase of software, a requirement for banks to participate in the Financial Information Data Match (FIDM) for outstanding tax liabilities, and an extension of the criminal tax statute of limitations.
Effective January 1, 2021, the PDR will have 10 years to collect outstanding liabilities. This ten-year statute of limitations is effective for tax liens filed after January 1, 2021. The Department has until 2031 to collect on liens filed prior to 2021. The statute will not include a liability under appeal. The statute also does not apply in the following situations:
Beginning November 27, 2019, purchases of canned computer software used directly for conducting the business of banking will be exempt from sales and use tax. The exemption applies to financial institutions that are subject to the Bank and Trust Company Shares Tax or the Mutual Thrift Institutions Tax. The term “directly utilized in conducting the business of banking” is defined to include a financial institution’s purchase of canned computer software to be used in transactions with customers and service providers. It does not include the purchase of canned computer software by entities other than financial institutions such as holding companies or financial institution subsidiaries.
The Act also requires financial institutions to participate in the FIDM program for unpaid tax liabilities. On a quarterly basis, financial institutions must make a reasonable effort to provide the PDR with any asset information an obligator may have. This program is similar to the program financial institutions participate in related to uncollected child support payments. Pennsylvania joins a growing number of states that require participation in the collection of outstanding tax liabilities.
Effective November 27, 2019, a three-year statute of limitations was applied to criminal tax prosecutions. However, an offense provided for under Title 18 Pa.C.S. (crimes and offenses), relating to misconduct under the tax statutes must be prosecuted within five years after the commission of the offense. In addition to any fine and/or imprisonment, the PDR will be entitled to restitution from any taxpayer convicted under the criminal provisions.