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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2023 09:44 AM
From: Representative Tim Briggs
To: All House members
Subject: Board of Finance and Revenue Appeal Process
I plan to introduce legislation, that if enacted, would help taxpayers in resolving disputes with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR). The legislation will make reforms to the Board of Finance and Revenue (Board), which is statutorily charged with hearing and resolving appeals from final decisions of DOR that involve most all types of tax disputes.  This taxpayer-friendly initiative would establish a more equitable tax appeal process and permit a faster resolution of tax disputes. 
Companion legislation will be introduced in the Senate by Senator Hutchinson.
Specifically, the legislation we will be proposing would authorize the Board to accept appeals filed past the 60 day period if, in the opinion of the Board that (1) there has been good cause shown by the taxpayer; and (2) the Commonwealth would not be harmed by accepting the appeal.  This equitable authority, like what is already granted to and exercised by most state courts, would permit the Board to consider appeals that may otherwise never be considered because circumstances beyond the control of the taxpayer prevented the appeal from being timely filed.
Importantly, this bill would empower the Board to direct and oversee a formal settlement process for any tax appeal that would benefit from this procedure.   Either the Board or a party may request the appeal to be submitted for a possible settlement.  The settlement process would pause the Board’s consideration of the appeal so that the parties are able to focus their efforts on reaching a settled resolution. The Board would retain independent settlement officers to oversee settlement discussions.  Any resulting settlement would be voluntary and not imposed by the Board.  There would be no additional cost imposed on the taxpayer.  This taxpayer-friendly solution also positively benefits the Commonwealth by resolving tax issues sooner, collecting tax liabilities quicker and directing valuable resources towards more complex cases.  
Please join me in making it more equitable for taxpayers, small businesses, and corporations, alike, caught in the tax appeals process, to receive a fair chance at amicably resolving their tax disputes.  Please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions or additional information.      

Introduced as HB1994