Earns Top Honors for Tax Administration
under Governor Corbett earn “most improved” designation
Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett’s promise to
make the Pennsylvania tax appeals process more objective and taxpayer-friendly,
led to the Council on State Taxation (COST) this week naming Pennsylvania as
the “most improved” state in the nation -- vaulting from a “D” rating to an
“A-” in its most recent tax administration scorecard.
acknowledgement underscores the importance of tax appeals reform and highlights
the victory we accomplished for Pennsylvania taxpayers,” said Governor Corbett.
“We have made significant changes over the last few years that make the appeals
process more fair, more transparent and more accountable to the taxpayers of
Key changes impacting Pennsylvania’s improved COST ranking
include restructuring the Board of Finance and Revenue within the Treasury
department to better address tax appeals functions independently and
impartially, and 2012 legislative changes designed to reduce issues that result
in tax appeals and make the appeals process more fair and less cumbersome for
Calcara, Vice President of Government Relations for the Pennsylvania Institute
of Certified Public Accountants, called Act 52 of 2013, which restructured the
Board of Finance and Revenue, “the most significant reforms in Pennsylvania’s
tax administration process in more than 20 years.” When the reform takes effect
in April, it will replace the current six part-time members of the board with
three full-time, independent tax professionals.
Governor Corbett took office, the Department of Revenue has worked with the
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Pennsylvania Institute of
Certified Public Accountants to draft and win support for legislative solutions
improving the tax appeals process.
Corbett came into office determined to improve government and taxpayer
services, and we at the Department of Revenue focused our resources to deliver
on the Governor’s commitment,” said Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser. “The
significant improvement in our ranking is a result of the hard work and
dedication of the people of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.”
achieving legislative reform, beginning in 2011, the Department of Revenue
implemented a number of administrative improvements to the tax appeals process
that streamlined operations and improved taxpayer service. Most notably, the
Department began considering requests for compromise in cases where the
compromise illustrates doubt regarding liability and/or it promotes effective
tax administration. This change allows taxpayers an opportunity to resolve tax
appeals in a matter of weeks, rather than endure a potentially costly process
that could last years.
addition, the department waived for taxpayers with good credit the requirement
to file a costly appeal bond before an assessment can be challenged,
eliminating a potential “pay-to-play” obstacle to achieving a fair result.
Secretary Meuser and others at the Department of Revenue for their leadership
on this issue,” said COST president and executive director Douglas L. Lindholm.
“The scorecard evaluates the state’s statutory framework, and we realize that
legislative change of this magnitude requires a great deal of effort and commitment
on behalf of taxpayers and tax administrators alike.”
The Council on State Taxation is the premier state tax organization
representing taxpayers. COST is a nonprofit trade association consisting of
over 600 multistate corporations engaged in interstate and international
business. COST's objective is to preserve and promote equitable and
nondiscriminatory state and local taxation of multijurisdictional business
Note: COST’s 2013
Scorecard on State Tax Appeals and Procedural Requirements is available at www.cost.org.