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Boscola Bulletin

Tax Deadline Tomorrow

Tax Deadline TomorrowThe Pennsylvania Department of Revenue wants to remind everyone who received more than $33 in total gross taxable income in calendar year 2019 about tomorrow’s deadline to file 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns. The original April 15 deadline was extended 90 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extension of this year’s tax-filing deadline to July 15 applied to both final 2019 tax returns and payments, as well as estimated payments for the first and second quarters of 2020. The department also waived penalties and interest on 2019 personal income tax payments through the new deadline of July 15.

Anyone needing assistance can reach the department’s Customer Experience Center by calling 717-787-8201 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The department also offers assistance through its Online Customer Service Center which can be accessed by clicking here. This online option provides taxpayers with answers to specific questions about 2019 personal income tax returns and the department’s electronic filing, or e-filing, options. It also provides an option to submit a question to a Department of Revenue representative through a secure, electronic process that is similar to sending an email.

As a reminder, tax returns that are filed electronically are processed faster, leading to taxpayers receiving their refunds sooner. Pennsylvanians can file their state tax returns by using the following paper-less e-filing options:

  • Padirectfile – a free, secure, state-only electronic income tax filing system, is available through the Department of Revenue’s website. For more information or to begin filing, please click here.
  • Electronic Filing Free – Free electronic filing options are available to file state and federal returns using software from a reputable vendor (income limits may apply). More vendor information is available on the department’s website.
  • Electronic Filing for a Fee – Paid tax preparers and commercial tax preparation software providers offer e-filing for a fee. E-filing offers advantages not available to taxpayers filing by paper, including error-reducing automatic calculators, instant confirmation of successful filing, faster refund processing and direct deposit options.

Taxpayers can request an extension to file a personal income tax return by submitting form REV-276.  The department automatically grants an extension to file when an extension is granted by the IRS. As a reminder, an extension to file is not an extension to pay tax that is due. If you feel you will owe tax, you should send a payment for the amount of tax you expect to owe. Make sure you record your Social Security number on the check with the notation that you are making an "extension payment" for the tax year.

COVID-19 Crisis Fire Company & EMS Grant Program

COVID-19 Crisis Fire Company & EMS Grant ProgramThe Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) has opened the COVID-19 Crisis Fire Company & Emergency Medical Services Grant Program. This program establishes a one-time grant to be used by eligible Fire, Rescue and EMS companies to provide services during the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as identified in the proclamation of disaster emergency issued by Gov. Wolf on March 6, 2020. 

These funds are to be used to supplement operational expenses incurred by the lack of opportunities for fundraising and inability to create revenue due to compliance with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  A total of $50 million will be distributed by the COVID-19 Crisis FCEMS Grant Program from funds received by the Commonwealth under the federal CARES Act.  Of the $50 million, $44 million will be disbursed to eligible fire and rescue companies and $6 million to eligible EMS companies.

Fire, Rescue and EMS companies that received a grant award from the 2019-20 FCEMSGP and register for the COVID-19 Crisis grant program will receive an initial award equal to the amount they received from the 2019-20 FCEMSGP. The surplus funding in the program will be distributed to each eligible company that meets the funding criteria that submits a completed registration, including those that did not receive a 2019-20 FCEMSGP grant award.

Eligible companies seeking a grant under the program should submit a completed online grant registration to OSFC by clicking here. The online registration portal will remain open until Friday, Aug. 7 at 4 p.m.

July is National Picnic Month

Policy Hearing - July 22

July is an excellent time to get outdoors and enjoy all the natural beauty of Pennsylvania. Having a picnic is an excellent way to spend some relaxing time outdoors with friends and family.

Here are some tips to stay food safe while planning a picnic: 

  • Temperature and time. Keep your picnics safe this summer by remembering that the time perishable food can be left outside the refrigerator or freezer drops from two hours to one hour in temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Keep hot food hot and cold food cold on the way to, and during your picnics and outdoor gatherings. 
  • Bring non-perishable foods. Reduce the worry of keeping foods at certain temperatures by limiting the number of perishable foods. Try bringing baked potato chips or pretzels instead of potato salad; washed whole fruit, dried fruit, or fruit cups instead of a fruit salad; and other snacks such as trail mix, nuts, or sunflower seeds.
  • Two coolers are better than one. Bring two coolers to the gathering, one for perishable food and one for beverages. Keep perishable foods cool by transporting them in an insulated cooler kept cold with ice or frozen gel packs. Open as infrequently as possible. Store drinks in another cooler.
  • Keep it clean. Make sure you check ahead and find out if there's a source of safe drinking water at your destination. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning; or pack clean, wet, disposable cloths or moist towelettes and paper towels for cleaning hands and surfaces.
  • Dangers of cross-contamination. Cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria to food from other foods, cutting boards, and utensils when they are not handled properly. It can happen during preparation, grilling, and serving food and is a prime cause of foodborne illness. Remember to wash your hands before and after handling food, and don't use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Include lots of clean utensils, not only for eating but also for serving the safely cooked food.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
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Easton, PA 18042
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Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
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