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Discussion:PA - Local tax filing assistance

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> PA - Local tax filing assistance


Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

7 October 2006

I have a client who lives in PA (I am a CA - CPA) and now has a W-2. Locality name on W-2 is : Salem T. Where in the world do I find out how to complete the Local Income tax report, what the local tax rate is and anything else I need to know about this. I had no luck on the state.pa.us web site. I also us the tax program Lacerte. Thank you for your help!

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2006
Most Pennsylvania local taxes are 1% of earned income. Most are collected by private tax collection agents, like HAB Associates. I find on Google SALEM TOWNSHIP. 38 Bomboy Lane. Berwick, PA 18603. 570-752-4399. This is northeast/north central PA and home of a nuclear power plant. I have had boilermaker clients who have worked at Berwick, but never remembered a 1% tax. If you client does not live in Salem Township, he does not have to file a form for Salem. Forms are only filed when the taxpayer lives in a locality with such a tax, so your first place to begin is his town of residence. If there is such a tax, he would get credit for paying the tax to Salem. By the way, Proseries has a generic PA Local Tax form and I suspect as much of Lacerte.

CTurner555 (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2006
This is a link to the PA school district list. Hope it helps: http://www.revenue.state.pa.us/revenue/cwp/view.asp?A=3&Q=203759

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2006
The client lives in a place called Mountain Top - he works at a nuclear power plant so this has to be the same place. This tax of 1% was withheld on his W-2 with the locality of "Salem T" - otherwise I would have never known about this. Lacerte also has a generic PA Local Tax Form but does not seem to provide where it even gets filed nor instructions for me to read. The forms program from RIA that I also use does not have this form at all. As for the credit - were would this credit be taken? Thank you once again Death&Taxes for your help.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2006
Returns are only filed if Mountain Top has an Earned Income Tax; since he does not live in Salem, he need not file there, he just pays tax there. The tax is a flat tax. In PA some localities have a tax, some don't. If you happen to work in one that does, you pay the tax for working there but need not file. If Mountain Top has a tax, or a tax is collected for its school district, he files the return, computing his tax at 1% [usually, some are higher] and then he may claim credit for withholding in any other PA locality....that is what I meant by credit. PA is a crazy quilt of these local taxes.

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2006
This is making more sense now - sort of. I have found a web site called Capital Tax Collection Bureau Online Access

http://www.captax.com/frames/index.html

I can not even find Mountain Top as a place on this site. The school district he belongs to is in the same county "Luzerne" that Salem is located in and this info is what I am including on the form PA-40. Up to this point, I have not yet been able to locate anything for Mountain Top. You are so right - PA is one confusing place when it comes to tax returns and their concept of what is taxed and what is not allowed compared to every other state I have delt with.

CTurner555 (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2006
Try these two links, believe it will give you the info you need

http://munstatspa.dced.state.pa.us/ReportViewer.aspx?R=MunicipalTaxInformation&municipality_id=401745&reporting_year=2005&rendering=H

http://munstatspa.dced.state.pa.us/MunicipalTaxInfo.aspx?H=1

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2006
Thank you Death&Taxes & CTurner555 for all of the help and the links. Are there any penalties if the t/p does not file a "whatever" local tax statement? And if they do not file this statement - will they receive a notice? One would think that if they really wanted to tax someone - they would make things a little easier to find the info to get it done. I can not find any info on Mountain Top anyplace. Nice pictures of the fire departments ............

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2006
Some of these outfits, HAB Associates e.g., assess a $20 charge for not filing. HAB is the acronym for H A Berkheimer, who must have been like you or me at one time but decided administering taxes made him more $$$. They are located in Bangor PA and their instructions give 610-599-3139 as their number, but they are only one of many collection authorities. You need to know that postal address in PA means little. The 19063 zipcode e.g. includes a number of school districts, some of which are also in 19066 and 19081. From this: http://muninetguide.com/states/pennsylvania/municipality/Mountain_Top.php it would appear Mountain Top is not that near Berwick. It's school district is Crestwood. Hopefully CTurner's links can now lead you to see if there is a 1% tax. And here I dread doing California non-resident returns!

John of PA (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2006
Hi,

Your right that Lacerte is not of much help here. I can tell you the local tax status for your return, but what I need from you is the legal local municipality the taxapyer lives in (not the US Postal town). And if that municpality is a borough or a township. There is no municipality recorded as Mountain Top. There are 5 Salem Twp. What county does he live in? (Clarion, Luzerne, Wayne, Westmoreland, or Mercer?).

John of PA (talk|edits) said:

8 October 2006
Oh, I forgot. Here the web sight I use to look up PA townships. http://munstatspa.dced.state.pa.us/Registers.aspx It is excellent. It give the tax rate and the name of the collecting agency.

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

11 October 2006
Hi John of PA - My client finally got back with me to the answers to your questions. I went to that web site and enter the info but end up in the same loop. The t/p lives in Luzerne county - and the township (?) Rice Twp. Salem Twp is the withholding on the W-2 of 1%. If I need to file the local tax form, I also need to determine where it gets filed. Thank you so much for your help with this.

John of PA (talk|edits) said:

11 October 2006
File the local return stating the locality as follows : Rice Township / Crestwood School District. The tax rate is 1%. The collector is Berhheimer Associates, 50 North 7th St., Bangor, PA 18013-1798 phone 610 599 3139 Email CSBERK@hab-inc.com websight www.hab-inc.com Hope this helps. Berkheimer is usually very helpful over the phone. Berkheimer (unlike some others) does accept the generic local form that the tax software prints.

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

11 October 2006
Thank you John for all of your help with this. Now that I have instructions and a place to mail the return, it should all make it to the client on time. Again - Thank You!

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

11 October 2006
Thanks John, I'd never seen that database. Michael, the frustrating thing about Pennsylvania local taxes is that had your client lived in a township without an EIT, you would not have to file.....note on the data for Rice Township that if you are a non-resident and have tax withheld there, you need not file there......only in your town of residence IF they have such a tax. What is really odd is that if there is a tax in town of residence the return might be filed with another taxing authority such as Central Tax Bureau and your client will owe nothing, even though Berkheimer in Rice Township collected the tax. Some of these local collectors are real jerks: I know of two or three that do not want amounts rounded, and they put this in big letters on the forms. Some like Berkheimer permit you to apply the Philadelphia Wage tax of 3.8+% against your total liability dollar for dollar; others only apply 1% to the income from Philadelphia, meaning you might still have to pay on income earned elsewhere.

John of PA (talk|edits) said:

11 October 2006
Yes, PA being a state "de-coupled" from the Federal can come up with some unusual tax rules. My plan of last resort in a case like this is to call the township office for the township of residence and they can tell you if there is a tax, and who collects it. But now you can accomplish the same thing, if your working late hours, by typing the township name in Google, and many townships websights have the local tax information on it. Back to may Oct. 15 deadline work.

SmallBusinessPayrollRep (talk|edits) said:

23 October 2006
The client files local taxes in the district where the business is located. Plain and simple. The local taxes authorities reconcile with the district where the employee(s) live. Call the local taxing authority and they will walk you through the process based upon business location!


RSRAGENCY (talk|edits) said:

27 March 2008
I've spent the last 20 minutes reading this thread, switching to Berkheimer's, back to this site, switching to hab-inc.com ALL for naught! Can ANYONE tell me WHERE to send the Dickson City Local Tax paper??? I'm NOT even sure it's required!! But I did finish one and there is a tax due...

Thanks... DJ

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2008
My Berkheimer envelopes, if indeed they collect this tax, show PO Box 920, Bangor PA 18013-0920 and this is good for all the HAB-EIT forms I have filed for sending a check. Are you sure they are the collection agent? There are others like Keystone Tax.

Think how rich you would be if you had gotten into this aspect of the tax business on the ground floor.

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2008
Local PAs mostly only accept their forms - so be careful, the Lacerte local form will not be accepted. Use the above site listed by John of PA and find a phone number. Call the local reporting/collecting agency. They can direct you to a website to download a local form. Sometimes they are fill-in, other times they were scanned (poorly!) and will have to be printed and done by hand. I have had great difficulty finding links online with remote areas of PA, this is why I suggest calling & getting the website directly. You might try to link through the twp website first just to see if you can.

RSRAGENCY (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2008
Thanks! I'll try calling in the morning. Must be a 'town hall' in Dickson City. Years ago we had to send in our property tax payments to an address in E.Stroudsburg,PA. Quite by accident we happened to actually drive past this little house with the shingle hanging outside announcing that this was, indeed, the place to pay your taxes!! It was such a tiny house, on a street with other tiny houses. It was so quaint that I actually pictured, in my mind, a little old lady, sort of the 'Aunt Bea' from Mayberry RFD! I thought that THIS was the job I wanted!!! Wonder how they make their money?? Probably take a percentage??? Then, yes, I"D BE RICH!!!

DJ

Rgtaxservice (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2008
Berkheimer Assoc is the tax collector for Dickson City - 1%

For a Bal Due check payable to/Mail to: HAB-EIT PO BX 905 Bangor, PA 18013-0905

If refund BX 903 - 18013-0903

If wash - Bx 907 - 1803-0907

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2008
That's funny, maybe he does have a different box # for each locality....as noted above, I have three for Box 920 and these for payments. I have never noticed, but we do keep the labels on the backs of envelopes.

btw, my daughter-in-law has a sister-in-law who works there.

Rgtaxservice (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2008
D&T - There are different box numbers regarding payments, refund, or neither. There are no separate boxes for locality.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2008
But the envelopes I have ALL show Box 920, Bangor PA for refund, payment or even: the letters are different colors for refund (off red) or payment (blue). I am looking at one for East Bradford/West Chester Area SD.

Ah, but now I find 903, 905, 907 on another envelope, this one for Upper Makefield, Council Rock SD.

Do you think the addresses might be done by counties, the first I show being Chester County while the second is Bucks?

Dusty (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2008
As for the forms, I have not had any rejected by any of the services if I return their form (blank) along with the form generated by Proseries.

Dusty

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2008
well don't send them to WESTAB or MATB/LCTB!


Pataxgirl (talk|edits) said:

6 March 2010
I live in Indiana, PA. Not everyone in PA pays only 1%. I personally pay 1.35% to collector company called PAMS, or as I like to call them PMS. The locals in PA drive me crazy. I have seen them take up to 4 years to process a return and companies from other counties try to collect on someone who hasn't lived there in ten years. We also have some collectors who are individuals that refuse to give a refund for an overpayment. I personally recommend http://munstatspa.dced.state.pa.us/Registers.aspx they are the best I have come up with. I recommend writing on the envalope PAYMENT, if there is one inside, to speed up the process because they are not above trying to charge late fees if THEY were the ones who were late. Here in PA you pay local taxes to the township you live in, thru the collector there. They normally will give the money to the correct local if it was sent to the incorrect company, but they may still give you trouble. Many employers will send it it the local that the business is located in for THEIR rate, not the client's. Be sure to check the percentage and the name in the local box. Also many places here have a slpit local that collects .5% to one place and .75% to another.

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