Q&A with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue

Is there any deadline or guidelines as to how long the DOR would pursue an outstanding debt? Would it still pursue a purported liability that is approximately 15 years old?

Jun 19, 2011
The Department actively pursues liabilities once the liability becomes collectable after the expiration of appeal rights, or in the case of non-filed returns, after the return due date.  All liabilities regardless of age are subject to the Department’s collections process as there is no statute of limitations on collection activities.  

An individual or entity is fully liable for the tax liabilities that they incurred, or should have known that they incurred.  In many cases the delinquency has gone through our Department of Revenue collection workflow, Collection Agency processes and in some cases one or two Amnesty programs.

The Department seeks to resolve all liabilities as quickly as possible.  Initially, telephone calls and letters are utilized to notify the taxpayer of the delinquency and to seek payment or the filing of the return.  However, telephone calls and letters are only successful if the Department has valid contact information.  Often times, older liabilities are collected as a result of a timely filed lien as we are often contacted when the taxpayer is requesting a lien satisfaction.

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Watch: 2019 Q&A with the DOR
Watch: 2019 Q&A with the DOR

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These documents provide a summary of the answers provided by the Department of Revenue to the PICPA Committee on State Taxation at its annual question and answer session. These documents are classified as revenue information issued for informational purposes only for the convenience of PICPA members. Pursuant to 61 Pa. Code Section 3.4, these documents should not be relied upon for any purpose or used in tax appeals. Taxpayers requiring a binding opinion on their specific fact situation may request a written letter ruling under 61 Pa. Code Section 3.3.