Q&A with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue

We understand there is a large backlog of cases at the Board of Appeals. Does the DOR have a plan for alleviating the backlog and moving cases through more speedily?

Nov 04, 2015
For the last two fiscal years, the Board of Appeals received over 25,000 appeals and closed between 23,000 and 24,000 appeals. The Board generally closes over 90% of its appeals within 6 months and the average turnaround time is approximately 80 days. In the last year the open inventory of cases has climbed to about 6,700 from about 5,700 one year ago. 

One of the primary reasons for the current high inventory is the completion of the litigation involving Wirth v. Commonwealth. Almost 300 appeals that were held pending the Wirth litigation are currently being reviewed and moved to a decision. The second reason is the increase in the filing of corporate tax appeals. In fiscal year 12-13, BOA docketed 2,491 corporate tax appeals. In fiscal year 14-15, that figure almost doubled to 4,963 corporate tax appeals. 

BOA is managing the increased workload by reallocating resources within the board staff and has also received some help with clerical work from staff in other bureaus. Our goal remains to move all appeals to a fair and accurate decision as expeditiously as possible. 

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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.