Q&A with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue

Scenario: Reporting income earned outside of the U.S. on a joint return

Dec 13, 2016

How do you amend a PA-40 in the following circumstances? H & W file a joint personal income tax return, and erroneously report income of W which was earned outside the U.S. W has not set foot in the U.S. since Jan. 8, 2008 and has been a bona fied  resident of Singapore since that date. H & W want to file an amended return to eliminate that income. Should the amended return be filed as a separate return for H?


Additional information should be supplied for the department to provide an accurate answer.  However, if the question is trying to determine if a refund can be obtained in such a situation and how to file an amended return to obtain that refund, we offer the following as our answer: Because the issue involves multiple tax years - one of which the statute of limitations for filing an appeal may expire on before the department reviews and provides a notice to the taxpayer on if an amended return refund were denied, the matter is better resolved by filing a Petition for Refund (REV-65) for the open tax years. If the spouse can prove that there is no intent to return to Pennsylvania, they should file a petition for refund to claim the spouse is a not a resident of Pa. Going forward, the taxpayer would then file his return in Pennsylvania as married filing separately.

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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.