Senate Finance Committee Approves Surviving Spouse Tax Bill

Senate Bill 953 would allow for filing of a joint return for state taxes

The Senate Finance Committee this week approved legislation sponsored by Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) that will allow a surviving spouse to file a joint state income tax return.

Senate Bill 953 amends the Tax Reform Code to allow a surviving spouse to file a joint return for the year in which his or her spouse died if a joint return could have been filed if both spouses were living for the entire taxable year.

“This legislation brings Pennsylvania in line with standards used by the federal government for its tax returns,” said Senator Tomlinson. “It also brings greater fairness and compassion to the tax process.  People need time to adjust to losing a spouse and should not be penalized for the death of their spouse.”

The Committee also approved another tax-related bill, Senate Bill 952, sponsored by Tomlinson that eliminates penalties and interest for taxpayers who make estimated tax payments equal to the amount of the taxpayer’s liability for the preceding tax year.  This would allow Pennsylvania taxpayers to estimate their tax payments in a manner similar to that which is allowed for Federal income taxes.

“Both bills are taxpayer friendly and bring greater fairness to our taxing system,” Tomlinson said.


Megan Crompton
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