Benninghoff, Finance Committee Advance Tax Reform Bills

Measures would make it easier for grieving spouses, low-income families and small businesses 

The state House Finance Committee, chaired by Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin), this week approved three tax reform bills that would make things easier for grieving spouses, low-income families and small businesses in Pennsylvania. 

“Good tax reform sometimes means something as simple as fine tuning the law to make it easier on people,” Benninghoff said.  “These three changes deal with issues of basic fairness and ensuring the tax code is not overly burdensome on Pennsylvania families and small businesses.” 

The three bills approved by the House Finance Committee were: 

  • House Bill 665:  This measure would permit a surviving spouse to file a joint state tax return in the year in which his or her spouse passes away if a joint return otherwise could have been filed.
  • House Bill 1333:  This bill would provide a safe harbor for low-income families and others that inadvertently fail to make estimated tax payments.  For example, a tax filer with no income tax liability in one year who then passes the tax threshold the next year but fails to make estimated tax payments would not be penalized.  He or she would simply have to pay the taxes due.
  • House Bill 1334:  This measure would allow businesses to send monthly returns for Sales and Use Tax (SUT) revenue collected on behalf of the Commonwealth.  Act 48 of 2009 changed this to require businesses to send SUT payments twice a month beginning in June 2011.  This bill would maintain the once-monthly system currently in place. 

“Tax laws should be as fair as possible,” Benninghoff said.  “We don’t want tax laws that place an undue burden on grieving spouses or low-income families.  We also don’t want tax policies to drive employers out of the Commonwealth.  These are commonsense reforms to uphold the integrity of the state’s financial system without harming our citizens or the economy.” 

The bills now head to the House floor for consideration by the entire chamber. 

State Representative Kerry Benninghoff
171st District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Dan Massing

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