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Boscola Bulletin

Primary Election Day is Coming SOON!

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the NEW Election Reform effective NOW

I Voted Stickers‘I am very proud to have had a crucial part in making Pennsylvania’s democracy stronger by improving the most critical function in any democracy – voting.  This new election reform secures our elections by helping to pay for new voting machines with paper trails.  It makes registering to vote easier by extending the time to register to vote to 15 days before an election from 30 days. And it makes certain more votes will be counted by changing the deadline for absentee ballots from the Friday before election until Election day.’

                        - Senator Lisa M. Boscola 

*NEW* Mail-in Ballots

Voting by MailA lot of voters abstain from voting because they cannot make it to their polling place on election day - in an effort to encourage more people to vote we made voting more convenient to you.  You can now vote by mail without the need to qualify for an absentee ballot. – making your home your polling place! Voters can apply for the new mail-in ballots using the same deadlines used to apply for absentee ballots. As with the permanent absentee ballots, any voter can request to be placed on a permanent mail-in voter list. Voters on the permanent mail-in voter list will receive an application for a ballot by the first Monday in February. The deadline to return a voted mail-in ballot to the county board of elections is 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Voter Registration Deadline Extended

Voters now have additional time to register to vote before any election - voter registration applications must now be received by the county board of elections no later than 15 days before the election.
There are 4 convenient ways to register to vote:

Absentee Ballot Update

Beginning with upcoming the 2020 Primary Election, the deadline for civilian voted absentee ballots to be received by the county board of elections has been extended until 8 p.m. on Election Day. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot has not changed - it remains the Tuesday prior to the election. UPDATE: anyone with a permanent illness or disability can ask to be placed on a permanent absentee voter list. Absentee voters who request to be placed on the permanent absentee list no longer have to renew their physician’s certification of continued disability every four years or list it on each application. Each year the county must send an application to any voter on the permanent absentee list by the first Monday in February.

Note: April 13, 2020 is the last day to register to vote before the April 28, 2020 Primary Election.


Pennsylvania Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program

The Pennsylvania Property Tax or Rent Rebate Program provides rebates on property tax or rent paid the previous year by income-eligible seniors and people with disabilities.  The 2019 applications are NOW available by visiting the Property Tax or Rent Rebate website or by visiting any one of my offices – we will be more than happy to assist you in filling out the application!

Tax Season is Upon Us – Don’t Wait Until the Deadline!

Tax TimeWhether you owe money or get a refund, don’t wait until the deadline to file your taxes! 

In order to submit your tax return, you will first need a W-2 form, or a Wage and Tax statement from every employer you had during 2019 (if you are self-employed/freelancer, you will need 1099 forms).

Employers typically must file and postmark tax-related documents by January 31, so you should receive your forms by early February 2020. If you receive your forms before then, you can start preparing your tax return as soon as you'd like. 

If you haven't received your forms by mid-February, you should first contact your employer and request a copy or ask that it be re-sent. If that doesn't work, you can then contact the IRS at 800-829-1040. You'll need to provide the following information:

  • Name, address, Social Security number, and phone number;
  • Your employer's name, address, and phone number;
  • Dates you worked for your employer;
  • An estimate of your paid wages and federal income tax withheld during 2018.

For Pennsylvania state tax questions or inquiries, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is a wealth of information and a great place to start.  You can find thousands of answers to tax-related questions in the department’s Online Customer Service CenterBefore downloading or requesting traditional personal income tax forms, consider e-filing your PA Personal Income Tax Return with padirectfile or PA e-file.

Taxpayer’s Rights Advocate

The Office of Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate is an office within the Department of Revenue that provides free and confidential assistance to taxpayers with Pennsylvania personal income tax and inheritance tax concerns that have not been resolved through normal, established procedures. The office’s mission is to ensure that the department applies Pennsylvania laws fairly and equitably, and that the department does not hurt individual taxpayer rights.
Before seeking help from the Office of Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate (OTRA), you should first try to resolve any issues by working directly with the Department of Revenue. If you have been unsuccessful in resolving a problem related to individual or inheritance tax, the OTRA provides assistance for taxpayers with concerns about the following:

  • An issue with, or action by, the Department of Revenue that has not been resolved by normal, established procedures.
  • A delay of more than 180 days.
  • A response or resolution not received by the date promised.
  • An action by the Department of Revenue that will cause a substantial hardship.

To contact the Department of Revenue, Office of Taxpayer’s Rights Advocate:
Phone: (717) 772-9347
Fax: (717) 787-8264
Mailing address:
PA Department of Revenue
Office of Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate
Lobby, Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17128-0101
Note: Taxpayers should include a completed Taxpayer Request for Assistance form (REV-556) with all written correspondence.

AARP Foundation Tax-AideFor assistance completing your taxes, you can visit the AARP Foundation Tax-Aid Program website to find a location near you and enter your zip code to start your search. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation help to anyone and if you’re 50 and older, and can’t afford a tax preparation service. Tax-Aide sites will be open February 1 through April 15, 2020.

Not Only is 2020 a Presidential Election Year – it is also LEAP YEAR!

Every 4 years, the month of February gets an extra day.  We were all taught in our middle school science classes that a year is the length of time it takes for the Earth to revolve once around the sun.  It gets a little tricky, however, because the Earth’s rotation is a little more than 365 times per year – making an extra day, every 4 years, a little too much to make up for the extra rotation!

Over a few decades, it becomes noticeable — that’s a one day difference every 100 years – therefore, every 100 years, we don’t have a Leap Year (in the years 1800 and 1900, for instance, there was not a February 29!).

Leap Year

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
(610) 250-5629
Fax: (610) 250-1889
458 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
(717) 787-4236
Fax: (717) 783-1257
Senate of PA:
1-800-364-158 (TTY)