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As income tax season approaches, state Rep. Phyllis Mundy (D-Luzerne) wants residents to know that the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue will offer two new Internet-based filing options.

“This change will give qualifying taxpayers with a federal adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less the ability to file their federal and state returns simultaneously for free, something they weren’t able to do previously,” said Mundy. “In addition, the change is expected to save the state $500,000 per year.”

Mundy said Free File tax software that simultaneously prepares state and federal filings will be available online from reputable companies beginning Jan. 17. Mundy said taxpayers are encouraged to visit before filing their federal returns to see if they qualify.

In addition, the Revenue Department will offer online versions of state tax forms designed for people comfortable preparing their own returns. These forms include basic math calculations and are available to Pennsylvania taxpayers except for nonresidents, part-year residents and those with K-1 forms or resident credits.

The online forms can be filed electronically for free or they can be printed and mailed to the Revenue Department. They will be available beginning Jan. 31. To help taxpayers determine the best filing option, the Revenue Department is developing an Internet-based interactive tool that will be available once tax season opens.

For the past several years, Pennsylvania has offered a telephone-based system, TeleFile, and an Internet-based system, padirectfile .

Use of TeleFile has decreased, while the use of padirectfile has stagnated, prompting the change. However, padirectfile will be available to file 2013 returns beginning Feb. 3, and will be terminated after this income tax season.