Revenue Department’s Innovation to Save $1.7 million, Enhance Service to Businesses
July 10, 2018
Harrisburg, Pa. — As part of Governor Tom Wolf’s commitment to create a more efficient and cost-effective state government, the Office of Performance through Excellence announced today the Department of Revenue will save $1.7 million over five years while improving services to Pennsylvania’s businesses. The department has developed a new feature that allows businesses and tax professionals to get all correspondence from the department electronically, saving time and reducing the need for paper.
“Business owners and tax professionals can now go online to get their tax-related correspondence in real time, saving them time and money,” said Governor Wolf. “No longer do businesses have to wait days for the information to arrive in the mail. With this new option, they can get the information online, giving them more time to focus on their customers.”
The new electronic correspondence feature in e-TIDES, the department’s online business tax system, allows business owners and tax professionals to receive all correspondence from the department that would normally be sent via the U.S. Postal Service. Examples include licenses and assessments.
The savings of this initiative come from reducing costs for paper, inserts, envelopes and postage. In past years, the department annually mailed approximately 1.6 million pieces of correspondence to the users of e-TIDES.
“We moved to create this new electronic correspondence feature after hearing feedback from taxpayers and tax professionals, many of whom use this system on a regular basis,” said Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell. “We are always looking for ways that we can improve customer service, and we expect this feature to be an important upgrade to the system we rely on for communicating with our business taxpayers.”
Michael Eby, CPA, senior manager and director of state and local tax services with McKonly & Asbury LLP, and a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, also sees the benefits for tax professionals.
“The department’s most recent e-TIDES enhancement in allowing practitioners to receive department correspondence to our clients directly from the department is another step forward in transparency and efficiency. This is a win-win for taxpayers and practitioners alike,” Eby said. “I am appreciative of the department’s continued efforts over the past few years to make available more online tools for the practitioner community, including the ability to access client statements of account through e-TIDES.”
Security is always a priority for the department. To protect taxpayer information, businesses and tax practitioners must be registered with e-TIDES to request the electronic correspondence feature. Additionally, tax professionals must be granted access by their clients. The exact steps vary by account.
The Governor’s Office of Performance through Excellence provided support for the project through the GO-TIME initiative. Created in February by an executive order signed by Governor Wolf, the office works to modernize operations, maximize efficiency and provide the highest quality services to Pennsylvanians. The Wolf Administration has already saved $373 million over the past three years by streamlining government and cutting waste.
A video overview of the new electronic correspondence is available for businesses and tax professionals.