- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2002

ASSOCIATED PRESS
After years of losing tax returns and being virtually buried in paperwork, D.C. officials presented yesterday what they described as a "user-friendly" tax-collection system.
"It's now easier than ever before to give your money to the district," said a smiling Mayor Anthony A. Williams.
City officials are putting their faith in $1.4 million worth of new tax-collecting technology.
Income tax features being added to the district government's eTaxpayer Service Center are designed to handle most tax transactions for anyone who paid D.C. taxes in 2001.
"D.C. is the first U.S. city to offer individual taxpayers and businesses access to full tax services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Mr. Williams.
Officials are encouraging residents who file about 289,000 individual returns to complete their taxes online.
Incentives include the promise of quick processing and the convenience of paying outstanding taxes by credit card or electronic transfer.
Local income taxes provide about $1 billion in revenue for the city. In the past, processing could take up to 90 days. Some returns were just thrown out as employees of the Office of Tax and Revenue became overwhelmed with the crush of paperwork.
The turnaround began when Mr. Williams was appointed chief financial officer of a district government mired in debt and plagued by mismanagement.
"He said he wanted to make the collection process state of the art," said current Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi, whom Mr. Williams hired to overhaul the revenue office.
The eTaxpayer Service Center received 400,000 hits in its first eleven months of operation. Officials expect that number to increase substantially with the addition of personal income-tax features.
Technological improvements are also enabling D.C. government to focus more attention on the pursuit of delinquent or fraudulent taxpayers.
Enforcement efforts brought in $82 million in revenues in 2001, an increase of $12 million over the previous year, officials said.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide