WASHINGTON, DC - As the 1999 tax season begins, the DC Office of Tax and Revenue is striving to make the filing process as painless as possible for the city's taxpayers--offering a one-stop customer service operation in its new location as of March 1, introducing a problem resolution office and a taxpayer appeals process, and expanding the electronic filing program.
"Our number one priority at the Office of Tax and Revenue is to provide taxpayers with the information and services they need to meet their tax obligations," says Dr. Natwar Gandhi, deputy chief financial officer for Tax and Revenue. "One of our highlights this year is a new location with a one-stop customer service center where taxpayers can get all tax-related information from one place instead of having to contact different sources for information about various taxes."
What's New in 1999
Effective March 1, the Office of Tax and Revenue will be located at 941 North Capitol Street, NE, including its executive office, Compliance Administration, Chief Council, the Real Property Tax Administration, Revenue Accounting Administration, and the Tax and Economic Policy Administration. The new location will also have a customer service center devoted to helping taxpayers resolve all tax-related issues. The Recorder of Deeds, however, will remain at 515 D Street NW.
Problem Resolution Office:
The newly created problem resolution office is designed to aid taxpayers who have been unable to get their problems satisfactorily resolved within a reasonable amount of time.
Independent from all compliance functions, the problem resolution officer serves as an advocate for taxpayers within the office of Tax and Revenue by representing their interests and concerns. Examples of cases that the problem resolution officer would consider include: the taxpayer has not received a response or action by the date promised or at least 45 days has passed since the initial inquiry and the taxpayer has not received an acknowledgement or final response. For further information about this program, taxpayers may contact Minnetta Coles, problem resolution officer, at (202) 442-6348.
Office of Tax Appeals:
The mission of the newly established Office of Tax Appeals is to provide District taxpayers an opportunity to resolve disputes with audit or collection determinations without litigation through an independent appeals process. Taxpayers who do not agree with an audit or collection determination must submit a written proteStreet A hearing will then be arranged to discuss the disputed issues. Within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing, the Office of Tax Appeals will issue a decision either ordering the audit or collection division to grant the relief the taxpayer was seeking or affirming the examination or collection action. For more information on the appeals process, taxpayers can contact Ed Blick, acting director of the Office of Tax Appeals, at (202) 442-6514.
Expanded Electronic Filing:
After a successful pilot program in 1997, the District of Columbia is offering a full Federal/State Electronic Filing (E-File) program for individual income tax returns. There are two ways in which taxpayers can file electronically--through a tax practitioner or through a commercial online filing company called TurboTax, which allows taxpayers to transmit their DC and federal returns electronically from their home PC for a fee. Taxpayers can contact TurboTax at www.turbotax.com.
Tips on Electronic Filing:
- The term "Federal/State" means that the DC return must be transmitted with the federal return to the IRS.
- Direct deposit: DC E-File will offer a direct deposit option for taxpayers receiving refunds. The refund will be electronically deposited into the taxpayer's account within two weeks of return receipt. Direct deposit will not be available for paper returns.
- Balance due: DC E-file will offer payment for balance due returns via the D-40 VE payment voucher. If the taxpayer chooses this option, he/she may electronically file the return at any time during the tax season, then mail the voucher and payment in by April 15.
- Paperless process: If you are a tax practitioner who has been accepted into the electronic filing program by the IRS, you no longer need to mail in a copy of your IRS approval to the Office of Tax and Revenue. Additionally, the Office of Tax and Revenue has eliminated the requirement for tax practitioners to mail in DC-8453, the signature document. Practitioners, however, must retain the DC-8453 for a period of three years.
- Contacting the Office of Tax and Revenue: We invite all eligible practitioners to participate this year. Interested practitioners may obtain E-File forms and publications via the Internet at www.dccfo.com. Practitioners who do not have Internet access or need additional information may contact Sonja Peterson, electronic filing program coordinator, at (202) 727-6120.
- The DC E-File pilot program had an error rate of less than one percent last year. The Office of Tax and Revenue is committed to maintaining this level of efficiency as our program expands.