Online Tax Filing Offers Convenience

October 15, 2020 by Meredith Trimble

Online Tax Filing Offers Convenience

Like other resort communities across America, Maui County in Hawaii must cater to full-time as well as part-time residents and property owners. The county’s Real Property Assessment Division (RPAD) sought to best serve this diverse constituency by allowing the public to complete property tax forms, pay fees, and submit valuation appeals online.

Not only would this empower residents to conduct business with the county and comply with tax deadlines regardless of their location, but it also held the promise of saving significant time for county staff.

Smart Filing

To get to electronic forms, staff examined manual forms for address changes, homeowner exemptions, appeals, and condominium declarations to ensure all correct fields were in place. Project leaders also worked with the county’s credit card processor to allow taxpayers to file an appeal and pay for it at once online. What’s more, an email component allows county reviewers to communicate with online users when, for example, information is incomplete.

With fewer walk-ins and reduced phone calls, RPAD staff enjoy a significant time savings. In 2019, for example, 720 forms were published electronically, saving the staff an estimated 72 hours of work as well as multiple reams of paper. Cashiers saved additional time with electronic appeals that eliminated over-the-counter payments for 61 of the 720 forms.

The electronic filing system further provides staff the ability to track applications through the review process to publishing, enhancing management’s ability to assign and supervise staff along the way. The entire division has benefited from reduced data entry, improved data quality, and reduced errors and omissions.

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