Nevada on track for Unified Tax System

Nevada Department of Taxation

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Several months after launching the first phase of Nevada’s tax system modernization initiative, the project’s contractor said thousands of businesses have registered to use the system’s online capabilities.

Ann Rettie, managing director of Accenture’s Global Revenue and Customs practice, which is implementing the state’s Unified Tax System, said the company had not even marketed the system when 4,000 businesses signed up for online filing and payments. The state’s taxation department has increased productivity by 100 percent as a result, she added.

Two years ago, the state enacted two new business taxes, but its antiquated systems didn’t have the capability or flexibility to accommodate them. Accenture began to revamp the tax systems in 2004 to not only accommodate new taxes but also improve the collection, management and audit of business taxes.

Overall, the new $28 million system will incorporate 15 taxes. Accenture’s contract lasts through July 2008, but the last year of the contract covers maintenance.

In the project’s first phase, the company implemented core tax processes related to managing taxpayer accounts via the Internet. The second phase will include incorporating sales and use tax, which is the bulk of taxes the state collects, into the new system, Rettie said. The third phase will incorporate excise, cigarette and other taxes. The state does not collect personal or corporate income taxes.

The new system will enable Nevada tax officials to identify people who are underreporting or not filing their taxes, she said. It will also allow more audit reporting and case management.

Rettie said Nevada, like many other states, is experiencing retirements among its information technology workforce and therefore losing valuable skills. More than two-dozen state employees are working with Accenture’s employees to learn how to operate and maintain the system, she said.

The company is also working on similar modernization projects for Connecticut; Washington, D.C.; Arizona; and Indiana.

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