Revenue Administration Services Reduce Processing Burden on State and Local Governments
After more than 25 years, RDS remains dedicated to providing administrative, management and back-office revenue enhancement support services to state and local government. In doing so, RDS continues to improve its proprietary and highly scalable tax administration system. This system provides local governments with the critical process management assistance required to provide professional and effective stewardship of government revenue sources. RDS presently administers 350+ Tax Administration contracts focused on the critical business processes including data entry and processing, billing services, application and claims processing, funds distribution, compliance and taxpayer support services.
For years Alabama’s cities and counties had little control over the administration of local taxes. Many of the Alabama cities/counties reported problems with timely disbursement of funds, lackluster reporting and expensive costs associated with these functions. In the mid-1990’s the Alabama Legislature passed into law a bill allowing cities and counties to outsource the administration of their local taxes to third-party providers. Prior to the passage of this law, RDS provided self-administering cities and counties software and hardware which would allow them to administer their own local taxes. Unfortunately, most local governments didn’t have the budgets or the personnel to handle this complicated function. Hence, RDS’s transition to a services business was logical and timely.
Seeing the need for a third-party tax administration provider, RDS began offering this service to the local governments in Alabama. The City of Dothan (pop: 60,000) turned to RDS in hopes of imposing better control over their tax revenues, competitive pricing, and personal customer service.
With a disciplined and trained staff, online filing and payment capabilities, a secure facility and robust, secure information systems, RDS was able to provide a procedurally complex service including:
- New Client Set-up: create forms and reports, set up secure web access, and download new and updated account information
- Taxpayer Registration: create taxpayer database from client database, web, phone, fax or mail; or through audits, data mining, or lists from other government sources
- Taxpayer Notification: provide forms and instructions by mail or online, initiate phone calls to taxpayers, or send reminders
- Form/Payment Processing: receive data and input into system, match batch forms with payments, deposit checks, scan forms, post to taxpayer account, and disburse payments
- Reconcile Returns and Initiate Compliance Efforts: reconcile filings and payments; verify accuracy of filing; apply late fees, penalties or interest; identify underpayments and refer to compliance process
- Taxpayer Services: provide prompt and effective customer service, quarterly newsletter, online forms, rates and instructions, toll-free support number and e-filing and payment options
- Detailed Reporting: detailed reporting available in hard copy and online, including detailed payment listing, daily/weekly/monthly reconciliation reports, delinquency reports
Tax administration is a complicated and specialized field. The design and function of RDS has evolved as a result of continuous, careful adjustments to meet the evolving and diverse needs of local governments. The RDS approach to tax administration has been the key to providing a growing list of local governments, a trusted, comprehensive and cost-effective tax administration solution.
“We have enjoyed our partnership with RDS. Because of staffing and budget constraints we could not cost-effectively provide this service. They afford us one less headache for our city to be concerned with,” said Angela Palmer, Finance Director. For more than 10 years RDS has brought the City of Dothan consistent tax revenue growth. Over that same period the City of Dothan experienced an average of five percent (5%) annualized collection rate increase.