Tech Talk: Processing Taxes | VideoJerame Novak | 3/7/2013
If you are filing your state taxes through the mail, chances are, your form will end up in this room.
"We`re in the basement of the Water Commission building, it`s on the capitol grounds. And we spend about two months, two and a half months, every year processing individual income tax returns," said Tax Department IT Director Lucas Asche.
With over 400,000 tax returns expected this year, the Tax Department has some high tech tools to get returns processed.
"There`s a lot of technology and of lot of great business tools, as we like to say. Really business tools in the sense that it`s not about technology, it`s about the process that is behind the processing of a tax return," said ND Tax Commissioner Cory Fong.
Even though most forms come in electronically. They still get a lot of paper returns. Even if you send in your form the old fashioned way. It still gets processed electronically.
"We`ve got barcoding that we use. We`ve got optical character recognition for some of our forms. There`s electronic scanning so all of those returns go into the system," Fong said.
The paper returns are scanned and put into a computer system. Electronic forms get to skip past some of those steps.
"So once the taxpayer hits `e-file,` it comes to us and skips this whole process. So we really like people to send e-file in versus sending paper. It saves us a lot of time and work," Asche said.
Fong adds that electronic forms can also have a faster turn around time. "We`re turning around paper returns...probably, it`s about a week and a half to two weeks. Versus an electronic return, where right now, it`s as fast as four days."
Last year about 80 percent of returns were filed electronically.
If the system finds a form that has a problem with it. It`s sent to another department where someone takes a closer look at it.