Thursday, March 22, 2012
Contact: Robert R. Bliss
New app allows taxpayers to check refunds, file an extension and make estimated payments,
receive alerts, watch DOR videos and keep up with tax-related news
Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s new WebFile Mobile app is now available for the iPhone and Android smartphones. The new app brings some of the most heavily used features of DOR’s web-based WebFile programs to smartphones.
“DOR wants to engage and communicate with taxpayers in the easiest and most direct manner possible, and for many taxpayers, that means on their smartphones which are already a center for commerce and personal business. This new app, available at no cost, fits into our overall goal of making DOR as customer-centric and as user-friendly as possible,” Pitter said.
“The Patrick-Murray Administration is doing everything it can to leverage technology to improve the delivery of government services at lower cost to taxpayers,” said Jay Gonzalez, Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. “This new app will make it easier for taxpayers to do business with the Department of Revenue.”
Commissioner Pitter said that “No other state revenue department offers a similar app with this level of functionality. I am very proud that the development work for this app was done in-house by DOR’s Information Services Organization Web and Mobile Team. They have laid the groundwork for more customer-friendly apps for not only Apple’s iPhone, and Google Android phones, but for Microsoft’s Windows Phone as well.”
The app allows taxpayers to check on the status of refunds and take corrective action should a check or tax return be held up to review for a missing signature, missing schedules, or a wage mismatch issue; if so, taxpayers can resolve those issues within the app itself just as a taxpayer can do now using DOR’s web-based WebFile for Income.
The app also allows a taxpayer to stop payment of a refund check, to request a copy by mail, and to review the adjustments/offsets that have occurred which may have affected the refund amount. The app also allows for the filing of an extension and the warehousing of tax payments until April 17th by making estimated payments to avoid penalties and interest via direct debit. An existing WebFile account will prepopulate information for the app.
The app also features alerts for taxpayers who log in using their existing WebFile account. Any notices or reminders that DOR now sends via WebFile will be sent to the smartphone as well.
A news feature will display the Mass.gov RSS feed currently available online, while a videos feature will allow taxpayers to view all DOR Media-produced tax-related videos.
DOR’s approach has been to produce a multi-platform services backbone, best practices and IT infrastructure to continue the building of more mobile enterprise features such as the ability to review tax history, make payments, change address and update profiles and file trustee returns. DOR also wants to provide the same kind of services to tablets.
DOR was able to develop the new app because it already offers online a free web-based tax filing system called WebFile for Income which an estimated 120,000 Massachusetts taxpayers will use this year to file their state income tax.