By Peter N. Calcara, vice president - government relations
The PICPA State Taxation Committee met recently with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR) to get a demonstration of its new e-TIDES feature that will soon be available to all practitioners. The feature, which was developed in response to the PICPA and tax practitioners asking for new options to review a business’s or client’s Statement of Account (SOA), allows a detailed SOA to be requested via the Document Center.
Until now, tax practitioners could only request a hardcopy of the statement, which was printed and mailed at DOR’s expense. By the time it arrived the statement could be outdated. With the electronic Statement of Account, or e-SOA, once you are granted access from the account’s enterprise administrator, you can request a statement and a PDF will be available the next business day.
The electronic delivery of account statements will be made through Pennsylvania’s e-TIDES system. The hierarchy of access into e-TIDES is as follows:
- Enterprise Administrator (also referred to as Business Partner or “BP”)
- Tax Practitioner
The BP is usually with the taxpayer and the first one to set up the taxpayer into e-TIDES. The filer can be part of the taxpayer’s entity or service provider – whoever is responsible for filing the reports. With regard to tax practitioners, a single entity can have multiple people signed up as a Tax Practitioner. A practitioner will first have to register for e-TIDES (if not already done). Details are provided in the instructions from the DOR.
Once registered for e-TIDES, the practitioner can request access to various clients’ tax accounts. After a request is made, it goes to the BP for acceptance or denial. Notifications will all be on the e-TIDES message center, and no e-mails will be sent to the parties. Therefore, the practitioner should give the BP notification to check the e-TIDES message center. Avoiding e-mail was done on purpose by DOR. The thought is that a BP no longer with the taxpayer, or bad contact information, would create a lost e-mail. Also, this moment could be an opportunity for the entity to update the BP contact information.
A tip to make life simpler, have the practitioner sign up for all of the taxpayer’s accounts (even if the taxpayer is not subject to a specific tax, such as miscellaneous tax) to be able to simply request a statement of account that include all taxes. If you do not get accepted for access to all accounts, you will have to request each tax type separately.
Once a practitioner is signed up, he or she can request an e-SOA within e-TIDES. The request will be processed at the end of the work day and will be available the following day. Once the statement is made available, it will stay on the e-TIDES site indefinitely for future reference by the practitioner and the DOR. The SOA will initially include the three most recent filing periods.
Here’s a link to training material.
The DOR would like to emphasize that the project will continue to evolve. While all the issues raised by the PICPA group may not be immediately addressed, they are not being ignored. It may take some time to work through all of these concerns. The department expects to roll the system out to the larger community sometime in August.
Members with questions should contact the PICPA government relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.