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E-Government News

State portal opens at ca.gov
Have you checked out the new California portal, at ca.gov? We were involved in its development and we've already seen brisk traffic between the website and us - - 23,888 as of February 15, 2001. This attractive, user-friendly site brings the one-stop-shopping concept to government! From this single location, visitors can buy a fishing license, check on the status of an income tax refund, find out about e-file, make an appointment with the Department of Motor Vehicles, check code violations at a nursing home, look up a state phone number and more.

e-Biz center
One of the portal features in development is the eBusiness Center. The concept is to provide access to a wide range of business oriented state information and services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from one location. To make sure that the site is developed as an effective, useful tool for business, we need to hear from you. You can provide input by completing a predevelopment survey located at www.ebizcenter.ca.gov/.

How will filing change by 2010?
In 1995 we published our first look into the future of state income tax filing, Filing 2010, The Future of State Income Tax Filing. Since that time we have seen more technological change and greater public acceptance than we could have anticipated from our 1995 vantage point. These changes are so significant that we felt compelled to revisit our 1995 assumptions. The result is the 2nd Edition of Filing 2010, The Future of State Income Tax Filing. You can get your copy from our website at www.ftb.ca.gov. We welcome your comments and input.

Email Linda Bunker at: linda_bunker@ftb.ca.gov

Pub 1345 available on the Web
Publication 1345, 2000 e-file Handbook for Authorized e-file Providers of California Individual Income Tax Returns, is now available on our Website at /forms/index.shtml

Customer Service Number (CSN)
As planned, our CSN authentication program is up and running for online e-file and TeleFile…165,509 inquiries as of February 16, 2001. And taxpayers seem to approve. The CSN postcard we mailed in December to 400,000 taxpayers who e-filed online last year included an optional three-question survey designed to gather taxpayer reaction to the CSN concept. To our surprise, within days of the mailing, several thousand people expressed their opinions by filling out the survey, putting a stamp on the postcard and mailing it back. In fact, cards are still arriving. Here are the unscientific, but interesting, results:

• Ninety-eight percent said they appreciated the added security to the e-file program.

• Forty-two percent said in future
  years they would like to choose
  their own CSN

• Ninety-one percent said they
  would like to use my CSN to do
  all of their electronic 
  transactions with us.

Key telephone numbers
The phone number for getting an CSN is (800) 338-0505
e-file Help Desk is (916) 845-0353

e-File numbers are going up!
e-file numbers are up even though filing for all personal income tax returns is down by about 13 percent, year-to-date. In fact, 58% of all personal income tax returns filed so far were e-filed.

4th Annual e-file Software Workshops and Exhibits
These joint events we conduct with the Internal Revenue Service generate more and more interest each year among tax professionals who are serious about joining the e-file program and want to find out more about e-file software. In fact, we had so much demand for the Burbank location last summer that we had to book a second session to accommodate everyone.

If you haven't participated in prior years, now is the time to get on board for 2001! We plan to offer eight one-day sessions in seven California locations during June. The typical schedule for the day is 9am - 4pm. The first half of the day is filled with information about the IRS and FTB e-file programs - news, changes, requirements, etc. The second half of the day is all yours and features a panel of software industry experts. This is where you get a chance to describe your product directly to tax professionals.

Here's the proposed schedule. Check back at our website at www.ftb.ca.gov for information about where the events will be held.

June 13 Burbank
June 16 Escondido
June 21 San Jose
June 14 Burbank
June 20 San Francisco
June 22 Oxnard
June 15 Riverside
June 19 Sacramento

March/April 2001

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