John Bullis: Electronic filing should not be mandatory
January 26, 2019
I realize electronic filing gives the governments efficiency and cost savings. They don't have to have employees input the details of a paper filed return.
However, I recently learned of a Nevada Employment Security Department mandatory electronic filing requirement for quarterly payroll reports. Someone else in the firm does the payroll and sales tax reports, but I heard of their problems and frustration in helping clients getting the quarterly reports filed timely.
If you didn't save the "password" and answers to the "security questions" you did before, you might have to call the department for help. They're receiving many phone calls, but they'll help you "reset" the password and give you assistance in getting the return filed timely (by the end of January).
There seems to be a "waiver" from electronic filing with them. However, the "E-FILE WAIVER REQUEST FORM should be filed … at least 30 days before the … report is originally due."
The waiver might be granted if it can be established there's a lack of automation, a severe economic hardship or other good cause. You're to provide the specific reason(s) why you're unable to comply with the regulation and attach any supporting documentation.
The department will review the request for waiver from electronic filing and will either approve or deny the request with an explanation for denial, if applicable.
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It seems the electronic filing requirement is established by department regulation, not Nevada Revised Statutes. That's not the problem.
The problem is employers might not be aware of the waiver procedure and a lot of lost time and frustration could be the result for employers who want to comply with the regulation or file the quarterly report timely.
Part of the solution is for the need to keep a record of all passwords and answers to security questions. If you don't have a special file of all passwords and answers to security questions, you probably should set up that file as soon as possible.
Someone told me, "Change is constant. Learn to live with it." Computers and electronic filing are part of our lives now. We "old-timers" at least can remember when paper filing wasn't that hard.
Did you hear, "For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three" — Alice Kahn.
John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser who has served Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs.