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State signs $77M contract to upgrade tax administration technology

September 5, 2018

The Indiana Department of Revenue will pay a Colorado-based company $77.7 million for the next 10 years to overhaul its tax administration system and modernize how residents file and pay their taxes.

The Department of Revenue announced the partnership with Fast Enterprises LLC on Wednesday morning, but the contract went into effect Aug. 20.

In addition to providing the state with a new technological infrastructure for tax administration, taxpayers will have a new, state-of-the-art system for filing tax returns, making payments and managing their business and individual tax accounts, according to a media release from the department.

According to the contract, the department will pay the company through 10 annual payments starting in 2019 and ending in 2028. The largest payment—$20.25 million—is due in 2019. A portion of the cost—$17.53 million—is specifically for ongoing maintenance and support.

The existing system has been in use for more than 25 years. In 2017, the Indiana General Assembly approved spending $33 million in 2018 and 2019 to update the department’s technology. A department spokesperson did not immediately respond to IBJ's request for information on covering the remaining cost of the Fast Enterprises contract.

The Department of Revenue will be using Fast Enterprises’ GenTax Integrated Tax System. It will replace DOR's Revenue Processing System.

“Our current system has limited DOR’s ability to provide best-in-class service to our customers and business partners,” DOR Commissioner Adam Krupp said in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, our system simply does not allow room for much-needed improvements to increase efficiency or promote transparency, nor does it effectively support the sheer volume or complexity of transactions we handle for our customers each year.”

The upgrades will also give taxpayers access to a self-service portal that will handle requests such as electronically filing and amending withholding and retail sales tax, scheduling payments online, submitting refund claims, submitting power of attorney requests and reviewing and requesting transcripts.

The new system will launch in four phases over the next four years.

Fast Enterprises, which was founded in 1997, started working with U.S. states on their tax systems in 2000 when Idaho became the first state client, according to the company’s website. The software and consulting services firm now works with more than 40 tax and revenue agencies in more than 26 U.S. states, seven local governments, three Canadian provinces and seven national governments.

In addition to offering tax software, the company also works with governments on unemployment insurance software and driver and vehicle services software.

According to a press release from the Department of Revenue, Fast Enterprises will move “a team of specialists” to Indianapolis, but it did not specify how many employees would be relocating here. The contract lists six employees who would be assigned to the project.

“They will work in partnership with agency staff using our unique implementation approach to give the citizens and businesses of Indiana a modern tax administration system,” Martin Rankin, managing partner at Fast Enterprises, said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to have been selected for this important project.”

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