Program Turns Tax Paperwork To Electronic Transfers

May 17, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
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GRAND RAPIDS – In a busy world where time is always of the essence and small businesses are competing at a fast, cost-efficient rate, it is only natural that the Internet would step up to bat.

The Internet has now accepted one more feat to defeat worries of time and cost — tax filing.

Greatland Corp., a provider of printed and electronic documents, software and support tax filing services, recently brought out an online tax filing system, www.filetaxes.com, for its debut.

The service, announced in August and put into service last month, gives owners small business owners the option to file W-2 and 1099 wage and information reporting forms entirely over the Internet.

The IRS has approved the site and Jane Jacobs, product manager for Filetaxes.com for Greatland Corp. said the response has been wonderful.

“People are comfortable with the Internet because they use it daily so it is easy for them to simply file online,” she said.

She also said Greatland now is launching an addition to the site which will help corporations file their Form 941 quarterly reports for the first quarter of the 2001 fiscal year.

In the past Greatland Corp. has offered many services to the business customer such as paper forms, software and magnetic media returns.

“The IRS is actually trying to get away from paper and magnetic media filing and turn to the Internet. Before there were, of course, the paper forms which every business would send to its employees and then file with the IRS. Then came software and magnetic media, which allowed businesses the opportunity to use a software program to complete its tax filing forms and then send a disk to file its taxes,” Jacobs said.

The problem, Jacobs said, with software was the fact that every year the forms changed and that meant updating the software every year, a costly process. With the Internet, a business is able to receive an updated tax form to complete, at a reasonable price.

Each form filed with Filetaxes.com costs $3.49

.

This fee includes electronic filing of tax form data to the government, sending an e-mail confirmation to the customer, allowing the business to print file copies of Forms W-2 and 1099-MISC, maintaining the customer’s database from which the customer can access its past filing information, printing and mailing four W-2 copies, 1099-R copies or one 1099 recipient copy via first class mail, and resending of corrected 941 forms.

Once completed, the site provider, Greatland Corp., electronically transmits Copy A to the IRS and also mails a paper copy of the form to the recipient.

An e-mail confirmation is sent to the filer. The site supports electronic filing of the Forms 1099-MISC, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, 1099-S, 1099-A, as well as Form W-2. Developers of the site say that it targets businesses that file less than 25 forms annually.

Filetaxes.com joins other tax and year-end reporting programs offered by Greatland, including printed and electronic government-approved tax forms for the tax accounting and financial services industries, electronic tax return filing software, laser check writing software, and services and documents for financial institutions.

Jacobs said the key advantage of web sites such as Filetaxes.com is that they dramatically reduce the amount of time and aggravation businesses must spend in physically filling out, assembling and mailing tax forms.

All that is required is typing information into the form provided on the web site, thus eliminating the need to locate the proper form. The web site also takes care of electronically transmitting Copy A information to the IRS and mailing a copy of the form to the Payee.

The filer receives an e-mail confirmation of the filing within minutes of sending the 1099s. The web site uses public key encryption to protect the information used to create the forms.

It also protects each document by sending every form on an as-is basis to the designated government office. “No one looks at the forms or touches them or even goes over them for mistakes,” Jacobs said. “We simply send them out as we receive them, that way confidentiality is promised to each customer.”

“Online filing of 1099s provides a ten-to-one or larger payback for busy business owners by allowing them to dramatically reduce the time they spend on this non-revenue generating activity,” said Bob Napieralski, chairman of Greatland Corporation in a prepared statement. “I have no doubt that the use of online filing is going to dramatically increase in coming years because of the time savings that it provides.”

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