Online filing of biz taxes now possible

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Posted on Nov 25 2020
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It is now possible for CNMI businesses to file their taxes online via localgov.com.

The Division of Revenue & Taxation at the CNMI Department of Finance has partnered with localgov to provide this online tax filing and payment system. It serves as a tool for the CNMI to collect taxes efficiently while providing a much needed service, said division director Tracy Norita. “DRT moved quickly to provide this service as a response to provide taxpayers with a safer option to file and pay taxes and to reduce in-person contact during this pandemic.  Taxpayers who’ve used this service are really excited and happy about the convenience it provides,” she said.

Localgov is the  third-party administrator for the Commonwealth’s electronic filing and payment of locally authorized or administered taxes and fees.

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the CNMI Department of Finance, had a Zoom webinar yesterday that essentially taught participants how to avail of this service. The webinar, “How to file CNMI taxes online,” also featured representatives from “localgov,” which has been tapped to provide the collection and accountability software not only in the CNMI but also in the U.S. mainland and other U.S. territories.

According to localgov’s Anne Coleman, businesses that want to access this service must first create an account in the localgov website. “Fill out all the information that is required and, for your second security question, it is customized, which means you would want to make your own. …After you create your account, an email will be sent from localgov confirming your account,” she said. “After creating a contract and receiving a confirmation email, you will be led to the sign-in page, [where you will input your] username and password, which will take you to the main navigation page. Users will see three tabs: first tab is the managed business, in the middle is the tax forms where you will file your taxes for the municipality (in the CNMI, either Saipan, Tinian, and Rota) and a tab called ‘tax filing,’ where you can see all of the previous tax filings and payments done on this site.”

If one do not have access to a computer or the internet is down, the CNMI will have kiosks installed in different offices that are available to use. You may also access localgov from one’s smartphones or tablets.

“For many years, businesses have asked for more efficient and accessible ways to file their taxes. The online platform provided by the CNMI Department of Finance through localgov creates a convenient solution for taxpayers that could help alleviate many of the issues businesses incur with staff time and transportation as compared to filing in person,” said SCC president Velma Palacios. “With more businesses filing online, it may help with recordkeeping, less staff time expended and easier processing, compared to filing in person. This is the convenience that businesses have been asking for, which the platform provides.”

Norita said her office will continuously work to improve the platform “so we welcome the questions, feedbacks and tips to make the experience better.”

SCC applauds the CNMI Finance Department for moving in this direction of using technology to assist taxpayers. “If our members want to know more about specific resources, we try to make opportunities happen,” she said.
If you have questions and inquiries about localgov and filing taxes online, send an email to localgov representative and CNMI project coordinator Patrick D’Helf at pdhelf@localgov.org.

Bea Cabrera
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.
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