Mike McGinn, Mayor
10/24/2013 11:00:00 AM
Julie Moore (206) 684-0909
Katherine Schubert-Knapp (206) 684-0909
e-Gov Systems Wins Contract to Build Multicity Online Portal
Local business license and tax portal will save businesses time and money
(Seattle) The city of Seattle, representing a group of Puget Sound cities, announced today the technology firm e-Gov Systems has been chosen to build an Internet portal that will enable businesses to easily apply for or renew a local business license, as well as file and pay local business and occupation (B&O) taxes.
e-Gov Systems (www.egovsystems.com) was selected through a competitive process. The company works with cities and other government jurisdictions across the country to build and run a variety of online government services, including business taxes, sales taxes and licensing applications. The contract with e-Gov Systems will be administered by the city of Seattle.
The online portal is being developed by five Puget Sound cities (Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Everett and Bellingham) to help businesses save time and money by creating a one-stop place to get a local business license and pay local B&O taxes for any of the participating cities. Collectively, these cities represent about 90 percent of all local B&O taxes paid by businesses in Washington State. The portal is expected to launch in the summer of 2014.
"With the selection of e-Gov, we're in the final phase of this project to build a multicity tax filing portal that we know the business community is eager to use," said Seattle Finance Director Glen Lee. "This portal will create a more efficient way for businesses in our region to take care of the nuts of bolts of their relationships with the cities."
Local governments around the country are beginning to move much of their business tax functions online, said e-Gov Systems President Rick Mekdessie.
"Most businesses want to do as much online as they can because it is quicker, simpler and less costly," Mekdessie said. "These Washington cities should be commended because they are at the vanguard of the movement online. We are honored and excited to have been chosen to take this project across the finish line."
The online multicity business license and tax portal will provide a broad range of business license and tax payment services including:
- A central spot online to register a business, get a business license and report income related to work done in any participating city.
- The ability to pay local B&O taxes in one easy step. Businesses will be able to create an online account and enter their sales information for all participating cities in one convenient place. The software will then calculate the tax due for each city. The customer can then use a credit card or bank transfer to make one payment. The system will then automatically distribute money owed to each city.
- Data sharing among the cities and the Washington State Department of Revenue to eliminate the need for businesses to enter the basic information more than once or use multiple identification numbers.
- The flexibility for local tax incentives and tax rates to be automatically updated and calculated on the portal, saving businesses time and money.
- Access to city-specific information through the portal website. If a customer wants to talk to a person directly, city representatives will be available by phone.
- Customer access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.
The new portal will benefit thousands of Puget Sound companies.
More than 200,000 businesses are registered and pay local B&O taxes in the five partner cities. Of those, 14 percent do business in more than one of the cities and hundreds are licensed in all five.
For more information about the online multicity business license and tax portal, visit www.multicitybusinessportal.org.
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