The Department of Revenue recently took another important step in its reorganization plan by launching the Bureau of Enforcement and Taxpayer Assistance (BETA). This new bureau brings all of the department's field agents — Revenue Enforcement Collections Agents (RECAs), Cigarette Tax Field Agents, Criminal Tax Investigators and Motor and Alternative Fuel Taxes Field Agents — under one bureau.
Customer Service Improvements
One of the driving factors that led the department to establish BETA was the need for field agents to improve the way they worked with one another. Under the department's prior organizational structure, field collections were segregated by tax type. In some cases, that multiplied the number of visits taxpayers received from the department, which ran counter to the department's top goal of continually improving customer service. Under the new structure in BETA, all field agents will be working under the same organizational structure, which will improve collaboration and planning.
"The realignment of our field agents into one bureau will be a benefit for our customers when we meet with them in person," Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. "We'll be better organized and working with a streamlined approach to help our taxpayers understand their obligations and resolve issues with their accounts. Ultimately, our reorganization plan is about putting our staff in positions to deliver improved customer service."
Early Intervention: Voluntary Compliance
Another added benefit of moving to the new structure in BETA is that voluntary compliance should improve. The voluntary compliance concept is built on the premise that tax administration functions most effectively when taxpayers have the information they need to file timely tax returns and accurately report their income on their own before a compliance issue arises. Agents in BETA will work to meet with taxpayers early on in the process so that they can avoid common pitfalls.
"We know from our experience that the vast majority of taxpayers are willing to meet their tax obligations, but sometimes they have a question or need assistance," Secretary Hassell said. "We want to do everything that we can to keep our customers informed so that they can keep their accounts in good standing."
BETA will be aligned in the department's organizational structure under Radee Skipworth, Deputy Secretary for Compliance and Collections. BETA's Director is Dale Simpson, who has more than 25 years of collections and taxpayer service experience with the Department of Revenue.
Visit other posts on PA Tax Talk for prior updates on the Department of Revenue's reorganization plan: