Georgia Department of Revenue - DOC

					             Georgia Tax Center
         Frequently Asked Questions

Georgia Department of Revenue
 GTC Frequently Asked Questions




         GTC Website Link




               Update 5/7/09
                                                          Georgia Tax Center
                                                      Frequently Asked Questions


GTC - Glossary ................................................................................................................. 4
   ACH (AUTOMATED CLEARING HOUSE) ..................................................................................................... 4
   ACH DEBIT ............................................................................................................................................... 4
   BANK ROUTING NUMBER ......................................................................................................................... 4
   EFT (ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER) .................................................................................................... 4
   EXCEL TEMPLATE .................................................................................................................................... 4
   GTC .......................................................................................................................................................... 4
   LISTSERVE ................................................................................................................................................ 4
   LISTSERVE BY DOR ................................................................................................................................. 4
   LOCKOUT .................................................................................................................................................. 5
   MASTER FILER .......................................................................................................................................... 5
   PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO PAY ON TIME ............................................................................................... 5
   SALES TAX................................................................................................................................................. 5
   STANDARD FILER ...................................................................................................................................... 5
   STATE TAX ID NUMBER (STI) .................................................................................................................. 5
   TAX RATE DATE ....................................................................................................................................... 5
   TAX-SPECIFIC ID NUMBER ....................................................................................................................... 5
   THIRD-PARTY FILER ................................................................................................................................ 5
   UPLOAD PROCESS...................................................................................................................................... 5
   UPLOAD CONFIRMATION EMAILS ............................................................................................................ 6
   USER ID ..................................................................................................................................................... 6
   USE TAX .................................................................................................................................................... 6
   VENDOR COMPENSATION ......................................................................................................................... 6
   WEB PASSWORD........................................................................................................................................ 6
   XML FILE SPECS ....................................................................................................................................... 6
GTC – FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) .................................................................. 6
   WHAT IS GTC? ......................................................................................................................................... 6
   WHEN WILL GTC BECOME AVAILABLE FOR USE? .................................................................................. 7
   CAN YOU SUMMARIZE THE CHANGES TO THE SALES AND USE TAX FORMS? ......................................... 7
   WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING GTC FOR SALES TAX, OVER THE PREVIOUS E-FILE & E-PAY
   SYSTEM? .................................................................................................................................................... 7
   WILL I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO RECEIVE TRAINING ON THE NEW GTC SYSTEM? ........................... 7
   WHEN WILL OTHER TAX SYSTEMS BE AVAILABLE ON GTC? .................................................................. 8
   WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS?.............................................................................. 8
   PLEASE EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE FILING OPTIONS OF ONLINE ENTRY AND FILE
   UPLOADS? .................................................................................................................................................. 8
   IS THERE A MAXIMUM SIZE FOR UPLOAD FILES? ..................................................................................... 8
   WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ‘EXCEL TEMPLATE’ AND AN ‘XML FILE’? ............................ 8
   WHERE CAN I GET THE EXCEL TEMPLATE? ............................................................................................ 8
   WHERE CAN I GET THE XML FILE SPECS? .............................................................................................. 9
   HOW DO I REGISTER TO USE THE NEW GTC SYSTEM? ............................................................................ 9
       If you already have a user ID on the e-File & e-Pay website ................................ 9
       If you do not have a e-File & e-Pay user ID ........................................................... 9
   HOW DO I GET MY PASSWORD RE-SET IF I HAVE PROBLEMS? ................................................................. 9
   IS THERE A SET OF ACCESS RULES FOR USERS, TO ALLOW DIFFERENT LEVELS OF DATA
   AVAILABILITY? ......................................................................................................................................... 9
   WHAT ARE THE RULES IN CREATING A GTC PASSWORD? .....................................................................10
   ARE THERE ANY SECRET QUESTIONS I CAN USE IF I HAVE FORGOTTEN MY PASSWORD? .....................10
   WHO WILL BE THE PERSON WHO CAN CREATE OR DELETE USER IDS FOR OUR BUSINESS? ..................10
   IS THE WEBSITE SECURE? .......................................................................................................................11
   AM I REQUIRED TO FILE BUSINESS TAX RETURNS ELECTRONICALLY? ..................................................11
   CAN I FILE RETURNS AND MAKE PAYMENTS FOR A PREVIOUS TAX PERIOD? .........................................11
   IF THE DUE DATE FOR FILING A RETURN FALLS ON A WEEKEND OR HOLIDAY, WHEN IS THE RETURN
   DUE? .........................................................................................................................................................11



                                                                   Update 5/7/09
                                                    Georgia Tax Center
                                                Frequently Asked Questions
IF THE DUE DATE FOR MAKING A PAYMENT FALLS ON A WEEKEND OR HOLIDAY, WHEN IS THE
PAYMENT DUE?.........................................................................................................................................11
CAN I MAKE MULTIPLE PAYMENTS ON ONE RETURN? ............................................................................11
IF I FILE MULTIPLE RETURNS, CAN I MAKE A SINGLE PAYMENT? ..........................................................11
HOW FAR INTO THE FUTURE CAN I SET UP A PAYMENT? ........................................................................11
CAN I CANCEL AN EPAYMENT? ...............................................................................................................11
CAN I CANCEL A CREDIT CARD PAYMENT? .............................................................................................12
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS IN MAKING ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS? .............................................................12
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR MY RETURN TO UPDATE TO MY ACCOUNT? ..........................................12
WHAT IF I WANT TO CANCEL THE RETURN AFTER SUBMISSION? ...........................................................12
ONE OF THE WEB PAGES IS NOT WORKING. WHO SHOULD I CONTACT? ...............................................12
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE SYSTEM DOES NOT ACCEPT MY PAYMENT OR RETURN? ............................12




                                                             Update 5/7/09
                                   Georgia Tax Center
                               Frequently Asked Questions

GTC - Glossary

ACH (Automated Clearing House)
A central payment facility operated by the Federal Reserve Bank or an organization
established by agreement with the National Automated Clearing House Association
(NACHA) that operates as such for transmitting or receiving electronic funds transfers
between banks or bank accounts.

ACH Debit
A transaction in which the Department or its designated agent originates an ACH
transaction debiting a taxpayer’s bank account and crediting the Department’s bank
account for the amount of the payment due.

Bank Routing Number
A 9-digit number that identifies your bank. This number is usually the first set of
numbers on the bottom of your check.

EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer)
The method of making financial payments from one party to another through a series of
instructions and messages communicated electronically, via computer, among financial
institutions. You must complete the transaction before 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time one or
more business days before the tax is due. The transaction will be processed on the
payment date you select when setting up your payment. You can warehouse the payment
up to the due of the return.

Excel Template
An Excel Workbook created and maintained by Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR)
for creating an XML upload file. Georgia Department of Revenue will be publishing a
new Excel Worksheet for each quarter. If you are using the Excel Workbook to create
your XML upload file, please be sure you are using the correct version of the Excel
Workbook.

GTC
Georgia Tax Center, the name of the new on-line Georgia Integrated Tax System. GTC
will replace the current e-File & e-Pay system for both Sales Tax return and payment
submission in May, 2009. GTC will allow for easier filing through online entry, single
file uploads, and bulk file uploads.

ListServe
An internet tool used to communicate information to large groups.

ListServe by DOR
The ListServe will provide an efficient way to keep Sales Tax taxpayers up-to-date on
relevant issues from the Ga. Dept. of Revenue concerning e-Filing your business taxes.




                                      Update 5/7/09
                                    Georgia Tax Center
                                Frequently Asked Questions
Lockout
An event that occurs after the predetermined number of login attempts has been
exceeded. When business users get locked out, they can change and reset their password
by using the “Forgot your Password?” link.

Master Filer
A company registered to collect sales tax with four or more locations. A unique number
is assigned for the company to file all locations under one number and on one return.
Each location must have a unique Certificate of Registration number.

Penalty For Failure to Pay on Time
For withholding a penalty of $25.00 plus 5% of the tax due on the return assessed for late
payment. Penalty accrues monthly, or a fraction thereof, not to exceed $25.00 plus 25%
of the tax due. Sales and use tax returns are assessed a $5.00 or 5% penalty on each tax
type that may be due; whichever is greater, for each month or portion thereof up to a
maximum of 5 months.

Sales Tax
State and local tax assessed on retail sale transactions in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 48-
8-30.

Standard filer
A company registered to collect sales tax with three or fewer locations. Each location
must have a unique Certificate of Registration number.

State Tax ID Number (STI)
A unique number assigned to a business which encompasses all of the Tax-specific ID
numbers associated with that business. The STI is a number assigned to each business for
use with the Georgia Department of Revenue’s GTC system.

Tax Rate Date
The Tax Rate Date is only used when there is a tax rate change in a county during a
reporting period.

Tax-specific ID Number
A unique number issued by the Georgia Department of Revenue that allows businesses to
file and pay taxes for a particular tax type. (i.e. a Sales Tax or Withholding Tax number.)

Third-Party Filer
A service provider that files returns and/or pays taxes for clients.

Upload process
On GTC an XML formatted file is used to upload files. XML files are created either by a
software product, your IT Department or you can use the GTC Sales & Use Excel
Worksheet provided by the Georgia Department of Revenue.




                                       Update 5/7/09
                                   Georgia Tax Center
                               Frequently Asked Questions
Upload Confirmation Emails
An email will be sent to the email address on file with a confirmation number and
whether your return(s) processed successfully. If there were errors, these will be listed
along with what return they occurred on.

User ID
Must contain at least six characters.

Use Tax
The consumption, distribution, and storage of tangible personal property used in Georgia.
This tax does not duplicate sales tax. Its purpose is to complement Georgia sales tax and
ensure that payment is made to the State by the purchaser for purchases where Georgia
sales tax was not collected or paid to Georgia.

Vendor Compensation
Consideration that allows businesses that files and remits payment timely to retain a
percentage of sales and/or use tax. The rate of vendor compensation is 3% of the first
$3,000 or less plus 0.5% of tax collections over $3,000. Sales and use tax on motor fuel
sales and use are eligible for vendors' compensation at a 3% rate.

Web Password
Web passwords must contain eight (8) to sixteen (16) characters that include at one letter,
one number, and one special character. The acceptable special characters are / | + _ - * &
^%$#@!~

XML file specs
Software vendors or any business, whose IT department will be creating their upload file,
will need the XML file specs. Software vendors will need to register with Georgia
Department of Revenue for vendor approval. Software vendors can down load the vendor
registration form at www.gataxinfo.org. If your IT department will be creating the XML
file, please contact Georgia Department of Revenue at efile@dor.ga.gov for the XML file
specs and for any assistance you may require.


              GTC – FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is GTC?
GTC is an acronym which stands for Georgia Tax Center. It is the name given to the new
on-line Georgia Integrated Tax System. GTC will replace the current e-File & e-Pay
system for Sales Tax return and payment submission in May, 2009. GTC will allow for
easier filing through online entry, single file uploads, and bulk file uploads.

GTC will replace the Sales Tax process you have previously used on the
Ga. e-File & e-Pay System (gaefile.dor.ga.gov) e-File & e-Pay will continue to provide
electronic services for Withholding, and other business taxes.




                                        Update 5/7/09
                                   Georgia Tax Center
                               Frequently Asked Questions


When will GTC become available for use?
The Georgia Tax Center (GTC) will become available on May 26, 2009.

At that point in time, you will no longer be able to file your Sales & Use Tax returns or
return payments on the e-File & e-Pay system (gaefile.dor.ga.gov).

If you have questions or problems with the website, please contact the Ga. DOR at 404-
417-4488, 1-888-604-9875 or send an email to efile@dor.ga.gov

Can you summarize the changes to the Sales and Use Tax forms?
  The major changes you will notice about the new process are:
   The need to calculate county tax by tax type (Marta, Local, Education,
      Homestead, Special) is removed
   New Use tax worksheet
   New vendors comp worksheet
   New excess tax calculation
   You will no longer need a separate form to amend your returns
   Updated Motor Fuel form (only for Motor fuel Distributors).

What are the benefits of using GTC for Sales Tax, over the previous e-File & e-Pay
system?
The major changes you will notice are:
     Online entry will no longer require county sales to be broken out by tax type
      (STMA, STLO, and STSP)
     You will be able to report taxable sales at county rates (1%, 2% or 3%)
     All upload files are in an XML format
     Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) will be posting a list of approved vendors
     You may download an Excel Template that will create the XML upload file for
      free
     You will have a new Vendor’s Comp worksheet
     There will be a new Use tax worksheet
     The Motor Fuel form has been updated.
     You are no longer required to file the return at the time you setup your payment,
     Your banking information can be stored as a Payment Source attached to the user
      ID. The payment source can be setup to be useable for all accounts under your
      user ID or for only one account. You may also choose not to store your banking
      information, to make a payment.

Will I have an opportunity to receive training on the new GTC system?
Yes, the Dept. of Revenue will be providing you with additional information on training,
file specifications for the upload process and how to access the new system.

A training video for GTC is located at: www.gataxinfo.org




                                      Update 5/7/09
                                 Georgia Tax Center
                             Frequently Asked Questions


When will other tax systems be available on GTC?
The new GTC system will be implemented in three phases.
    Sales and Use Tax                      2nd Quarter 2009
    Withholding Tax                        4th Quarter 2009
    Corporate Tax (not for filing returns) 4th Quarter 2010

What are the minimum system requirements?
   Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher (7.0+ recommended)
   Mozilla version 1.0 or higher
   FireFox version 1.5 or higher
   Netscape version 8 or higher
   Safari version 2.0 or higher
   Google Chrome

Please explain the differences between the filing options of online entry and file
uploads?
    Online entry occurs when you enter your return manually into the GTC website.
    File upload occurs when you upload an XML file with your return data via the
       GTC website.

The XML upload file can be created by:
    One of the Georgia DOR approved software products. You can find a list of
      certified vendors and their upload creation software products, at
      www.gataxinfo.org
    Your IT department. We recommend that your IT department contact the Georgia
      Department of Revenue at efile@dor.ga.gov for assistance in testing your XML
      upload file prior to production submission
    The GTC Sales & Use Excel Workbook. You can download the Excel workbook
      at no charge at www.gataxinfo.org

Is there a maximum size for upload files?
The GTC upload process with accept files up to 50 megabytes in size

What is the difference between an ‘Excel template’ and an ‘XML file’?
The Excel template is an Excel workbook provided at no cost by the Georgia Department
of Revenue to create taxpayer XML Sales & Use upload GTC files

The XML file is the upload file that will be submitted to Georgia Department of Revenue
via GTC. It can be created by approved vendors, your IT department, or the Excel
Template supplied by Georgia Department of Revenue

Where can I get the Excel Template?
Your can download the Excel Template at www.gataxinfo.org




                                    Update 5/7/09
                                   Georgia Tax Center
                               Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I get the XML file specs?
Georgia Department of Revenue requires software vendors and service providers that
create the XML upload files be registered and certified.
If your IT department will be creating the XML file, it is recommended that you contact
Georgia Department of Revenue for assistance in testing your file
You can download the vendor registration form at www.gataxinfo.org
Once certified, the vendor name, software product and services will be listed on the
Georgia Department of Revenue approved vendors web page at www.gataxinfo.org

How do I register to use the new GTC system?
     If you already have a user ID on the e-File & e-Pay website
      Enter you STI number and e-File user ID number in the GTC user ID field, for
          example 2002222222200001 (STI=11 digits, ID=5 digits – no space between
          them),
      Enter you e-File password in the GTC password field ,
      You will be walked through the process of converting your e-File user ID to a
          GTC user ID.

       If you do not have a e-File & e-Pay user ID
        You’ll need:
        Your Tax-specific (Sales Tax) Number,
        Your STI (Georgia Tax Number), (you can look up your STI, with your Tax-
           specific number, on GTC (Georgia Tax Center))
        The effective date of the account (for Sales & Use accounts this date will be
           on your sales tax certificate)
        The amount of the last payment that has been processed by DOR.

    Click the “sign up for web access” link to start the process of creating your GTC user
    ID

How do I get my password re-set if I have problems?
  1. On GTC, users can click the “Forgot your Password?” link to submit a request to
     change and reset their password, You will need to answer the security question
     and enter a new password,
  2. GTC will then send an e-mail to the e-mail address on file for the user ID with an
     authorization code within 5 minutes.
          *Please note that the time it takes to receive the e-mail may vary by e-mail
          client and may be placed in the Junk mail folder. To ensure the latter does not
          happen, please add “@dor.ga.gov” to your approved recipients.
  3. The next time you logon to GTC you will need to use your new password and the
     authorization code.

Is there a set of access rules for users, to allow different levels of data availability?




                                      Update 5/7/09
                                   Georgia Tax Center
                               Frequently Asked Questions
The administrator of the STI (Georgia Tax Number) has the ability to set the access
levels for other business users, and any third party filers with access to the account under
this STI.

Access level controls, include the ability to set access levels:
    For any new users that access the accounts under that STI
    For any third party users that access the accounts under that STI
    Default access levels for business users or third party users

The current Administrator can transfer authority to another any other user created under
the STI.

What are the rules in creating a GTC Password?
Web passwords must contain eight (8) to sixteen (16) characters that include at least one
letter, one number, and one special character
   TIP: Do not use your GTC ID, any portion of your Social Security Number, or your
Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) as your password

Are there any secret questions I can use if I have forgotten my password?
Yes, when you set up your user ID, you will be asked to select your security question.
You can change your security question or your answer at any time on the “My Profile”
screen.

The security question is used to reset and change your password.

Who will be the person who can create or delete user IDs for our business?
There are three ways for to create a GTC user ID:
   1. A user can create a GTC user Id with the “signup for web access” link on the
       GTC welcome page.
        They will need to provide the account number, zip code, last payment amount
           (if applicable), and effective date, of at least one of the accounts under the STI
           to create a user ID.
        If a taxpayer has more than one account, they can add them by providing the
           account details.
        The administrator of the STI is able to establish access levels for additional
           user IDs. This can be done through either the default access levels already
           specified for the STI, or by changing the user’s access level.
        The administrator can create a new user ID for the STI and add access to any
           of the accounts linked to their profile.
   2. New third party filers that do not have a tax account with the Georgia Department
       of Revenue must submit the Bulk Filer Registration form (CRF-Bulk), which can
       be downloaded from www.gataxinfo.org. The DOR will create their
       Administrator user ID, and in turn, the new administrator can create all other IDs
       needed by the Third Party filer.




                                       Update 5/7/09
                                   Georgia Tax Center
                               Frequently Asked Questions
For security reasons, such as maintaining a record of past activity by all users, a user ID
cannot be deleted. User IDs can be deactivated or their access levels can be changed or
removed as needed by the administrator of the STI or by the Georgia Department of
Revenue.

If the administrator of a STI leaves the business unexpectedly, please contact the Georgia
Department of Revenue for assistance, at 404-417-4488, 1-888-604-9875, or
efile@dor.ga.gov

Is the Website secure?
Yes. GTC was designed using up-to-date security technology to ensure the privacy of
your transactions. In addition the login and user authentication areas are designed to
assure users that they can access their tax filing information in a secure environment.

Am I required to file business tax returns electronically?
Effective May 1, 2006, all businesses required to pay their business taxes via Electronic
Funds Transfer (EFT) are required to file their returns electronically.

Can I file returns and make payments for a previous tax period?
Yes

If the due date for filing a return falls on a weekend or holiday, when is the return
due?
The return is due the following business day by 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

If the due date for making a payment falls on a weekend or holiday, when is the
payment due?
If you pay via EFT, payment must be set up prior to 3 p.m. EST, on or before the last
business day before the payment due date. Your payment will not be debited from your
account until the payment date you entered. Payment dates beyond the payment due date
will not be accepted.

Can I make multiple payments on one return?
Yes.

If I file multiple returns, can I make a single payment?
No.
If you have an outstanding balance on multiple periods, GTC does have a “pay account
balance” option to make one payment to pay all liabilities on that account.

How far into the future can I set up a payment?
Payments can be set up to occur on or before the payment due date.

Can I cancel an ePayment?
Yes. Payments must be cancelled before 3:00pm EST of the payment date entered.




                                      Update 5/7/09
                                   Georgia Tax Center
                               Frequently Asked Questions
Can I cancel a credit card payment?
No. Credit card payments are made through Official Payments Corporation (OPC). Once
your payment information is submitted, the transaction is complete.

What are my options in making electronic payments?
Electronic payment options include:
    ACH-Debit (NACHA) – your payment is electronically withdrawn from your
       bank account on the date specified by DOR.
    Credit Card – Payments are made through a 3rd party vendor, OPC, which charges
       a 2.5% convenience fee. This fee is charge by OPC and not DOR.

How long does it take for my return to update to my account?
Returns will update to your Sales Tax account overnight.

What if I want to cancel the return after submission?
You can withdraw (cancel) any request, including return submission requests, as long as
the request is still pending.
Once a request begins processing, 3 p.m. EST, you may not withdraw the request. You
will need to file an amended return to make any changes to the original return.
The processing status for your request is listed on the request screen in GTC.

One of the Web pages is not working. Who should I contact?
First, verify your system meets the minimum requirements. For a list of the minimum
system requirements, please see the Minimum Requirement section above. If you are still
experiencing a problem with the system, please contact DOR at 404-417-4488 or 1-888-
604-9875, or send an e-mail to efile@dor.ga.gov.

Please include a screen shot of the error message if possible.

What should I do if the system does not accept my payment or return?
First, verify your system meets the minimum requirements. If you still experience a
problem with the system, contact the Georgia Department of Revenue at 404-417-4488 or
1-888-604-9875 or send on e-mail to efile@dor.ga.gov.
If you were attempting to file via online entry please include a screen shot of the error
you received.
If your upload file fails, please include a screen shot of the error you received along with
your file.
If you received an error on an upload file, please include your confirmation number from
the upload response e-mail.




                                      Update 5/7/09