In an effort to simplify and modernize the taxpayer experience and keep taxpayer information secure, the Ohio Department of Taxation (“Department”) launched a new software platform, eServices, at the beginning of September 2023. eServices encompasses Personal and School District taxes only and replaces the previous iFile platform. The Department aims to have more of a “banking experience” feel to its online services platform. Business taxes will continue to be filed on the Ohio Business Gateway.
Key enhancements to improve the taxpayer experience include:
- An improved and modernized taxpayer dashboard
- Filing and amending previously filed returns
- A taxpayer can consent to receiving correspondence electronically in lieu of postal mailings.
- If a taxpayer chooses this option, any correspondence will be available on eServices. The taxpayer will receive an email notification when any new correspondence is uploaded.
- An email will be sent upon activation with instructions on how to update contact information and how to access correspondence electronically.
- Two-way messaging
- Tax preparer access
- Tax preparers will be able to access taxpayers’ accounts by logging in to their own (representative) OH|ID account.
- The tax preparer will need to request access from their OH|ID account and input the taxpayer information.
- With taxpayer’s permission, the tax preparer can also delegate access to other preparers as well.
- If the taxpayer has an OH|ID account, they can grant immediate access. If they do not have an OH|ID account or choose not to create one, a letter will be mailed to the taxpayer with a PIN that they will need to provide to the preparer.
- The representative will have full access to the taxpayer’s information. This is particularly helpful to view and respond to notices, view taxpayer information and returns, request wage transcripts, etc. that the taxpayer may have lost or never received. The representative can also send and view messages to The Department.
- The tax preparer can file returns, schedule payments, and pay assessments.The new eServices will allow taxpayers and preparers to save payment information which was not available on the previous iFile platform.
- If a taxpayer has an assessment, the tax preparer can request penalty abatement directly through eServices and receive penalty abatement results. The preparer can also request an appeal through eServices if the notice is responded to by the deadline.
- A new digital assistant (Pilot)
- Dynamic help (screen sharing)
- Snapshot Screen Share
- Phone integration
New process updates include:
- The Department will now utilize a Universal Payment Coupon (UPC) for all payments for Personal and School District payments.
- Payments will need to be made individually.
- Payments must be submitted for one taxpayer or one social security number.
- The Department will be able to link payments to a joint return.
- For individual estimated payments, the Department recommends making payments for both primary and secondary taxpayers.
- Wage Transcripts are now available online.
- The previous five years of filing and payment history will now be available online.
The system will be compatible with personal computers, laptops, tablets, and even cell phones. The screen will dynamically reset depending on which hardware is used for the best user experience.
While taxpayers will need to log in with an OH|ID account to file returns and utilize all options available, there are multiple features that a taxpayer can utilize without an OH|ID account. Some of these features include:
- Checking refund status.
- Making and scheduling payments.
- Interest calculator.
- Complete identity verification.
- Respond to correspondence.
- View status on submitted requests.
- Ask questions to Pilot (chat bot).
Users with an OH|ID that log in to eServices will have access to:
- Taxpayer dashboard and access management.
- Tax preparer dashboard and access management.
- Update address.
- File original and amended returns.
- View account balances.
- View filing and payment history.
- Delivery and viewing of correspondence.
- Request a wage and income transcript.
- Account messages.
It is important to reiterate that the updated and refreshed site is for Personal and School District taxes only. While some of these updated features could be helpful on the business side, it remains to be seen if any of these new features could be added or updated in the future for the Ohio Business Gateway.
If you have any questions about the updated website or any other state and local tax issue, please contact one of our professionals.