Using Social Media to Connect with Taxpayers
In a flurry of last minute filing, the tax season drew to a close yesterday. The filing process is one where you, the tax filer, and tax agencies hope that the filing goes smoothly. For you, errors in your tax return could mean delays in getting refunds and wasted time. For tax agencies, incomplete filings or errors mean slower and more costly processing. To help avoid issues and make it easier for taxpayers, innovative agencies like the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) are turning to social media to help educate and communicate.
Wisconsin uses shared online videos to explain processes such as their e-filing option. WI DOR makes finding and accessing the information convenient as it’s placed right in the context of the e-filing page (see here). This means that a taxpayer can watch the video as they download the Adobe Dynamic PDF that handles the electronic filing. The video explains in plain, clear language how to save the PDF to your computer for offline completion and tips for attaching electronic documents into the PDF so they are all submitted together electronically. This shared video is a simple but effective way to offer some tips on how to correctly use the new electronic filing method.
Wisconsin also used a video (see here) to promote the benefits of e-filing a Wisconsin return (“it’s easy, secure, and accurate”). By showing that free method is easier and results in faster refunds, the video acts as a tool to convince traditional paper filers to adopt this electronic method. Switching from paper to e-filing helps citizens but it also helps the Wisconsin DOR because electronic filings are much more efficient to process compared to the costly processing associated with paper returns.
These videos explaining the benefits and use of Wisconsin’s e-filing option are great examples of integrating social media to improve communication with taxpayers.