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Electronic Filing with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue:
Questions & Answers for Payroll Service Organizations (PSO's)
February 13, 2003
Courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue
EFT threshold change to 100K effective 1Q2003:
Will there be a penalty for employers if they were missed in a PSO's evaluation and are not being filed via EFT?
Answer: No. There will not be a penalty for 1Q 2003. DOR does not know when they will start assessing P&I for missing deposits. However, there will be a notice sent out shortly to employers who have not registered.
EFT/E-File mandate effective 2Q2003:
How will a Payroll Service Provider (PSO) register for E-file? What if the PSO wants to register as an entity, not as employer? Also when should we register?
Answer: A PSO will be able to register as an entity via the DOR Website when the site becomes public.
PSO's we will begin filing all frequencies via EFT (weekly, monthly, and quarterly), do we need to send XML returns? (We currently do not send returns for EFT filers.)
Answer: There is no change to the date that a return is due The only difference is the method of filing those returns.
If forms are required, what is the XML schema for that form?
Answer: DOR has provided copy of schema to members of the NPRC. Schema and other information can be obtained at the following website:
Please note this is not available through the DOR website and should be used only for informational purposes.
Does the schema work for all withholding returns?
Answer: The schema works for the various filing frequencies of withholding tax.
Is the current wage detail format still OK?
Answer: Yes, same format for right now.
Are nil returns due if there is no liability? Zero EFT record?
Answer: PSO's should continue to file nil returns just as before. All nil returns are required to be filed electronically, however a zero EFT is not needed.
Will there still be a monthly and quarterly filing frequency, since all EFT is usually filed weekly?
Answer: All filing frequencies remain the same.
If a PSO begins to file withholding tax on behalf of their clients via EFT, will employers now be mandated to file, on their own, sales/use and other tax types via EFT/E-file?
Answer: Yes, if their annual total liability in all "trustee tax" is equal to or greater than $100,000. Otherwise no.
When notices are sent out for missing returns, monies, W2s, and wage detail; what proof of filing should the PSO provide?
Answer: There is no change to procedure, the method currently used today will continue. in which it is remitted. Bank statement and microfiche wage detail is still acceptable.
Is it still OK to deposit monies in the current EFT format?
Answer: Yes
The following questions relate to clarification on SSH:
What does SSH stand for?
Answer: Secured Shell Host
How do we obtain SSH?
Answer: or, both contain information on how to obtain this product.
Can we compress the file? (Which will reduce the amount of time it takes to transmit the file.) (G-Zip)
Answer: DOR will be able to accept both G-Zip and PK-Zip.
Can we encrypt the file? (PGP)
Answer: This is already built into the protocol. Using PGP will be double encrypting.
What is Massachusetts's contingency plan (COP)?
Answer: Convert back to paper and check.
When does the data information need to be in the DOR office? (On what date and by what time.)
Answer: By 4:00p.m EST on the due date. A time stamp is put on the file after the file has completed transmitting.