Most people understand running a business is hard work. And, after doing it for years, most find it’s worth the sacrifice. That said, it’s maddening when a business is running smoothly and then, after years of hard work, it’s hit with a new tax or regulation – productivity drops and, suddenly, a new struggle starts to comply with a new government mandate.
In January that happened to business across North Carolina, when the State of North Carolina ordered them to file 1099s on-line. No more paper sounded okay. Filing bureaucratic forms on-line makes sense. Properly set up, it’s faster for businesses and reduces manual processing in the tax collector’s office. But hardly anything government does turns out to be simple and this was no exception.
The tax collector’s new 1099 system was not faster or more efficient. It was the opposite. It did not work with popular small business accounting software and businesses could not simply upload their information.
So, now, along with all the other headaches that come with filing tax returns small businessmen, bookkeepers and accountants are pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to file a 1099 online.
In this day and age, setting up a web site is no big feat – so why can’t a state agency with a $271 million budget set up a website that works? Is it an example of government ineptitude? Or could it be that filing 1099s online means the department will need fewer employees – and what government bureaucracy wants that?
The Department of Revenue has given us one more proof of the old saying, ‘More government isn’t the solution – it’s the problem.’