In California's new system, all taxpayers are not alike

In California's new system, all taxpayers are not alike

By Trudy Walsh

GCN Staff

JUNE 14—The California Franchise Tax Board's new Accounts Receivable Collection System (ARCS) is open for business, officials of American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., announced yesterday.

The client-server ARCS runs on a Hewlett-Packard HP-UX platform and uses AMS' Strata software to analyze taxpayer behavior. If a taxpayer fails to make payments, ARCS calls it to the attention of the tax board for possible action, said John LaFaver, AMS vice president.

The detailed accountability will help California collect $2.7 billion in unpaid taxes, AMS officials said. ARCS' earlier phases have collected more than $150 million for the state.

'Tax agencies tend to treat all taxpayers the same, regardless of the different risks they pose,' LaFaver said. 'Strata changes that in a fundamental way,' because tax agencies don't want to send letters or make phone calls to low-risk taxpayers.

'If I see a notice from the tax agency in my mailbox, my hands get clammy and my blood pressure climbs 30 points,' he said. By pinpointing the high-risk individuals, ARCS will lessen intrusion in most taxpayers' lives.

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