Many Tax and Revenue agencies have undergone major system development efforts over the past 25 years using various solutions to deploy new systems. Called Integrated Tax Systems (ITS), these applications were revolutionary. They took advantage of the best technologies available at the time and enabled agencies to consolidate functionality from multiple legacy systems into one. However, new technology and better software is rapidly making these ITS solutions — even those packaged ITS solutions implemented in the past few years — outdated and less effective. For example, Revenue agencies are recognizing that integrating an external "Business Rules Management System" and "workflow" software into a modern Integrated Tax Systems provides the flexibility that enables the software to adapt to the agency’s business, rather than compelling the agency to adapt to the software.
Revenue agencies that have sought to take advantage of these recent improvements in technology are frequently hindered by the lack of flexibility and openness of first-generation Integrated Tax Systems applications. The ITS solutions of the last decade and earlier, both custom developed and Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS), were built on platforms whose architecture prevents integration of best-of-breed third-party software, extensions and agency modifications. These constraints limit an agency’s ability to adapt to tax and legislative changes. Today, agencies confront business and system challenges that extend beyond simple rate or form line-item changes to include requirements such as linking taxes, credits or deductions to other government programs (e.g., health care). Agencies shouldn’t be forced to follow an outdated or less effective business process or policy, based on what the software does or does not do. Similarly, an agency should not be locked into an arrangement where the agency is reliant on the vendor to modify inflexible, proprietary software.
For those agencies that are still operating on systems even older than these first-generation Integrated Tax Systems, the situation is more critical. An aging workforce has made the operation and maintenance of older systems, often developed with legacy programming languages, more challenging. These tax applications have become increasingly complex and difficult to maintain in a timely and cost effective manner, due to modifications and patches that have occurred over the years.
RSI, a recognized expert in the Tax and Revenue industry, has developed and deployed the next-generation Integrated Tax System. RSI’s Revenue Premier Integrated Tax Processor was designed and built with flexibility, adaptability and agility as its core principles. Revenue Premier employs a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and open technology standards along with best-of-breed technologies, such as a Business Rules Management System and workflow, to facilitate change.
Maximizing Flexibility and Facilitating Change
Business rules are the lifeblood of revenue agencies, yet they are often the most challenging aspect of system maintenance. Many ITS applications embed business rules directly into the application code. The Revenue Premier Integrated Tax Processor’s visionary approach is to manage and execute business rules through the use of a Business Rules Management System. The Business Rules Management System abstracts business rules away from the application code and has several advantages over traditional application programming:
- Central Rules Management — eases impact analysis as a result of new legislation or the introduction of new programs.
- Resource Involvement — makes it possible for non-IT personnel to change and maintain business rules, reducing dependency on scarce technical resources.
- Simplifies Testing — changes are made to business rules, not core application logic, which allows testing to focus on the impacted business rules.
In addition to business rules, the Integrated Tax Processor is workflow-enabled. Workflow is configurable and allows the agency to determine how best to direct work to the appropriate resources. This supports the automation of existing labor-intensive manual processes, reduces reliance on paper and significantly streamlines overall processing. Workflow empowers managers to effectively leverage limited employee resources by providing state-of-the-art tools to manage tasks, track team performance and automate processes.
Another feature of Revenue Premier is the extensible database schema. With Revenue Premier, an agency can extend the database schema to include custom data elements, which are unique to a given agency. These custom data elements can be defined at multiple levels, including entity, account, case and license, without impacting software upgrades and maintenance. Similar to any core data element, the custom data elements are available to the Business Rules Management System, can be reported on and included in system generated correspondence to the taxpayer.
Revenue Premier Integrated Tax Processor Provides All Core Processing "Out-of-the-Box"
Revenue Premier was built specifically for the Tax and Revenue industry using best-practice techniques gained over 25 years of client experience. The Integrated Tax Processor provides out-of-the-box functionality for all core processing functions within the agency. It consists of the following core components: Taxpayer Portal, Channel Management, Entity Identification, Tax Processing, Taxpayer Accounting and Revenue Accounting. The Integrated Tax Processor operates on an open platform, which provides an agency with the flexibility to integrate with existing technology investments (e.g., content management and correspondence generation solutions) and/or other Revenue Premier modules.
If your legacy tax processing system is nearing the end of its life cycle, or you are constrained to meet your strategic objectives or legislative mandates by an inflexible software solution, consider RSI’s Revenue Premier Integrated Tax Processor.