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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

Contact: Allen Spelce
R.J. DeSilva
(512) 463-4070

For Immediate Release
April 1, 2008

Reporting Forms Now Available for Revised Texas Franchise Tax

(AUSTIN) — Forms to report the revised Texas franchise tax based on the new margin calculation are now available on the state Comptroller’s Web site for the May 1 due date for initial and final filers and the May 15 due date for annual filers. The forms can be found at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/05-forms.html.

“Our office is offering electronic reporting and payment options to make it fast and easy for taxpayers to do business with us,” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. “For the first time, taxpayers can submit their franchise tax data and payment electronically to save time and postage.”

Taxpayers will receive notices by mid-April, giving them information needed to file franchise tax reports electronically, including identification and security codes to ensure the confidentiality of their data. Electronic reports and payments may be submitted beginning April 14. The report forms and instructions have already been available in preview form on the Comptroller’s Web site to help guide taxpayers.

Taxpayers who prefer to mail a paper report can still take advantage of the online forms, which contain dynamic fields that help prevent calculation errors and unique bar codes to help process reports more quickly and accurately when they are printed and mailed.

The Comptroller’s office advises that franchise tax reports must be submitted on the correct forms, or they cannot be processed and must be returned to taxpayers. Some outside vendors have been selling tax preparation software that does not meet the requirements of the processing system.

The Texas Legislature revised the franchise tax by changing the tax base and the tax rate and extending coverage to most legal entities. About 200,000 new entities will have to file franchise tax reports for the first time this year.

During the last year, agency experts have spoken at industry conferences and to taxpayers groups, hosted 10 taxpayer seminars throughout Texas, and conducted a dozen Webinars to inform taxpayers about changes to the tax. Two additional taxpayer seminars will take place in Dallas and Houston during April. Details are being finalized and will be announced soon.

“We are committed to informing taxpayers about changes to the franchise tax and making it as easy and painless as possible to file required reports and pay the tax,” Combs said.

Answers to franchise tax questions can be found at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/franchise/ or by calling (800) 252-1381.

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