Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Be aware of new
tax ID numbers

Question: My small business paid my general excise taxes for October 2004, and the check was cashed by the state. On Dec. 30, I received a delinquency notice for the October taxes from the state, with interest and penalty. I immediately wrote the Department of Taxation, attached a copy of my cashed check and faxed and mailed it. I requested a call back with a resolution. I never received a call, so I wrote the governor asking for help. A week has gone by and still no one has called. I just wonder how many businesses may have gotten the same delinquent notices and paid them, not keeping good records?

Answer: The Department of Taxation said it couldn't comment about your case because of confidentiality laws, but that you "can expect to hear from the department shortly."

However, the general warning and advice is for local businesses to be extra careful this year in completing general excise and other tax forms and payment vouchers, especially when it comes to license/identification numbers, said Taxation Department spokeswoman Cathleen Tokishi.

The final component of the department's new Integrated Tax Information Management System was implemented in October. That's when eight-digit general excise tax license numbers were replaced with new Hawaii Tax Identification Numbers.

In addition to news releases about the change, letters were sent in early December to inform licensees of their new numbers, Tokishi said. New forms are preprinted with the "W" that all new Hawaii Tax Identification Numbers begin with.

Tokishi said the department's new computer and remittance processing systems will correctly process old versions of tax forms and payment vouchers, with the old numbers written on them, as well as new forms and vouchers with the new numbers.

However, she warned that processing errors may occur if the new forms and vouchers are used, but with the old license numbers on them, unless the preprinted 'W'" is crossed out.

"When processing errors do occur, they are evaluated and corrected as appropriate," Tokishi said. If penalty and interest charges were assessed because of a processing error, those charges will be reversed, she said, as we understand has since happened in your case.

Taxpayers with similar problems should call the Taxation Department's Taxpayer Services Branch at 587-4242, or toll-free from the neighbor islands and mainland at (800) 222-3229.


To Kauai police officer Ledesma. Our family was sightseeing on Kauai on Jan. 20. When we reached our hotel room, we realized that my wife's purse was missing. It was then we received a call from officer Ledesma, who had her purse. It had fallen out of our car when we stopped to take a photo and was found on the side of the road. Officer Ledesma went out of his way to talk us through directions to the police station. He is a wonderful example to the department. -- J.R. Lapierre


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