Tax Information Group For EC
You are invited to participate in the work of the Tax Implementation Group for EC Requirements Standardization (TIGERS) group and assist in work on the use of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) in tax filing processes. These meetings will address Electronic Commerce Best Practices, further development of the Fed-State Corporate XML development, the ongoing XML-based Federal-State Employment Tax (FSET) program, and State Sales Tax XML structures (in service of the national Streamlined Sales Tax Project efforts on uniformity in reporting).
The TIGERS group is a part of the American National Standards Institute's ASC (Accredited Standards Committee) X12-Government Subcommittee. The Government Subcommittee is a standing committee of ASC X12. The Government Subcommittee sub-group that works on tax standards is Task Group 2, Tax Information Interchange (TG2).
TIGERS is a Work Group of Task Group 2, and it has been chartered to discuss matters relating to business standards and practices surrounding national tax data formatting and transfer, and develops and maintains tax electronic technical format standards for a variety of tax filing and other related government electronic reporting or data exchange applications.
See the link above for logistics and meeting agenda times.
eXtensible Markup Language (XML)
A recent focus of the group has addressed the use of XML as a data transformation tool, and efforts to develop a standard taxonomy and schema as guidance for tax agencies. The aim is to create guidance useful to state and federal (IRS) tax authorities to assist them in XML application development.
During continued efforts on XML standards development, we are examining a variety of tax filing types (personal income, sales, motor fuel, corporate income, etc.). New and informed thinking is required about how to represent these in XML. Again, business expertise in these tax filing applications as well as technical knowledge of XML and agency database and processing practice is both needed and appreciated.
If you are a federal or state tax authority currently using or considering XML, you provide tax filing services to government as a contractor, or you are now or in the future will be transmitting tax data to tax authorities as a provider to a taxpayer, you should be taking an interest in the technical work of TIGERS.
Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing
A recent responsibility of TIGERS relates to wireless transaction sourcing. The Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act (MTSA) charges the the Multistate Tax Commission and the Federation of Tax Administrators with coordinating the efforts of states to develop a national-standard data format for use in matching addresses with taxing jurisdictions in compliance with the provisions of the Act. The body named in the Act to approve such a standard is ANSI ASC X12. For information on the status of that effort, click here.
TIGERS is a component part of the American National Standards Institute, its Accredited Standards Committee X12 (Business Data Interchange), and the “X12” Government Subcommittee. Participation in TIGERS and the other organizations is open to anyone in government, service providers, tax filers/ representatives, and others.
The process involves identifying and considering all parties' business needs, in order to arrive at consensus-based implementation decisions in which:
All parties have a voice
Any recommended changes to standards are pursued through ASC X12G-TIGERS.
Decisions are driven by:
Acceptability - to participants/users
Implementability - providing practicality and "fit" with business need
Supportability - with appropriate publication and distribution of conventions and guidelines.
TIGERS meets 6 times annually. Each participating entity pays its own way, and FTA contributes resources to support TIGERS as appropriate. TIGERS meets during the X12 Trimester sessions (always in February, June, and September). It also meets in between each of these sessions (TIGERS Interim meetings) . Generally the interim meetings are held in March, in August (following the FTA Annual Technology Conference), and in December.
To receive notice of upcoming meetings and preliminary agendas, you must subscribe to the TIGERS listserve at:
http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/edi/listserv.html. It is a public listserve, and does not accept attachments.
Note: When you are out of the office for an extended period, please turn off automatic notice of that fact or unsubscribe from the listserve, as it will create an endless loop of notifications to the listserve.
Each individual participant representing an ASC X12 non-member wishing to attend February, June, and October ASC X12 Trimester work sessions must pay a registration fee. The X12 Trimester (Oct, Feb, June) per-meeting, per-person registration fee for non-members is currently $895.
Companies, agencies, or individuals may join ASC X12 (the Data Interchange Standards Association - DISA - is the Secretariat) by paying an annual tiered fee depending on the entity, and then may attend meetings at no charge.
Non-profits like FTA and state revenue agencies pay $1899 on an annual basis, and can then send up as many people as desired to each meeting. This may be a more cost-effective arrangement for you. To attend an upcoming meeting at the reduced cost while your application is in process, contact Diane Huber at DISA at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DISA. More than 33 tax agencies are members, and more are joining.
NOTE: Joining ASC X12 does not cover the cost of the (FTA-sponsored) Interim TIGERS meetings; it only permits attendance at the three X12 Trimesters sessions, which take place in February, June, and October. There is a charge for TIGERS interim meetings (December, usually March or April, and August). FTA, not DISA, arranges those meetings, and there is a modest registration fee ($150 or so) to cover FTA costs for those meetings.
The TIGERS Chair is Ms. Terry Garber with the South Carolina Dept. of Revenue. She may be contacted at email@example.com. Feel free to contact either of us with questions.
Please refer to these links:
for more details on TIGERS.
What are data submission standards?
In this instance, it refers to a common and accepted manner of structuring and formatting tax data that is to be submitted to a tax authority and processed by the agency.
Who does the existence of data submission standards serve?
How can XML be made consistent across users and applications?
XML holds great promise for many businesses and governments in easing data transformation processes and improving electronic exchanges of information. However, it is only a "meta language" specification, with many customizable aspects. So the various and distinct user-entities that wish to employ XML have to agree that there is value-added in developing and maintaining a tax XML "standard".
Our previous approach covering a decade's time (ACH-based EFT for various payments, E-File for personal taxes, EDI for business taxes, 2-D barcoding, etc.) has been to define the structure of a transaction; define data elements (in some cases generic, in others specific); and (sometimes) define the order of data. We will need to continue to learn how best to adapt this approach to the development of XML standards in order to achieve the greatest benefit for all involved parties.
ACTIVITIES TO DATE
We have used an open forum, the state-industry TIGERS group (with previous successful work on EDI standards and maintenance through participation in the American National Standards Institute - ASC X12 Subcommittee) to foster a discussion regarding the opportunity to use XML in the tax submission process in a consistent fashion across government entities.
Discussion focused on (1) XML education, then XML development direction, and recently a more specific definition of what an XML-based tax filing submission would look like. Since XML separates structure, content, and presentation of data, we are focused on the first two: data structure, and ways of identifying data content in a generic manner.
The effort was initially aimed at leveraging previous work on standards and defining "core components" of what comprises a tax filing submission: items like Party, Amount, Quantity, Time/Date, Payment. In this we are guided by current XML standards efforts within ASC X12.
We are currently engaged in development of standard XML Schema structures, and data enveloping mechanisms (largely based on IRS's work in this area), and in developing models that work for a variety of tax submission scenarios (e.g., tax types).
In addition, it has become apparent that an effort to develop standard entity and tax-specific names for elements across the various tax types would be highly useful to everyone; going forward, work is proceeding in this area.
Our target is a contribution to XML standards guidance relating to tax data submission processes for use by all tax authorities, and based on the commitment and contributions of a variety of government personnel and the participation of a broad group of interested industry partners.
This particularly envisions future state and IRS joint applications, as well as the exchange of tax data among state, federal, and international tax bodies.
Again, all interested parties are invited to join us in this effort.
Revised November 17, 2008