April 14, 2003

Wells Fargo wants business owners to use its Internet portal to pay 1,700 different types of taxes to federal, state and local governments, along with obligations such as child support payments.

The bank reports having approximately 18,000 customers who make an average of almost 50,000 tax payments per month using the WellsTax telephone service and PC tax remittance software. "This is something that we offer as a cross-sell with every business account that gets opened," said Kristin Koppelman, vice president and WellsTax product manager, Wells Fargo.

As it stands today, new customers have to fill out an application and an IRS Form 8655, the reporting agent authorization. Those are delivered to Wells Fargo's outsourcing partner, the govONE Solutions division of eONE Global, a Salem, Mass.-based subsidiary of First Data.

But starting in August, Wells Fargo plans to include govONE's remitONE service within its "Commercial Electronic Office" Internet portal, which uses a single sign-on for all of its services. "They'll sign-on to the Commercial Electronic Office with their CEO user ID and company ID," said Koppelman. "There's no more need for a second sign-on."

In addition to helping businesses to pay taxes, govONE runs the electronic payments program for 29 states and provides related services for various government entities. As such, the company has experience in dealing with the idiosyncratic file formats and data requirements used by different jurisdictions. "Administering that in-house at a bank would be extremely onerous," said Koppelman. "We never have to worry that we're going to get a return or that there's going to be a problem with tax payments based on inaccurate information or formats."

Furthermore, when governments at the local, state and federal level find creative new ways to levy taxes and fees, govONE will be there to make the payment process, if not the payment itself, relatively painless. "We're constantly looking for new payment types to add related to government, where there's some complexity behind it," said Bob Wolfe, senior vice president of development, govONE Solutions. "In addition we're exploring what we can do to start adding things like connecting the dots between the calculation, compliance and the paper forms -- making them into electronic forms and tying them into electronic payments."

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