What problem does it solve? Restructuring the Conference & Appeals Branch to consist of 3 regional offices would make in-person conferences more accessible to taxpayers who may not be capable of traveling to the Trenton area to be present for an in-person conference. There are also a large number of taxpayer representatives located in New York & Philadelphia who represent New Jersey’s taxpayers; creating regional offices that are closer to these areas would also make in-person conferences more accessible to them as well. What is your solution and who does it apply to? Restructure the Conference and Appeals Branch to consist of 3 regional offices serving southern, central, and northern New Jersey. These regional offices could be located in Camden, Trenton, & Newark, where the Division already has offices with walk-in taxpayer assistance & field auditors. These regional offices would conduct conferences regarding the protestable notices for all tax types, including inheritance tax. Expanding the branch to include inheritance tax would help to ensure consistent treatment for all taxpayers. The solution directly affects taxpayers as well as Division employees. What is the anticipated impact? The public perception of the Division of Taxation is largely negative (i.e. Division is not "taxpayer friendly"). Making in-person conferences more accessible to (& convenient for) taxpayers & their representatives could help to improve this perception. This could also consolidate resources & reduce expenditures if the offices are established in existing Division locations; the State would no longer have to lease the office space where the Conference & Appeals Branch is currently located. Camden, Trenton, & Newark would be ideal options for the offices due to their geographical position within the State & the fact that the Division has existing offices in these locations. This could also generate a larger talent pool for the Conference & Appeals Branch to hire from, which could potentially expand the knowledge & expertise in the Branch. Auditors who refrain from applying for Conferee positions due of the current office’s location/increased commutes may be more likely to apply.
This is an excellent idea for Taxpayers as well as employees. In my personal experience working in CAB, I was forced to relinquish a position that I enjoyed and was successful in order to work closer to home avoiding the long distance commute due to severe medical issues. We currently have several Tax Courts in Northern New Jersey and having a CAB office in close proximity would provide efficient and expedient case work.
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