When a person or business does not pay their taxes on time, they receive a paper mailer from from the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) containing both a collection notice and an insert about past due taxes. The inserts are meant to motivate the taxpayer to action, but the team at the Taxpayer Assistance and Collection Division at NCDOR had a hunch the inserts were overdue for an overhaul. The goal of this initiative is to improve and simplify NCDOR’s communication to North Carolina residents about tax non-payment so they are helpful, rather than punitive. Improved inserts could see a higher response rate from taxpayers, which would save the agency time and money and decrease the need for enforcement measures (e.g., fees and garnishments). For a more complete case study on this project, read, “Partnership Yields Better Taxpayer Communications.”
- Analysis of the data from insert responses has the potential to reveal whether there are patterns in the responses and if one version has been most effective.
- Updated inserts based on findings from the tax year 2020 analysis.
- Improving the response rate for late taxpayers means reducing the time and money the state invests to resolve these cases and increasing public benefits to North Carolinians as the revenues are then invested into public services.
- Summary of Tax Inserts Project to Improve Communications and Help Taxpayers
Planned use of results
Following the July 2020* tax deadline, taxpayers who failed to pay on time received one of the three designs. NCDOR has been tracking responses for each of the three designs. This data can be used to determine which of the designs is most effective at eliciting response.
*The deadline for filing 2019 taxes was delayed from April 15 to July in 2020.
UNC Chapel Hill
The Policy Lab
NC Department of Revenue