Electronic Tax Warrant Registry: Easing the Burden of Circuit Court Clerks
June 30, 2008 by Cindy Collier
Occasionally people may fail to pay their state taxes due on income, sales, withholding or unemployment compensation. The Indiana Department of Revenue (IDOR) attempts to collect by giving the individual notice of the delinquent taxes, talking to and sometimes meeting with the taxpayer, and even by working out a payment plan. When these efforts are not successful, IDOR issues a tax warrant and files it with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the individual’s home county. This action creates a judgment lien against the taxpayer.
The Clerks of the Circuit Court in Indiana annually process more than 1.27 million tax warrants. The warrants are hand-recorded in almost one third of these counties. They are entered in a Judgment Book, a large hardbound journal used to record all judgments. In the case of a tax warrant, the information includes: the Tax Warrant Number, Issue Date, Taxpayer, Joint Taxpayer or DBA, Amount, and Filing Date. When this process is entered by hand, it can be very time-consuming.
IDOR sends tax warrants to the Clerk along with a check for $3.00 per warrant. When the taxpayer pays the tax, IDOR mails a Satisfaction of Lien to the Clerk, who then records it in the Judgment Book.
At the request of many clerks, the Division’s JTAC created an electronic Tax Warrant Registry. It is being piloted in several counties. Upon completion of successful testing, it will be available at no cost to all Indiana counties. In order to use the software a clerk only needs Internet access. It is just that simple.
“Our new electronic Tax Warrant Registry will allow clerks to enter the tax warrant information through the Supreme Court’s secure web-based system, INcite. An electronic Judgment Book entry is created automatically, information is transmitted immediately to the state, and clerks will more quickly be paid their $3 fee,” said Mary L. DePrez, JTAC Director and Counsel for Trial Court Technology.
“JTAC has many initiatives, from the Odyssey Case Management System, to the electronic Protection Order Registry, to e-tickets for law enforcement officers, but many clerks have requested an electronic tax warrant system in order to save time and increase efficiency. And, for counties using the Odyssey case management system, the tax warrant case number, judgment and disposition will be recorded automatically in Odyssey,” DePrez said.
The electronic Tax Warrant Registry system is scheduled for deployment in the following additional counties: Greene, Fulton, Owen, DeKalb, Randolph and Knox.
Counties currently using the electronic Tax Warrant Registry are: