Tax Collection System

Current and Delinquent Taxes
All tax records are combined into a single database, giving the user a complete account history with a single inquiry.  Data is never purged from the system.

Multiple Taxing Authorities
ACT’s design enables the concurrent collection of 4000 taxing authorities with an unlimited number of tax units active on any one account.

Jurisdiction Control
ACT allows each jurisdiction to be managed by year when setting mandated and optional exemption values, attorney fees, tax rates, discount percentages, over 65 frozen levy controls, and payment options. Unique fiscal periods for each tax unit within the reporting cycle are maintained.

Special P&I Calculations
ACT fully supports and calculates deferral interest, refunds with interest on protested accounts, and omitted property calculations.  ACT applies proper penalty and interest schedules for each year and jurisdiction on each account.  The system also performs automatic computation of the correct delinquency date from the date of each supplement or adjustment. This feature is driven by a receivable type.  New receivable types can be added without impacting existing system functionality and with minimal program modification.

Supplemental and Adjustments
The ACT system provides complete capabilities to supplement and adjust both current and prior year tax rolls.  Automated file processing as well as manual input is supported.  Full reporting and reconciliation of all appraisal district changes are also incorporated into the system.

Extensive Exemption Capabilities
An unlimited number of exemptions, such as homestead, over age sixty-five, disabled, veteran, abatements, freeport exclusions, pollution control, solar, and historical are permitted.   The system allows authorized users to override standard exemption calculations on individual accounts.  Exemptions are managed in a data dictionary, which allows the addition of a new exemption to be a data change, not a system change.

Complete Open-Space Billing and Collections
The ACT system computes and maintains receivable data for all open space and agricultural rollback accounts.  It also computes, tracks, and prints statements with correct penalties and interest.  All account balancing reports can be run to include or exclude agricultural rollback receivable data.

Account History
The ACT system provides access to history on all accounts, not just those that are unpaid.  Complete data history is maintained without negatively impacting operating performance. 

Interactive Payment Processing
ACT supports real time posting of all payments, including partial, multi-year, and multi-account.  Reversals and transfers of funds are supported.  Collection and distribution capabilities for an unlimited number of fee types such as returned item (NSF), abstract, district clerk, court costs, etc. are supported.  Multiple receipt date deposits eliminate the problem of holding months open in order to process mail payments.

Mail-in payments can be processed rapidly using either account or appraisal district numbers.  Posting these payments can be further automated through the use of bar code scanning.  The system maintains running batch totals and has complete edit and correction capabilities. 

Authorized users can maintain additional control over the status of the deposits for a given day or month by using calendar-based “accounting controls.”  Special deposits can be opened for a day or month and closed after they have been balanced; once closed, other payment deposits cannot be opened, re-opened, or changed for that day or month.

Mortgage Company Payments
ACT provides options for mortgage company statements, tapes, and billing registers.  Flexible edit and validation procedures speed posting.  Files can be exchanged via the Internet.

Lockbox Payment Processing
ACT’s lockbox system provides editing, correction processing, posting, reporting, and receipting.  Due to the large mix of ACT clients, lockbox systems are currently in place with Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Frost Bank, First National Bank of Lake Jackson, Amegy of Texas, Moody Bank, and Prosperity Bank.

Check Imaging
Check and coupon images can be integrated into the Tax Collection System and retrieved easily. Our ACT-hosted check imaging solution benefits the tax office in that users may access imaged payment detail directly within ACT while viewing transactional data. This functionality streamlines the payment research process.  ACT will work with your bank to automate the transfer of images to the ACT image archive server for viewing and posting payments.

Payment Agreements
Our payment agreements calculate payments based on the desired number of months or a monthly payment amount.  Multiple accounts can be included in one payment agreement.  The system accepts and distributes payments by account number or by payment agreement number, allocating the proper proportion to levy, penalty, interest, attorney fees, and other fees for each account in the payment agreement. 

Images of signed agreements can be scanned into the ACT database and retrieved as needed. Other features include payment agreement reminder letters, default notices, and reports.

Alternate Payer Support
The ACT system offers an efficient method of accepting, recording, and receipting payments from payers other than the certified property owner.

Delinquent Attorney Support
ACT provides a series of screens and batch processes to track court information, including bankruptcy cause numbers, legal status, order for sale information, filing dates, and court dates.  The system provides for the collection and proper allocation of all court costs, research fees, and delinquent penalties (Sec. 33.07, 33.08, and 33.48). 

Returned Mail Processing
Returned mail and alternate addresses from either post office change orders or internal research can be processed.  The system is automated to work with optionally available scanners to quickly and accurately process large bundles of envelopes.

Refunds
Standard features of our refund processing include computation of refunds, reports to jurisdictions, and recording of both pending and processed refunds.  ACT supports batch refund request letters and a batch laser check writing ability.   Refunds are system generated from overpayments, supplemental and adjustment processing, and transfers. 

Mobile Home Liens
Liens on mobile homes can be easily tracked and updated in the Tax Collection System.  These accounts are identified by either a serial number or label designation; they also typically have an account number that differs from other types of property being assessed within a particular tax office.  On an annual basis, a process is run that updates the mobile home liens in the database with the information given in a file of liens approved by the State. ACT saves the mobile home label and serial numbers from one year to the next before running the update process. 

Batch processes exist for setting and releasing liens. Liens are normally set only for the current year on unpaid accounts. They can be set for prior years if they meet certain conditions set forth by the Legislature.  A file of data for newly set liens is created by each tax office and sent to the state.   Liens can be released for fully paid accounts.  Liens can also be transferred from one account to another by changing a status in the Lien Status tracking screen.

Online Change History
Instant access to all changes affecting value, levy, ownership, and receivables is provided.

Online Change History
Instant access to all changes affecting value, levy, ownership, and receivables is provided.

Comments, Notes, and Alerts
ACT supports a virtually unlimited online history of comments that document accounts receiving or requiring individualized attention.  Also provided are system-wide account level messaging and “sticky note” reminders.  This capability is integrated into many system batch processes, thus providing easy access to records of statements and notices.  Notes can also be assigned a higher status, which causes an “alert” window to open when the account is accessed. This window contains “alert warnings” about all special circumstances related to the account.

Customizable System Configuration
ACT has developed a system of user privileges that controls what users can do with database information. Tax offices are able to manage their own security needs. Authorized users who have access to a set of user security screens can set the level of privilege that each tax office employee can have). For ease of use, ACT has grouped access to certain tables and objects into “jobs,” “tasks” and “entitlements”; for example, the “Cashier” job has access to the tasks and entitlements necessary to take payments across the counter. Authorized employees can add new users by using these same screens.

The ACT system is configurable by a set of over 600 “client preferences,” which allow tax offices to customize the program to suit their particular needs. New client preferences can be created whenever an enhancement is requested that affects pre-existing capabilities.

Internet Searches, Credit Card Processing & IVR

Searches
The core component of ACT’s interactive web module allows taxpayers to view their current tax data online from their home computers.  By entering a full or partial owner’s name, address, or account number, taxpayers can quickly ascertain their current tax levy, current and prior year tax balances, and the amount of the most recent payment.  Taxpayers can also view a breakdown of what they owe to each jurisdiction and the values of their exemptions.

Online Payments
Taxpayers may pay their tax bill from the tax office’s web site using their Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or eCheck.  ACT does not accept or store credit card information in its own database, but works with several highly regarded companies to process payment information in a highly secure environment.  Real-time notification is given to the taxpayer and the information is inserted into the ACT database.  Taxpayers can specify the year to be paid first. These payments are then posted by the tax office via a lockbox process, forming a closed loop system.

Portfolios and Multiple Accounts
Individual users or companies can create a “portfolio” to group multiple tax accounts together for easy review and payment.  After logging in to a portfolio, they can add or delete accounts. There is no limit to the number of
accounts that can be added to a portfolio.  Selected accounts and their current year or total amount due can be locked (or saved) and payment submitted; this is particularly useful for fiduciary companies.  These locked portfolios can then be paid with credit card or eCheck.

Statement & Receipt Requests
Taxpayers may print tax statements or request duplicate payment receipts on the tax office’s web site. 

IVR
Using ACT’s “Interactive Voice Response” (IVR) system, taxpayers may use their touch-tone telephone to determine their current tax liability without involving human operators.  This system is connected to the ACT database, which enables accurate, up-to-date information to be given to the taxpayer.  Responses recorded on the IVR system can be given in both English and Spanish.  Taxpayers have the option of talking to a tax office representative if they have additional questions. 

Offline Remittance Capture
ACT has developed an “Offline Remittance Capture” module to be used in the event of a communications or server failure.  This Oracle-based component is installed on one or more stand-alone workstations at each office.  Payments are entered into this system and temporary receipts generated.  When the system failure is resolved, a payment file is uploaded to the ACT 7.0 database server and posted to the relevant tax accounts.

If this module is being used when the ACT 7.0 database is live, account numbers and addresses can be verified. This module can also be deployed on a server, allowing continual database connectivity. In this case, payments could be taken by authorized users in locations other than the tax office. These users would not have complete access to the Tax Collection System.

Windows  2000/XP/7 Compliant and Network Compatibility
ACT version 7.0 runs on SUN Solaris servers utilizing industry standard TCP/IP network connections. The user interface executes inside standard Internet browsers on individual PCs.

Security and Recoverability
All data is maintained by a database management system that features full activity logging and recoverability.  Individualized operator sign-on controls limit access and function by operator for each system feature.  Oracle DataGuard is utilized to replicate data in real time to the ACT disaster recovery site located in Austin, Texas.

Comprehensive and Thorough Audit Trail
ACT takes pride in providing the most extensive audit trail possible.  No ACT client has ever had external or internal audit questions that were not answered to the complete satisfaction of all parties. Every change to the system data is logged and available for review.

Products and Reports

Current & Delinquent Tax Rolls

Supplemental & Adjustment Tax Rolls

Account History Report

Payment History Report

Account Status Report

Frozen Levy Loss Report

Exemptions Report

Jurisdiction Control Report

Bad Address Report

Laser Printed Individual or Combined Current / Delinquent Statements

Receipts with Partial Payment Status

Tax Certificates, Tax Certificates Paid Report & Tax Certificate Invoices

Postcard Receipts

Refund Reports

Batch Refund Request Letters & Refund Check Writing Ability

Mortgage Statement Request Report

Mortgage Request Conflict Report

Mortgage Company Billing Files

Online Payment Agreement Updates

Payment Agreement Reminder Letters & Default Notices

Payment Agreement Tracking Reports

Delinquent Status Tracking Report

Comprehensive Tax Collector Monthly Report Set

Deposit Posting & Status Reports

Deposit Distribution Reports

Fee Distribution Reports

Quarter Pay/Half Pay Status Reports

10/20/ Year Write-Off Process & Report

User Security and Change Control Reports