GovGuam staffers pitch-in at Rev & Tax - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GovGuam staffers pitch-in at Rev & Tax

by Lannie Walker

Guam - Employees from several government agencies are making their way to the Department of Revenue & Taxation to help during the tax season.  Tax season is heating up and Rev & Tax is feeling the burn - with just ten days to go until April 15, the crowd at the agency is starting to grow, but that's not the only thing expanding at the department.

A temporary support staff is filtering in to help fill the gap in workforce, as director Art Ilagan said, "So far, three came in and understanding several more are coming in from Public Works and the Commercial Port."  Ilagan says a total of 30 temporary workers will take their posts by the end of the week. 

Debbie Mafnas was transferred from the Department of Public Health.  "If help is needed in an agency and we can help, I don't see why that a problem," she said.  

Collections Supervisor Maria Mesa says she will place the new workers in administrative positions, telling KUAM News, "More than likely they will be in the front line - customer service.  That's where I'm going to place them for now."

This will free up trained Rev & Tax officers to collect on taxes, "so that I can take my revenue officers and they can go out into the field," said Ilagan.

Ilagan adds the support will also work on updating backlogged data to determine what businesses are filing...and which aren't.  "We aren't working on a lot of things we should be; we are so understaffed, once we get that then our staff can take over and collect on the taxes," he added.

Mesa says she thinks the added help will make a big difference, but says her department will still be understaffed - Collections once had 37 employees, but is now down to 22.  Five of the 30 outsourced workers will be assigned to collections, leaving Mesa still shortstaffed.

Another hurdle is training the new employees, but Mafnas says she is up to the task.  She said with a smile, "I'm always ready to learn."

As of today the support staff is only scheduled to stay at Rev & Tax for a total of 90 days.

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