CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 11, 2022, to celebrate the grand opening of the West Virginia State Tax Department’s new Taxpayer Engagement Center.
Located in downtown Charleston, the Taxpayer Engagement Center consolidates taxpayer access locations in the area to a single, modern location, designed for ease of access and customer service.
“This new facility looks amazing and is another arm of our efforts to bring goodness to our people and to be welcoming to all – that’s the fabric of who we are as West Virginians,” Gov. Justice said. “At the end of the day, we know how to appreciate others. That’s what this building stands for: an appreciation for others.”
The new center’s purpose is to increase taxpayer communication, education, and overall engagement to promote voluntary compliance with tax laws.
The new facility will include kiosks to help taxpayers file and pay their taxes with ease. It will also have space dedicated to taxpayer specific educational opportunities for individuals and small businesses. Additionally, the Engagement Center will also allow taxpayers to meet with tax representatives by appointment.
It was also announced during the event that the new facility would be home to the new Office of the Taxpayer Advocate. This independent office within the State Tax Department is the first of its kind in West Virginia, and is dedicated to ensuring all taxpayers are treated fairly and that they know and understand their rights.
The Governor was joined for Thursday’s celebration by West Virginia Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy and Tax Commissioner Matt Irby.
“We owe this Governor a great deal of gratitude,” Secretary Hardy said. “Everything that we’ve ever asked for, budget-wise, we’ve gotten, which has enabled us to open this office here today.
“This was all part of a plan to make our Tax Department modern, relevant, and, more importantly, friendly to the public,” Secretary Hardy continued. “We wanted an office that shows just how appreciative we are to the taxpayers of West Virginia, and we wanted a building befitting of what’s done in this office. Almost all of our general revenue funds exclusively come through this building. So this day has been a long time coming, and it’s exciting.”
“It’s a very exciting time here at the State Tax Department, and we thank the Governor for coming today and everything you do for us and our state every day,” Commissioner Irby said. “Since I started as Tax Commissioner, Secretary Hardy and I have discussed rebranding our efforts as ‘Tax 2.0.’ Essentially, we wanted to transform the department into a modern version that engages fairly with taxpayers and is committed to excellence.”
The Taxpayer Engagement Center was decorated by the West Virginia Department of Tourism. Artwork was hand-selected to showcase the beauty of West Virginia to visitors.
“It was incumbent on us to place West Virginia citizens at the center of our plans, and we wanted to increase our engagement efforts with the public,” Commissioner Irby continued. “So this place represents the cornerstone in our strategic plan to increase taxpayer communication, education, and overall engagement to promote voluntary compliance with our tax laws.
“We think it’s a step forward in easing the burdens of government on our citizenry and allowing individuals and businesses to thrive in West Virginia. That’s exactly what we’re dedicated to doing.”