More than two years ago, we asked the New Jersey Division of Taxation to join the modern business world: to fax or email N.J.S.A. 54:50-38-required tax escrow notices to business and real estate closing attorneys instead of dropping the notices in the mail. Mail can be slow, and closings (sometimes time sensitive) cannot be promptly scheduled or require postponement. Because the statute permits the division to send the statutory notice “by such means as the director may prescribe,” there is no legislative bar to electronic notification, the means used by the business world.
But the director of the Division of Taxation continues to use the mails (at greater cost to the state), and unacceptable delays continue to impede business closings. This contributes in its own small way to New Jersey’s business-unfriendly atmosphere.
Perhaps the answer is not just another recommendation to the division’s director. The Legislature should consider adding this sentence at the end of N.J.S.A. 54:50-38a(1): “Said notice shall be given by e-mail or other electronic means unless the recipient has not advised the Director of the recipient’s electronic address in which case the Director shall give the required notice by ordinary mail.”
Of course, the director of the division of taxation could achieve the same result by simply requiring electronic communication of the tax claim/escrow notices as permitted under the prevailing statute. We would prefer that quick and easy remedy.