MOUNT VERNON — This year the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a new initiative to increase the number of electronic transactions that involve the treasury. In addition to businesses that interact with the department, these transactions will include individuals receiving Social Security, supplemental security income, veteran payments and railroad retirement, and the Office of Personnel Management.
To reduce the number of transactions being conducted via paper, the treasury will require individuals receiving benefits to obtain payments electronically through direct deposit or direct express debit card. This measure will apply to new enrollees beginning March 1, 2011, and to existing recipients March 1, 2013.
Businesses using paper federal tax deposit coupons will have to make deposits electronically starting next year, with the exception of businesses with $2,500 or less in tax liability that pay when they file their returns. According to the treasury department, the initiative will eliminate the option to purchase paper saving bonds through payroll deductions; deadlines are Sept. 30 for federal employees, and Jan. 1, 2011, for the private sector.
For individuals who directly purchase paper saving bonds, the initiative will not apply, and individuals will continue to be able to purchase at financial institutions.
According to the treasury department, the initiative is expected to save more than $400 million and 12 million pounds of paper in the first five years, as well as provide safety, convenience and control for payment recipients, taxpayers and savings bond holders.