NH DRA compliance officers interact with M&R operators during NH’s Ultimate Yard Sale and Food Truck Festival in Contoocook. From left: Marissa Berry (DRA), Betty Rheaume (DRA), Nicole Dow and Tara Bachman (PHILLY’s GOOD EATS), Shernelle Williams (DRA) and Shawn Jones (DRA).
The NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) is transforming the way taxpayers interact with the Department, particularly with its most active taxpayer group, Meals & Rentals Tax (M&R) Operators. There are currently more than 9,300 M&R operators, with an average of more than 1,000 new operators registering every year.
“The Meals and Rentals tax generated more than $331.6 million in revenue in Fiscal Year 2018, which is the third highest tax revenue generated out of the 15 taxes collected by DRA at the state and local level,” says DRA Commissioner Lindsey Stepp.
Of the more than 9,300 M&R operators in the state DRA estimates that more than 34 percent are seasonal, meaning amusement parks, campgrounds, golf courses, mobile vendors and more, making summer particularly important. Beginning in June, DRA started sending compliance officers into the field to cover more than 70 fairs and festivals across the state. DRA’s presence at these events, through in-person visits or pre-event prep with event coordinators, provides an on-site resource for the thousands of operators who attend and work at these events. DRA compliance officers wear branded gear for easy identification if operators have questions about their standing, deadlines, and more.
The DRA is also increasing efficiency with the following initiatives:
- Providing an opportunity for feedback with a new email address for operators’ suggestions and responses.
- Working with chambers of commerce to offer insight into tax year form changes, recent relevant legislative changes, and common filing errors.
- Creating a taxpayer portal that, when launched, will allow customers to complete tasks online, such as file taxes, schedule automated online payments, request and review documentation, check on the status of payment, claim or request, and more.
- Dedicating online resources to tax filing links, forms and instructions, FAQ and more.
The Meals and Rentals Tax was enacted in 1967. It is paid by the consumer and collected by operators of hotels, restaurants, food service, room rental and motor vehicle rentals. Operators then pay the state on the 15th day of the month following the taxable period.