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Georgia Sales & Use Tax return software for individual retail businesses, dealers, and contractors with only one Sales Tax Number (STN).

New GTC Site – some issues

While the situation at the GTC is somewhat fluid and we are learning more about it almost daily, this bulletin is intended to share with you what we know at this point.

Main points:

  • The XML files created by S-TaxPro are not causing any problems. They are as reliable as ever.
  • As a result of a problem with the GTC site, some sales tax payments submitted through the “Import” process were never applied and may have been “lost.” The GTC is aware of the issue. They are working on a solution but have not yet determined whether the payment information can be recovered and properly applied.
  • Please report any problems with payments directly to the DOR/GTC and include both your Confirmation Numbers and your Taxpayer’s STN. While we here at S-Tax Georgia are very interested in learning how these issues are being handled, we cannot help resolve them.
  • We have learned that the newest version of the GTC sales tax site – released around November 22nd – should have improved the situation with the Import process. At this point, we do not know the full details, but the new Import process is supposed to be reading the payment information from the XML files. While this information has always been included in S-TaxPro XML files, the GTC’s Import process did NOT read or import it in the past. So, this will be a welcome change. We do not yet know how this is being implemented.

Below are some notes about the differences between File Upload and Import that we have documented in the past. This information is subject to change as the GTC modifies their software.

The new design at the GTC has put a distinct emphasis on the use of their “Import XML” process. The Import process has always worked a little differently than the “Upload File” option that most S-Tax users use, and it has created some confusion. This is a little more complicated to write about than to demonstrate, but we will try.

  1. Import vs. Upload:
    1. Which one are you using?
        1. Both methods have always been available
        2. Upload has been the “default” method up until this period
        3. Upload File option has now been moved to a separate options screen. You have to find it by clicking on “See more links….”
        4. The new GTC design guides users toward using the “Import Return” method.  It uses the word “Import” on the screen.
        5. Unless you intentionally go looking for Upload (and find it under the “See more links”), you will end up using Import


    2. What are the differences between Import and Upload?
        1. File Upload is the old, familiar method for most S-Tax users and it INCLUDES all the payment information so that the Return and the Payment are submitted at the same time with a single confirmation. The GTC prefers that only Bulk Filers use this method, but it can be used by anyone (as of now – may change without warning in the future).
        2. Warning! File Upload currently has a bug in it for reporting Use tax and will generate an error. This is only a problem if you are reporting Use Tax for a Non-Master Filer.
        3. Import Return (via XML) is the method that the GTC would like everyone to begin using. It has a few advantages and several disadvantages.
        4. Import does NOT read the Payment information from the XML file! You must make the payment in a separate step at the end of the review process.  (We have been told that this has changed but we have not verified that information.)
        5. Import Return now requires many steps – clicking “Next” many times during a rather extensive Review Return process that many users find time-consuming – before you finally get the option to Submit the return. Upon Submission, you get a confirmation ONLY for the Return filing – NOT the payment.
        6. After choosing to “Schedule a Payment,” you will get a separate confirmation.
          NOTE: if you schedule the payment for a future date (the normal procedure), the balance will show as due and the “Make a Payment” option will be displayed until the payment is completed on the scheduled date. (This may be confusing to the user and may cause many people to submit multiple payments.)
        7. There are actually a few advantages to using the Import process that you should consider:
          1. The review process can help identify any errors on the return and you can correct them immediately.
          2. The Use tax option works as it should.
          3. You can print the return directly from this interface in a facsimile of the ST-3.

Finally, we have been working diligently to prepare some documentation for both our new system and the changes at the GTC. However, the new GTC design was as much of a surprise to us as it was to everyone else. Currently, there isn’t any useful documentation available from the GTC. Our own documentation may be ready before the DOR publishes any of their own. As a caveat, be prepared for more changes at the GTC next month and beyond!

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