Gov’t unveils redesigned SURI platform, announces start of ’21 tax cycle
Puerto Rico government officials unveiled an updated version of the Treasury Department’s Unified Internal Revenue System (SURI, in Spanish), which integrates features for easier use.
Treasury completed the integration of tax services in the digital platform in February 2020, after four years of work and an investment of more than $40 million. This technological advance puts Puerto Rico on par with more than 25 states and other jurisdictions in Europe and Asia, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi and Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés said during a news conference.
They also announced the start of the 2021 tax cycle, which will run until April 18, 2022, and reminded citizens to claim the tax credits included in the return, which in many cases will represent significant refunds for individuals and families.
“Recent work focused on the design of a more dynamic platform that has better organized information screens, so that taxpayers carry out procedures with Treasury in a simpler and more efficient way, in addition to helping them keep their tax filing information up to date,” said Parés. “Taxpayers who file their return through SURI starting today will be able to experience this update immediately.”
In the last two years, with the impact of COVID-19, SURI had a leading role, becoming a key tool in the distribution of more than $10 billion in aid to individuals and to different sectors of the economy.
“In the coming months, we will also use this tool to disburse a large share of the approximately $2.5 billion of the package of six credits available in this tax cycle, of which five are contained in the 2021 income tax return, which is already available,” Pierluisi noted.
Another SURI innovation is that it will have the ability to automatically populate the W-2PR 2021 Withholding Statement, practically preparing the return for filing, specifically in the cases of salaried taxpayers, who will only have to verify if the information is correct.
Functionalities are added to accept mathematical error and tax form adjustment notifications, speeding up the processes and providing easy access to the Merchants’ Registration Certificates, in addition to adding a ‘Favorites’ tab, so that the representatives, who are the people who act on behalf of taxpayers, can group their clients.
The update of the digital platform includes sections by theme and a search bar, which will allow users to quickly find the service they need. It also offers quick access to the most used links, which are debt certifications, filing certifications, payment plan requests and printing of W-2s and the different forms.
“The SURI update was done with users in mind, to simplify tasks and searches. Remember that the username and password of your accounts remain the same and the service continues to be available 24 hours a day, every day of the week,” Parés said.
Credits and tax returns
The credits that will be available in the 2021 return are: the American Opportunity Credit for eligible educational expenses; the third Economic Impact payment of $1,400 for people who did not receive it; Refundable credits for Paid Sick Leave and Family Leave for self-employed individuals; and the Work Credit for people 19 years of age and older, with income earned in 2021, which will benefit nearly 500,000 families.
This package of credits is coupled with the Credit for Minor Dependents or Child Tax Credit, which is requested through the US Internal Revenue Service, through Form 1040PR. This will represent benefits of $3,600 for each child between zero and five years old, and $3,000 for minors between six and 17 years old.
Regarding the electronic filing of the individual income tax return, Parés said it may be filed through programs certified by the agency and the SURI platform, which is free.
This year’s filing deadline is April 18, 2022.