Wisconsin revamping tax system

As part of a seven-year, $56 million plan to revamp its computer systems,

the Wisconsin Department of Revenue has signed a contract with American

Management Systems Inc. to develop and implement a World Wide Web-enabled

sales tax system.

The DOR has 30 different computer systems for various tax programs, but

none are integrated, said David Blaska, department spokesperson. "One dates

back to the 60s," he said.

The Integrated Tax System is very important to improve customer service

and increase department efficiency, Blaska said. "It is where the world

is going. It will allow us to do better financial management and recover

what we aren't being paid now."

He said the department estimates recouping $37.2 million by 2005. The department

takes in $9.5 billion in taxes per year.

The system will be Web-enabled, allowing about 170,000 businesses to pay

sales taxes online, transfer payments electronically, and review their payment

history. It will also allow administrators to work on one system, with changes

shown in real-time.

The contract with AMS is the second phase of the project. The first phase

simply laid basic groundwork for an integrated system. The project is expected

to take an additional five to six years to complete.

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