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 spokesman. "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.

By being Web-enabled, the system will allow 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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