Citizen Services

IRS crowdsources the future look for tax accounts online

IRS Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Rob Crandall / Shutterstock.com)

The IRS wrapped up its first crowdsourcing effort June 10, awarding prize money to four teams whose designs will help the agency overhaul its presentation of tax information.

"Of course I knew zippo about crowdsourcing," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen remarked at the awards event, saying the push was a big learning experience for the tax agency and that he was "delighted" with the results.

The big winner was San Francisco-based Andrew Miller, whose "IRS MyService" design was rated best in overall design and taxpayer usefulness. He won $12,000 for his work, while fellow San Franciscan Andrea Angquist was given $6,000 for her second-place finishes in both categories.

The team of Sam Nguyen and Vidhika Bansal, from Washington, D.C., won $2,000 for having the best-designed financial capabilities; Minnesotan Dante Vono earned $1,000 for second place in that category.

The prize money was provided by the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the winners came from a pool of 48 submissions.

The goal of the effort, Koskinen said, was to help propel the IRS toward a future in which taxpayers' online interactions with the agency are as smooth as their online interactions with their banks.

That's "easier said than done," he acknowledged, but the clean designs produced through the crowdsourcing competition provide the IRS with a solid start on designing taxpayers accounts of tomorrow.

About the Author

Zach Noble is a staff writer covering digital citizen services, workforce issues and a range of civilian federal agencies.

Before joining FCW in 2015, Noble served as assistant editor at the viral news site TheBlaze, where he wrote a mix of business, political and breaking news stories and managed weekend news coverage. He has also written for online and print publications including The Washington Free Beacon, The Santa Barbara News-Press, The Federalist and Washington Technology.

Noble is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, where he studied English, economics and mathematics.

Click here for previous articles by Noble, or connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.


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