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 former FCW staff writer.

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