The IRS has spent much of 2015 and 2016 reaching out to taxpayers, whether through the security summit resulting in the “Taxes. Security. Together.” initiative or the Taxpayer Advocate Forums encouraging dialogue from taxpayers and tax professionals. This outreach is perhaps best represented by the recent Tax Design Challenge – the IRS’s first ever crowd-sourcing competition.
Contestants were tasked with “reimagining the taxpayer experience and [designing] the taxpayer experience of the future,” which meant finding new ways to present taxpayer data to make it more accessible and easier to understand. This resulted in 48 submissions presenting different graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that hoped to make the online taxpayer experience more intuitive.
The winners of the competition hailed from two states, California and Minnesota, and Washington D.C., and each submission was judged on the basis of three categories: overall design, taxpayer usefulness, and best financial capability. Overall design winners were awarded $10,000 for first place and $5,000 for second place, while taxpayer usefulness and financial capability winners earned $2,000 for first place and $1,000 for second place.
Here are the winners listed on the IRS announcement:
- $10,000 (1st): Andrew Miller, “IRS MyService,” San Francisco
- $5,000 (2nd): Andrea Angquist, “IRS 365,” San Francisco
Best Taxpayer Usefulness
- $2,000 (1st): Andrew Miller, “IRS MyService,” San Francisco
- $1,000 (2nd): Andrea Angquist, “IRS 365,” San Francisco
Best Financial Capability
- $2,000 (1st): Sam Nguyen and Vidhika Bansal, “taxEZ,” Washington D.C.
- $1,000 (2nd): Dante Vono, “MyTax Online,” Minnesota"
Source: Internal Revenue Service