Federation of
Tax Administrators

444 North Capitol Street, N.W., #348
Washington, D.C. 20001
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CONTACT: Jonathan Lyon
jonathan.lyon@taxadmin.org

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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE WINS FTA AWARD
FOR OUTSTANDING TECHNOLOGY APPLICATION

(Washington, D.C., April 14, 2008) The Federation of Tax Administrators announced today that the Washington Department of Revenue is the winner of the 2008 FTA Award for Outstanding Technology Application in State Tax Administration.

Presentation of the award will take place during the FTA Annual Meeting, June 8-11 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The winner has also been invited to make a presentation at both the Annual Meeting and the FTA Technology Conference and Exhibition, August 10-13 in Chicago, Illinois.

The Washington Department of Revenue was recognized for its User-Centered Web Applications and Usability Testing. The program resulted in the launch in April 2007 of an entirely user-centered and redesigned web site.

Judges were impressed by Washington’s use of extensive customer input in the development and design process, and noted that not only was the program innovative, it was an excellent demonstration of how effective usability studies are in software development.

With 2.5 million visitors annually, the agency has to ensure that its customers understand their reporting obligations and have the on-line tools to comply easily and conveniently.  Featuring the involvement of taxpayers from the very beginning in the redesign, the site’s users have reacted to the site extremely positively, commenting on : “ . . . the ease of use and friendly navigation, ability to easily e-file, and the online videos . . . Revenue’s web site is an example for others to follow.”

Overall, positive ratings from Taxpayer Satisfaction Surveys and taxpayer participation percentages have increased significantly. More than ten other agencies have asked the Department to teach them more about Washington’s leadership in this area.

Judging was performed by J.R. Simpson, Chief Financial Officer, Virginia Department of Social Services; Lissa Henderson-Lucht, Systems Engineer, CACI, Inc.; and John Salazar, former CIO, New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.

The Federation of Tax Administrators is a nonprofit organization composed of the tax and revenue departments of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, New York City and Puerto Rico.  Its mission is to improve the standards and methods of tax administration. FTA will also soon name the winner of its 2008 Leadership Award.

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