joseph castellano

The Internal Revenue Service today announced the winners of its first crowdsourcing competition, called the “Tax Design Challenge,” that encouraged innovative ideas for the taxpayer experience of the future.

Out of 48 submissions, winners from California, Minnesota and Washington, D.C., were among those selected in categories covering overall design, taxpayer usefulness and best financial capability.

The three-week competition invited the public to imagine the taxpayer experience of the future and specifically design an online experience that better organizes and presents a person’s tax information.  The goal was to make it easier for a person to manage their tax responsibilities, and use their own tax data to make informed and effective decisions about their personal finances.

“This was a first-time endeavor for the IRS and one that reflects our strong commitment to engaging the public in efforts to build for the future state of tax administration,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We saw a strong response from the participants, and the winning designs are creative displays of what a future online taxpayer account could look like.”

The effort was done in coordination with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and engaged teams of designers, developers and innovative thinkers across the U.S. to envision options for taxpayer interactions.

“MBA was honored to join with IRS and sponsor this innovative partnership. The winning designs represent critical first steps towards the worthy goal of making taxpayer information easier to safely and swiftly obtain, for instance, when one is applying for a mortgage,” said David H. Stevens, CMB, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “The mortgage banking industry is innovating, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with the IRS and all stakeholders to build on the Tax Design Challenge’s success.”

A review panel considered each submission for all three prize categories listed below and selected winners based on defined criteria. The winners selected are:

Overall Design

$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, “taxes,” Washington D.C.

$1,000 (2nd): Dante Vono, “MyTax Online,” Minnesota

The Tax Design Challenge is part of the broader effort to plan for the future state of tax administration.  Participants were challenged to organize and present tax data in new ways that make tax information easier to understand and use.

Monetary prizes were funded exclusively by the Mortgage Bankers Association, and winners were recognized at an event today in Washington.

Since 2010, the federal government has administered more than 660 prize competitions.  The Tax Design Challenge is authorized under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act (Pub. L. 111-358).

For more about this government-wide program, visit

Categories: Tax News

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