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Into the future of e-government

The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is using an XML database to store sales and use tax returns filed online from business owners.

Under the board’s e-filing program, businesses can use real-time Internet technology to file those returns and arrange for payment of taxes using an electronic return originator. This ERO collects data from taxpayers, checks their forms for computational errors and sends the returns as XML documents to the BOE, which inputs them to a Tamino native XML database from Software AG . The software stores XML documents “natively,” eliminating the need for translation that can impair performance, alter data or result in additional data entry and administration.

“The Board of Equalization recognizes that XML is the electronic data interchange format of the future,” says Larry Hanson, data architect for the board. “XML helps facilitate our move into e-government.”

The initial phase of the board’s e-filing program was developed to serve more than 700,000 business owners in California. Future phases of the initiative will involve additional taxpayers and programs.

Says Alf Goebel, president of Software AG, “We are seeing increased momentum in the adoption of XML technology. The California State Board of Equalization’s decision to implement the Tamino native XML database validates our belief that government really stands to benefit from XML technology.”

Prior to going live with the program, the BOE began testing Tamino in June 2000.The tax programs administered by the California State Board of Equalization include: sales and use taxes, property taxes, special taxes and the tax appellate program. In 1998-99, taxes and fees administered by the board yielded $36.5 billion, which is used to provide essential services to residents.

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