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CDTFA Modernizes to Ease Customer Use

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration has undergone major changes in the last few years, and more are on the way.

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The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration has undergone major changes in the last few years, and more are on the way.

Even though the department took a break from buying technology to focus on standing up its Centralized Revenue Opportunity System (CROS), according to CIO Nabil Fares, it's back to investing in modernization. 

Fares said he is focused on making CDTFA work for its customers, because it includes more than 30 tax programs and more than $66 billion in sales and use taxes.

"Our systems cannot flinch," Fares said. "Our website cannot take a break."

So Fares has been bringing these systems on board:

"All of this stuff is technology, but in my mind I'm focusing a lot on the solution, on the process and on the team, in terms of training and getting them excited," Fares said.

Getting employees excited is a key component of eventually retiring the mainframe, which Fares hopes can happen in about three years.

All the changes are meant to create a customer-centric service, according to CROS Project Director Scott Capulong. CROS should replace all walk-in services like updating contact information, filing appeals or information access. The system will also replace two legacy systems, which include having one record that is accessible across all customer needs, reducing the frequency with which customers have to contact employees for services.

CROS is meant to be mobile-friendly and personalized, as well.

Kayla Nick-Kearney was a staff writer for Techwire from March 2017 through January 2019.