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Tax Code Calculator - instant calculation of tax rates

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Very recently, Enlighten Designs was commissioned by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to develop the New Zealand Tax Guide website (www.taxguide.govt.nz).

Big tax changes were planned in the 2010 Budget, and ministerial advisors wanted to communicate those changes through an interactive web site to be made available after Budget publishing and release.

They wanted a website where visitors could enter in their incomes and discover how much they would save per year with new tax cuts and GST increases. In this project, Enlighten needed to deliver a reliable web solution that would be accessible to the widest of target markets and that could scale to meet massive peak demands. The DIA needed absolute secrecy and confidentiality during development phases up until the moment of the site’s release, a widely anticipated part of the government’s annual national Budget for New Zealand.

Enlighten leveraged Amazon EC2’s cloud server offering to provide a massively scalable website that easily served over 250,000 unique users in a single afternoon. The site was put through rigorous usability and accessibility testing by both Enlighten and DIA testers and ultimately surpassed W3C accessibility guidelines.

To ensure security, Enlighten has several detections in place on its firewall to prevent and block any attacks by viruses, port scanning, IP spoof attacks, or other harmful applications. Being confidential government information, high level security was a vital part of the project. In Enlighten’s 11-year history, we have never had a security breach.

To program the site to handle high visitor loads, Enlighten coded the tax calculations in Javascript, so the visitor only loads one page. All of the calculations were performed in the browser, meaning that most visitors would only hit the server once. Minimal amounts of HTML, CSS and Javascript were used to keep file sizes down. As a result, the responsiveness of the website and calculations was immediate.

All the images and resources were delivered from Amazon S3. This means that a fast content delivery network was used to deliver all files, Javascript, and CSS files and this load wouldn't hit the main servers.

Tax Code Calculator - instant calculation of tax rates has not been reviewed by any customers.

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