New Va. Department of Taxation website designed to help customers

The Virginia Department of Taxation introduced a new website this week designed to give taxpayers a quicker, more intuitive path to the information they need.

The site – – features a menu-based design that guides users to what they need with a minimum of mouse clicks. Forms have been organized in a more navigable layout with additional information about each one. Improvements have been made to the search function, and important announcements and other information are now featured in a large slideshow in the center of the home page.

The major website overhaul was in response primarily to comments and suggestions received from taxpayers in surveys on the old site, along with feedback from focus groups and department employees.

“Our customers were a little frustrated and I didn’t blame them,” said Tax Commissioner Craig M. Burns. “The site needed upgrading anyway and the taxpayers who took the time to respond to surveys helped us define what the new site should look like. We now have a full-time webmaster to keep the new site current and up to the standards our customers demand.”

More taxpayers than ever, both individuals and businesses, are doing their tax-related transactions online through the department’s website, according to officials.

Last year the site received more than nine million electronic transactions, including returns filed, payments made and businesses registered – an increase of nearly 10 percent from the previous year.

All of the content on the new site has been reviewed and, in many cases, rewritten to make it easier to understand. The new site is also compatible with most browsers and electronic devices, such as mobile phones and tablets.

Patient First to offer free Halloween candy x-rays

Patient First will offer free digital X-ray imaging of Halloween candy at all neighborhood medical centers from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29 through Oct. 31.

While an adult should always inspect candy before allowing a child to enjoy their trick-or-treating rewards, the free X-ray offer gives parents an additional precaution to consider and to provide peace of mind. X-rays may detect objects such as glass, metal or plastic; however, parents still need to provide supervision, since some foreign materials may not appear in x-rays. > Read more.

Reynolds CC to host sculptor Paul DiPasquale

Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.

Theme for this year’s Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter announced

The theme for the annual Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Lakeside has been announced.

This year's event, which opens Nov. 25 and will continue through Jan. 9, will explore "Living Color" and show how the world's kaleidoscope of colors speaks to people, impacts nature and influences culture, according to Garden officials. The event features more than a half million lights, botanical decorations, trains, holiday dinners, family activities and more. > Read more.


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Virginia Center Commons will host the annual Mall-o-ween event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This safe, indoor alternative to traditional outdoor Halloween activities will offer free mall-wide trick-or-treating for the whole family to enjoy. Participating stores will have a special pumpkin flyer posted in their store-front window (while supplies last). For details, call 266-9000 or visit or Full text

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