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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)

IRD serves with devotion and strives for perfection

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        The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) achieved or even exceeded most of the targets set in its performance pledges in 2002-03, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mrs Lau Mak Yee-ming, Alice, said today (June 23).

        Announcing the IRD's performance in 2002-03, she thanked taxpayers for their support to the Department and attributed the IRD's achievement to the devotion of all staff to provide high quality customer-oriented services to taxpayers. The Department pledged to continue striving to improve the service standards to meet the community's aspirations.

        From April 2002 onwards, the Department has enhanced the service standard of processing new business registration applications. The time required for change of business registration particulars was also shortened. Both enhanced standards were achieved within targeted times.

        "To further improve our service standards, the pledged time for processing the majority of Property Tax Returns and Composite Tax Returns has also been shortened from nine months to six months this year. Most taxpayers receive the notices of assessment earlier and with tax payment dates remaining more or less the same as previous years, they can have more time to plan their financial arrangement."

        "Our services kept extending over the years. We launched the E-forms for Profits Tax Returns and the TeleTax services in April 2002. Taxpayers can file their Profits Tax Returns through E-mails on the Internet and make use of a 'Taxpayer Identification Number' and a password to make enquiries on their personal tax affairs anytime through a touch-tone phone," she said.

        "One of our agenda items for extending the coverage of the TeleTax services was to implement the filing of return via telephone service. With the support of Legislative Councillors, the Amendment Bill to the Inland Revenue Ordinance related to the proposal was enacted. Taxpayers can now choose another simple and convenient mode of electronic means for filing their tax returns," Mrs Lau added.

        Another aspect of the Department’s efforts in serving the community better is to improve the service environment. "We have completed refurbishing the Enquiry Service Centre on the first floor of the Revenue Tower. Visitors can now acquire more information in a more convenient and comfortable environment," Mrs Lau said.

        Mrs Lau also thanked members of the IRD Users' Committee, an independent body comprising of professionals and academics, for the contributions they made in monitoring and enhancing the Department's performance against its pledges.

        At today's presentation ceremony for IRD's 2003 Best Customer Service Awards, the Committee members presented prizes to 16 individual and group winners in appreciation of the excellent service they provided to their customers. Mrs Lau believed support and appreciation from taxpayers would provide a strong impetus for all staff of the IRD to serve with devotion and strive for perfection.

        The IRD's 2003/04 performance pledge and 2002/03 performance pledge annual report are accessible on the IRD web site (www.info.gov.hk/ird/eng/abo/per_tcp.htm). Copies are also available for collection at IRD offices and the Public Enquiry Service Centres of District Offices.

End/Monday, June 23, 2003