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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)

IRD strives for service improvement

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The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has achieved the target in most of its performance pledges in 2004-05. It has also excelled in some of the targeted performances.

These results were most encouraging, especially in the light of the Government's expenditure reduction programme and manpower cut, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mrs Alice Lau Mak Yee-ming said today (June 29).

Announcing the IRD's performance in 2004-05, Mrs Lau expressed heartfelt thanks to taxpayers for their support of the department. In particular, she was grateful for the public's tolerance and understanding at times when the service was inadequate. She also attributed IRD's achievement to all staff who had shown unflagging support for the department's mission of providing courteous and effective services to the taxpaying public. Mrs Lau said the department pledged to continue serving the public better by providing more varied and better quality services.

In the drive for continuous improvement, the IRD has, from April 2005, enhanced the service levels of four pledged items. "An application for certified extracts of information from the business register can now be processed in one working day, which is a marked improvement from the previous standard of two working days. The department has also enhanced the system for e-filing of individual tax return and added new functions like 'Pre-filling of data' and 'Estimation of salaries tax payable'.

"Coupled with an extension of time limit by two weeks, it is hoped that taxpayers can be encouraged to file their tax returns electronically. We are pleased to note the growing popularity of the IRD's e-services," Mrs Lau said.

She 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.

At today's presentation ceremony for IRD's 2005 Outstanding Customer Service Awards, committee members presented prizes to 36 individual and group winners chosen by taxpayers. "A taxpayer's vote means support and encouragement which motivates us to do even better," Mrs Lau said.

The IRD's 2005-06 performance pledge and 2004-05 performance pledge annual report are accessible on the IRD web site (www.ird.gov.hk). Copies are also available for collection at IRD offices and the Public Enquiry Service Centres of District Offices.

Ends/Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Issued at HKT 16:03

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