Information Technology

Information Systems Strategy


The following 2 projects under the Department's second Information Systems Strategy (ISS) plan were completed during the year:

1. Property Stamping System Project - to provide an electronic and one-stop service for stamping of property instruments; and
2. Assess First Audit Later System Phase II Project - to provide more efficient and sophisticated selection methods for audit, investigation and tax compliance measurement.

Thus far, out of the 12 projects under the ISS Plan, 9 have been fully completed. Development work for the Document Management System Phase II Project and the Workflow Management System Project has already commenced in March 2005. These projects aim to extend the Document Management System to cover other paper and electronic documents in addition to tax returns, and to automate the distribution of work tasks to provide efficient means of case processing, tracking, monitoring and control.



Computerised and Paperless Office


The Department's workstation network continued to play an important role in the day-to-day business operations during the year. There were over 2,340 workstations as at 31 March 2005. During the year, on-line enquiries and updating transactions totalled 28 million and 5.8 million respectively. Through the workstations, staff could also have convenient access to the Document Management System to view the images of tax returns, or to the General Enquiry Knowledge Database for easy and quick access to answers for frequently asked questions. Efficiency of the day-to-day operations of the Department and handling of general enquiries were therefore improved.

E-mail facilities were provided to more than 1,660 officers with over 850 of them having access to the Internet. The plan to extend e-mail facilities and Internet access to all officers has also commenced. All these facilities seek to reduce paper consumption and enhance operational efficiency.



Submission of Employer's Return


The provision of free software developed by the Department to employers for preparation and submission of annual returns in respect of employee's emoluments continued to attract more employers to use electronic means for return filing. During the year, some 42,400 employers furnished electronic returns for about 2,220,000 employees. 32,300 of these employers used the software provided by the Department.



Electronic Lodgement of Returns


In the drive for continuous improvement, the IRD has, based on customers' feedback and comments, 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". The "Pre-filling of data" function makes the filing process easier and simpler, while the "Estimation of salaries tax payable" function will compute the taxpayer's estimated Salaries Tax payable immediately upon submission of the return to help him plan early for tax payment.



Online Application of e-Tax Password

To facilitate taxpayers to use our e-services, in addition to the 24 hours Automated Telephone Registration Hotline service launched in April 2004, a new online function for taxpayer to apply e-Tax Password via the Internet has also been introduced in April 2005 to allow online registration and application for e-Tax password. The password together with the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) can be used for e-services, including filing returns, notifying change of address and making enquiries on personal tax information via the Internet or telephone any time.