2001-02 Annual Report, Inland Revenue Department
(Text Only)

Information Technology

Information Systems Strategy | Office Automation | Enhancement of Output Printing | Submission of Employer's Return | Electronic Lodgement of Returns | Electronic Forms for Profits Tax Returns |Other Enhancements

Information Systems Strategy

Implementation of the Department's second Information Systems Strategy (ISS) plan, which consists of 12 projects, was in steady progress. The following 3 projects were completed during the year:-

1) Data Management Enhancement Project, to enhance the management of the data collected by the Department;
2) Interactive Taxpayer Enquiry Service Project, to provide automated round-the-clock telephone enquiry service in respect of personal tax information; and
3) Business Registration Processing, to provide electronic access to certain business registration services.

Development work for the 3 projects below continued during the review period:-

1) System Infrastructure Enhancement Project, to enhance the computer system's infrastructure components in order to cope with the new business initiatives and commitments;
2) Assess First Audit Later System Project, to improve the effectiveness of field audits and promote voluntary tax compliance; and
3) Electronic Lodgement Service Project, to provide for telefiling of tax returns.

Feasibility study for the ISS project, Strategic Planning Support System, which aims to provide analytical information, projections and what-if analyses for strategic planning, was completed in November 2001. Tender evaluation for another ISS project, the Document Management System Phase I Project, which aims to convert paper documents into digitised images and provide on-line and concurrent access to all documents in electronic form, was completed in March 2002.

Office Automation

The Department's workstation network continued to expand during the year. The total number of workstations rose to about 2,350 as at 31 March 2002. To gradually replace paper correspondence through greater use of e-mail communication, e-mail facilities were extended to some 1,350 officers.

Software asset management tools were also installed for ensuring the proper management and use of computer software in the Department. During the year, on-line enquiries and updating transactions totalled 28.2 million and 5.8 million respectively,
while 16.8 million transactions were processed in batch mode.

Enhancement of Output Printing

A new mainframe printer capable of supporting cut-sheet, form overlay and multi-page document printing was put in production use in November 2001. In addition, a new Document Finishing System with collating, folding and multiple insertions of varying size capabilities was also installed in early 2002.

Submission of Employer's Return

Employers are encouraged to use electronic means (magnetic disks or CD-ROM) to furnish returns containing details of their employees' emoluments. During the year, some 33,000 employers furnished returns in this way in respect of some 1,790,000 employees. This represented an increase of more than 14% over the previous year. Of the total, some 25,000 employers used the software developed by the Department to furnish returns in respect of some 800,000 employees. The IRD Software running on PC platform was also enhanced to cater for more operating system versions.

Electronic Lodgement of Returns

With effect from January 2001, the Department accepts the electronic filing of Tax Returns - Individuals and Property Tax Returns through the Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) Scheme. During the year, the take-up rate remained low. In view of this, the Department has enhanced the system functions and streamlined the input processes to enable more users to file their tax returns electronically in a more user-friendly manner.

Electronic Forms for Profits Tax Returns

To facilitate electronic submission of profits tax returns, four electronic forms were developed under the Government's "Electronic Submission of Forms" Project for public use on 1 April 2002.

Other Enhancements

The Department introduced the following new / enhanced services under the Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) Scheme in the year:-

1) Notification of Change of Business Particulars;
2) Application for Business or Branch Registration by partnerships and corporations; and
3) Use of password as an alternative means of authentication for Interactive Tax Enquiry.

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(Last updated/reviewed : January 13, 2003)