2002-03 Annual Report, Inland Revenue Department
(Text Only)

Information Technology

Information Systems Strategy | Office Automation | Submission of Employer's Return | Electronic Lodgement of Returns

Information Systems Strategy

Of the 12 implementation projects under the Department's second Information Systems Strategy (ISS) plan, another 3 projects were completed during the year, namely: -

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 Phase I 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.

Thus far, 7 projects have been completed. Development work for the 2 projects below continued during the review period: -

1) Strategic Planning Support System - to provide analytical information, projections and what-if analyses for strategic planning; and
2) Document Management System Phase I Project - to convert paper documents into digitised images and provide on-line and concurrent access to all documents in electronic form.

Feasibility study for the ISS project, Property Stamping System, which aims to provide an electronic and one-stop service for stamping of property instruments, was completed in March 2003.

Office Automation

The Department's workstation network continued to play an important role in the day-to-day business operations during the year. There were over 2,370 workstations as at 31 March 2003. E-mail facilities were extended to over 1,700 officers. An Intranet System hosting internal documents and reference materials was set up for access by all staff via their workstations. Besides, the development of the Computer Output Online Retrieval System which provides capturing, indexing, storage and retrieval functions for computer output documents was completed in March 2003. All these facilities seek to reduce paper consumption and enhance operational efficiency. During the year, on-line enquiries and updating transactions totalled 28.5 million and 6.0 million respectively, while 16.8 million transactions were processed in batch mode.

Submission of Employer's Return

Employers are encouraged to use electronic means (magnetic disks or CD-ROM) to furnish returns containing details of their employee's emoluments. During the year, some 38,400 employers furnished returns in this way in respect of some 2,160,000 employees. Of the total, some 28,000 employers used the software developed by the Department to furnish returns in respect of some 800,000 employees.

Electronic Lodgement of Returns

With effect from January 2001, the Department accepts the electronic filing of Tax Returns – Individuals and Property Tax Returns by holders of digital certificates through the Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) Scheme. Since April 2002, the Department further accepts filing through e-mails of electronic Profits Tax Returns by corporations and unincorporated businesses under the "Electronic Submission of Forms" Project.

To encourage more taxpayers to file tax returns electronically, new electronic filing services, which allow the "filing of tax return by telephone (Telefiling)" and the "using of password in online filing", were introduced in April 2003.


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(Last updated/reviewed : February 4, 2004)