Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Taxpayers find e-filing not that easy


Long queues at the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) counters here has made taxpayers frustrated, especially with the deadline to submit their return forms looming nearer. They said the description, “Easy, accurate and safe” used for thee-filing system was inaccurate, especially the “easy” part of the description. A check at the IRB headquarters here showed that the taxpayers were frustrated with the process of the e-filing system as it took a long time just to get through the first step, obtaining the pin number to accessing the system on the Internet. There was a long queue of taxpayers waiting to get their pin number and those interviewed expressed their disappointment over the slow process as according to IRB, the e-filing system can only be used until end of June. According to Mohammad Yassin, a marine police personnel from Sandakan, he thought it was easier to get the pin number in the State Capital. “In Sandakan, the queue is always long which is why I decided to come here to get my pin number. I did not expect to it to be the same here,” he said. Citi Bank Credit Card Sales Executive Moh Yung Chuaon, 30, said she obtained her pin number early but then she had to queue for the computer. “I had to wait for my turn to use the computer to access to the e-filing system. After that I had to go downstairs to see the officers there and find out if what I had done was right and all the information keyed in was correct. “As this is the first time for me to file my returns via the e-filing system. I did not really mind the hassle as the officers were very nice and helpful,” Moh said. A Government officer who preferred to remain anonymous, said he is not very well versed in the e-filing system and therefore has to seek help from his family members or friends “I could not ask for help from the officers here because they are so busy assisting so many people. I also have limited time and need to go back to the office otherwise, my boss will be wondering where I am,” he said. An elderly couple, who also did not want to be named, expressed their appreciation to the IRB officers for helping them as they are not computer literate and had problems getting a grasp of the e-filing system. For Puan Nurati binti Saman, in her 40’s, the system was confusing and also time consuming, especially for those who do not have a computer and have to wait for their turn to use the computers at the IRB headquarters. “However, the IRB officers here are very nice and helpful,” she said. Nurati’s husband, Arian bin Japudin from the Education Department, expressed his relief to be able to file his tax returns before the deadline. “Even though it took a longtime, I am just glad to be able to finish doing it with the help of the IRB officers here,” hesaid. An officer of IRB said there were many reasons why taxpayers were reluctant to use the e-filing system among which were that they do not own a computer or are not computer literate. “For some, the process takes a longer time as they did not bring the necessary documents, especially in the case of exemptions.