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Taxman taps apps to make filing returns less taxing
IRAS's inaugural Hackathon held in September 2016 saw a total of 19 ideas produced by 24 teams.
Three teams were granted S$30,000 to further develop their prototypes. Three of the co-creations are now available to taxpayers, namely TinkerTax, TallyGo and FreeBoh.
TinkerTax is a web application platform that reduces the process of small and medium enterprises, converting their accounts into a tax computation down to three simple steps. It uses technology to analyse a user's financial statements, then automatically applies the adjustments needed to convert accounting profit to taxable profit, cutting out tedious calculation for business owners.
TallyGo is a mobile application to help self-employed taxpayers keep track of their income and business expenses. The app allows receipts to be digitalised, after which all expenses stored can be exported to excel and to "TallyGo Expense Tracker", which auto-generates the four-line statement as well as the profit and loss statement that self-employed taxpayers require during submission of tax filing to Iras.
Users are able to scan receipts using an optical character recognition feature, and also bookmark an expense.
Freeboh is an online shift-based jobs marketplace with an integrated online human resource management system platform. It helps job seekers find flexible employment, and also enables employers to manage hiring, time-keeping, leave management and payroll.
FreeBoh has also co-developed with Iras a Personal Income Tax Filing Assistant web and mobile application to reduce inaccurate tax filing by part-timers and freelancers.
The application records information on a user's income, expenses, CPF contributions as well as donations, and then generates the list of employment income and four-line tax statements to help tax filing.
Iras also launched the Application Programming Interface (API) Marketplace in February 2017 to facilitate co-creation and collaboration with the software development community for digital tax solutions.
More than 50 developers are registered on the portal to explore the development of digital tax services and transactions.
Some API services available on the portal include Property Tax Account Balance Check and E-Submission of Commission Income Organisation Search.
The transformation movement is aimed at getting Iras to stay relevant in the current environment of rapid technological change that has affected lifestyles, disrupted businesses and transformed business models.
Tan Tee How, Commissioner of Inland Revenue and Iras chief executive, said: "The landscape of tax administration is fast shifting with technological disruption. At Iras, we are seizing this opportunity to embark on a transformation movement which will affect not just taxpayers, but also the organisation.
"Innovation is in our DNA. We will reinvent ourselves to become a smart, agile organisation to better serve taxpayers. To do this, Iras will integrate the taxes into taxpayers' natural business systems so that it is easy for taxpayers to fulfill their tax obligations.
"We will tap on diversity and innovative capabilities of the broader community to co-create digital solutions that will benefit individuals and businesses.
"Our end goal of this transformation journey is to build a socially-responsible taxpaying community that believes in the value of paying taxes for nation building."