19 Mar 2004
Over one-third increase in number of eAmbassadors helping residents e-file at 22 eClubs
530 volunteers have stepped forward to help in the nation-wide E-Filing assistance service for the public this year. This is 33% more than last year's 400 volunteers. This year, IRAS is partnering the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) for the first time, together with the People's Association (PA) and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), to bring VES to Singaporeans who need help in e-filing their income tax returns. This is supported by the eCitizen Helper Programme (refer to Appendix 3).
These volunteers (or eAmbassadors) from NVPC's various volunteer-agency partners, polytechnics and grassroots organisations are helping the public to e-file from 2 to 5 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, from 13 Mar to 11 Apr 04, at all 22 eClubs islandwide.
Over the first weekend on 13 and 14 Mar 04, the eAmbassadors assisted more than 1,000 residents in e-filing their tax returns at the eClubs. About 500 residents walked in over the same period last year.
"Credit should go to IRAS for actively encouraging volunteerism and its progressive use of volunteers," said Mrs Tan Chee Koon, Executive Director, NVPC. "The VES is an excellent opportunity for IT volunteers to work with the community using their special skills. Volunteers who prefer short-term volunteering, can do so over the five weekends of VES. The NVPC is happy to be able to help IRAS with raising more volunteers for the E-Filing exercise," she added.
E-Filing assistance at IRAS
The public who wish to come to IRAS for E-Filing assistance in April 04 can now call to make an appointment first. This is in response to the public's feedback that they want a shorter waiting time at IRAS during the peak period. The public should call 6351 4406 during office hours (Mon-Fri: 8 am to 5 pm; Sat: 8 am to 1 pm) to make an appointment.
Taxpayers who file paper returns are reminded to drop off their forms at the nearest post boxes by 12 midnight of 15 April. E-filers are granted up till 18 Apr to e-file their returns via the phone or Internet. As at 18 Mar 04, over 194,000 taxpayers have e-filed their tax returns.
IRAS would like to encourage the public to e-file as it is easy and convenient. The E-Filing service is available 24 hours daily at http://efile.iras.gov.sg or by dialling 1800-356 8322. A toll-free E-Filing helpline is available from 8 am to 10 pm daily on 1800-252 5011.
||1 - Location of eClubs
||2 - About Volunteer E-Filing Service (VES
||3 - About eCitizen Helper Programme
||4 - E-Filing for Individuals
Appendix 1 - Location of eClubs
||Ang Mo Kio
||Ang Mo Kio Community Centre
795 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
|6456 6536 / 6452 9644
||Bedok Community Centre
850 New Upper Changi Road
|6445 0633 / 6442 5317
||Bishan North Community Centre
Blk 233 Bishan St 22 #01-126
|6554 4698 / 6451 5955
||Bukit Batok Community Club
21 Bukit Batok Central
||Bukit Batok East
||Bukit Batok East Community Club
23 Bukit Batok East Ave 4
||Buona Vista Community Club
399 Holland Drive
|6778 5163 / 6777 4169
||Changi Simei Community Club
10 Simei St 2
||Chong Pang Community Club
21 Yishun Ring Road
||Chua Chu Kang
||Chua Chu Kang Community Club
35 Teck Whye Avenue
|6769 1694 / 6764 7426
||Clementi Community Centre
220 Clementi Ave 4
|6779 0334 / 6779 6334
||Eunos Community Club
180 Bedok Reservoir Road
||Gek Poh Ville
||Gek Poh Ville Community Club
1 Jurong West St 74
|6792 0095 / 6792 2750
||Hong Kah North
||Hong Kah North Community Club
30 Bukit Batok St 31
|6567 3130 / 6567 4048
||Jalan Besar Community Club
69 Jellicoe Road
||Kampong Kembangan Community Club
5 Lengkong Tiga
|6449 6022 / 6449 6083
||Blk 35 Marine Crescent #01-63
||Radin Mas Community Club
1 Telok Blangah Crescent
|6273 5294 / 6273 1323
||Senja-Cashew Community Centre
Blk 607 Senja Road, #01-02
||Contact 123 IT Centre
Blk 123 Serangoon North Avenue 1
||Northeast Tampines West IT Centre
Blk 943, Tampines Ave 5 #01-271
||Teck Ghee Community Club
861 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
|6456 7123 / 6456 7124
||Yew Tee Community Club
20 Chua Chu Kang St 52 #01-01
|6769 3672 / 6764 2167
Appendix 2 - About Volunteer E-Filing Service (VES)
From 2003, IRAS embarked on a joint community project with People's Association (PA) and Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) called Volunteers E-Filing Service (VES) as it involves volunteers (under IDA's e-Ambassadors programme) instead of mainly from the Polytechnic students. The main objectives of this project are as follows:
- Help taxpayers fulfill their tax-filing obligation in the most convenient way by bringing the E-Filing service to their doorsteps
We know the taxes we pay are for nation building and therefore are mindful that such services should be provided at low cost. A high cost of tax collection means taxes have to be raised to meet public expenditure requirements. The VES is thus a channel for Singaporeans to play their part in nation building by helping those who need help to fulfill their tax obligations. It is a service by the community for the community.
- Help meet the increasing need among volunteers who want to offer their time but are not be able to commit a long period of time
VES is available over 5 weekends from Mar to Apr each year.
- Help raise the IT literacy of the public
Much of business of the future will be transacted electronically. We need to prepare our fellow Singaporeans for the future by promoting the use of Govt e-services among the communities, tax-filing being one which affects a great majority of population.
VES is purely on a voluntary basis. The volunteers are students, workers from all walks of life, retirees etc. They value this project as an opportunity to catch up with the tax changes and to render help to their fellow friends and residents. The effort and community spirit of these volunteers help IRAS remain to be a cost effective tax administration.
E-Filing training will be given to the volunteers who will provide their assistance to the public at the 22 eClubs which are the centres under the eCitizen Helper programme. The VES will be available from 13 Mar to 11 Apr 2004, every Sat & Sun from 2 pm to 5 pm.
Appendix 3 - About eCitizen Helper Programme
The eCitizen Helper Programme is a joint collaboration between the Government and other public and private sector organizations. Partner organizations and companies in the programme will deploy eCitizen Helpers to guide Singaporeans in accessing Government services online. This programme is an initiative by Ministry of Finance and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.
Appendix 4 - E-Filing for Individuals
Electronic Filing (E-Filing) is a convenient and easy way for most individual taxpayers to file their income tax returns via the Internet or telephone. This service is available 24 hours daily from 22 Feb to 15 Apr. To e-file, you need to use your E-Filing PIN (EF-PIN) or SingPass (Singapore Personal Access).
Existing CPF Pal PIN users will be automatically migrated to the SingPass system when they next log in to any government e-Service (example: IRAS' E-Filing), using their CPF Pal PIN. They will be prompted to change their CPF Pal PIN to the SingPass before they can proceed.
E-Filing is available from 22 Feb to 15 Apr. Internet filing is available at our E-Filing website at http://efile.iras.gov.sg. For Phone Filing, please call 1800-356 8322 and follow the instructions over the phone. The E-Filing website is also accessible on the eCitizen portal www.eCitizen.gov.sg - the gateway to all government e-services.