Starting in March, a new online tax system will allow residents to pay their taxes via the government’s e-payment gateway, according to the Inland Revenue Department.
The Standard Integrated Government Tax Administration System — known as “SIGTAS 3.0” — will be designed to improve the IRD’s database to allow taxpayers greater access and flexibility, the agency stated in a Friday press release. To launch the system — which will also automate the administration of taxes and licences — the IRD is collaborating with the Department of Information Technology, the release stated.
IRD Commissioner Karen Smith-Aaron said taxpayers will also be able to use the online system to submit registration forms, print registration certificates, make queries about accounts, check unfiled tax periods, follow the status of pending requests, and communicate easily with the tax administration through an “embedded messaging centre,” according to the IRD.
“Taxpayers are at the heart of the new system,” Ms. Smith-Aaron said. “They are now empowered to view their tax information.”
To facilitate the upgrade, residents of employable age are asked to register, according to the commissioner.
To do so, she said, they must provide either a valid passport or driver’s licence along with their Social Security card and an email address.
The system was announced last June, when the launch date was projected to come in February. At the time, the IRD also announced a planned public relations campaign to encourage residents to register for the system.
The Friday press release did not provide an update on how many people have registered.
Last June, then-acting Deputy Financial Secretary Jeremy Vanterpool said the system upgrade is part of the broader ongoing e-government initiative.
“The Ministry of Finance is cognisant that streamlining processes is very important,” Mr. Vanterpool said. “The upgrade of SIGTAS is just one of the many cogs which will enhance the machinery of government. We feel very confident that this will bring us the level of efficiency that we need within central government.”
Ms. Smith-Aaron added in the Friday press release that the IRD is “committed to assessing the taxes, licences and fees due to the government of the Virgin Islands while applying the tax laws with fairness and integrity, and in an atmosphere of mutual respect.”