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Institution: The Australian Taxation Office
Theme: Citizen Engagement
Implementation Date: Jan 01, 1997
Summary: The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) initiated the e-tax program in January 1997. It is one of the first applications in the world to be offered by a revenue service and one of the first of its type to use Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology and Internet transmission. The initiative addressed concerns from a number of sources regarding complexity of tax legislation and complexity of the TaxPack, to which the ATO needed to develop better solutions. The e-tax program was developed firstly to address these issues and secondly as a reaction to a general increase in community use of Internet services. The e-tax program is an easy-to-use software package for the 2.5 million individual taxpayers who prepare and lodge their own personal income tax returns. It is an electronic advancement of TaxPack and complements the ATO’s Electronic Lodgement Service (ELS), used by tax agents to lodge income tax returns.
Impact: Agency benefits have included service cost reductions of between $2 million and $5 million for the five-year period to 2004. This represents a reduction of between 10 and 20 per cent in total service costs.
Social benefits will accrue significantly from improvements to service quality and accessibility, and quicker income tax return times (98 per cent of e-tax returns are processed within 14 days, and 88 per cent within 10 days in comparison to an average of 42 days for processing paper tax returns). Compared to paper or TaxPack Express lodgement, it costs citizens between $10 and $24 less per return to use e-tax.
It is anticipated that e-tax will contribute significantly to increasing government transparency and public trust.

Source: Australia Government Information Management Office (AGIMO)
Project Home URL: http://www.ato.gov.au/

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