Sri Lanka Inland Revenue Department’s (IRD) computer system is now being upgraded at substantial cost to make it ‘taxpayer friendly’ with the assistance of Indian consultants, IRD sources said.
The procedure of tax refunds and adjustments to the current tax recovery mechanism updating it with new changes and tax reforms introduced by the 2011 budget will be streamlined.
A senior official of the IRD noted that the Indian consultants are studying the Sri Lankan tax structure to devise a computer mechanism to prevent mistakes in calculating liabilities of taxpayers and unnecessarily penalise payers.
"The completion of this automation project is expected to make processing of tax-related works faster and facilitate an information exchange between the headquarters and branches. Ultimately, this will lead to effective provision of services for citizens," he added.
The Business Times reliably learns that IRD’s computer system has become outdated and thereby subject to the threat of tax fraud and loss of important data.
The present computer system cannot handle the existing capacity efficiently, the officiall said. The lack of a proper backup system has created a risk of losing data of taxpayers and if certain data is deleted from the system, it is lost forever, he said. The Asian Development Bank is funding the computer upgrading project of the IRD, to tackle these deficiencies.
On May 27, 2010 Samsung SDS, a global ICT service provider, signed a contract worth $9.3 million with the IRD for the project for ‘automation of the Inland Revenue Department of Sri Lanka’ which would automate the headquarters and 19 branches. Under this setup, Samsung SDS is supplying and installing computer hardware and software for the project on the directions of the Indian consultants.