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Singapore Fintech and Government Improvise Digital Tax Using Digital Platforms

If the Coronavirus pandemic has taught people anything, it is the value of digital agility. Businesses and governments alike have learnt in recent months that in times of crisis, companies must be able to quickly adapt their operating model. This pressure is especially intense for tax administrations.

As the global recession refocuses attention on revenue strategy, tax administrations find themselves on the front lines of a rapid and intense digital transformation, figuring out how to conduct everyday and emergency business while adhering to mandates to maintain social distance.

Economies with a strong underlying information technology infrastructure are proving to be more resilient than those without this infrastructure. Many economies, particularly those in developing countries, rely on deeply entrenched systems and face an uphill battle in terms of public trust. In fact, many of the world’s poorest countries struggle to collect enough taxes to cover basic government functions. When a global crisis enters the picture, these shaky bonds between taxman and citizen are likely to fray.

To address this, a multinational bank in Singapore has partnered with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to integrate the tax authority’s payment application programming interface (API) with the lender’s digital platform, allowing taxpayers to view and pay their income and property taxes on a single platform.

Following the December launch of Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex), the bank enabled customers to consolidate their financial information on a single platform and view their assessable income. Customers can now view their tax balance amounts and make tax payments immediately on the same platform due to the recent integration of a direct payment method through the bank’s platform. The solution alleviates a common inconvenience for taxpayers, who previously had to switch between the IRAS platform and the bank’s platform in order to view their tax details and then make payments.

The bank’s head of consumer financial services, Singapore, says: “With an all-in-one view of tax information and the ability to pay them instantly, customers will obtain a holistic picture of their financial health as they can now take into account their tax expenditure and make their tax payments easily via our digital channels. This overview will help customers work out their budget, income and expenses better.”

The current crisis is an excellent opportunity to rethink revenue strategies in order to make them more digitally driven. Tax administrations must shift their focus away from simply processing taxpayer data and toward proactive improvements in compliance, policies, and efficiency. Modern revenue strategies will, to a large extent, must run on digital platforms as they are necessary to effectively pursuing critical policy objectives such as:

  • Broadening the tax base: Data-centric approaches can be used to close gaps and take advantage of missed opportunities without necessarily increasing the level of taxation.
  • Enhancing transparency and trust: Establishing electronic platforms for tax registration, filing, payment, and dispute resolution clarifies processes for citizens, ensures that tax payments are deposited in a legitimate government account, and reduces the risk of officials abusing their discretion.
  • Reducing the compliance burden: Based on a survey of 190 economies that it is getting easier for people and businesses to pay taxes. There are now 106 economies using electronic filing systems, double the number in 2004. Digital technology is reducing the time spent on paying taxes as well as the total number of individual payments taxpayers must make each year.
  • Improving administrative efficiency. As governments mature in their use of information technology, they will be able to achieve substantial efficiency gains. For countries beginning their digital transformation, AI-enabled data capture of paper-based records can speed up the digitalisation and reliability of the data.
  • Advancing growth and other policy objectives. Tax administrations, as the central repository of citizen data, are increasingly playing a role in advancing non-tax related goals.

Progress toward these goals has been uneven, and the World Bank cannot lift this “modernisation boulder” to the summit on its own. In this case, companies need partners with multidisciplinary expertise that can help pull as the World Bank pushes to help countries accelerate digital transformation.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


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