Moving Personal Tax Online: The Australian Taxation Office's E-Tax Initiative

Moving Personal Tax Online: The Australian Taxation Office's E-Tax Initiative

Jeff Chamberlain (Deakin University, Australia) and Tanya Castleman (Deakin University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/jcec.2005070104
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In exploiting the capabilities of online technologies, governments have developed policies and launched projects to conduct transactions and deliver their services through the Internet. The motivations for this include cost cutting, efficiency improvements, service enhancements, and leadership in business transformation. However, these diverse goals are not necessarily consistent, especially in the early stages of implementation. The e-government initiative discussed in this case study (E-Tax) provided an additional service to individual Australian taxpayers by enabling them to file their tax returns online. This case study provides an analysis of the E-Tax implementation in the first three years of its operation. Data on E-Tax use compared to other filing methods show that the package worked well technically, was favorably received by users, and was consistent with policy on e-government. However, adoption levels in the early stages did not meet government targets. The analysis suggests that impediments to a greater level of E-Tax use included entrenched patterns of filing, the nature of the taxation system, and political sensitivities. The E-Tax case demonstrates how complex e-government projects can be and the need to take contextual factors into account in planning and evaluating e-government implementation.

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