Assessing e-Government Services: The Case of e-Filing of Personal Income Tax in Malaysia

Assessing e-Government Services: The Case of e-Filing of Personal Income Tax in Malaysia

Maniam Kaliannan (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia), Murali Raman (Multimedia University, Malaysia) and Magiswary Dorasamy (Multimedia University, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-931-6.ch018
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Introduction of Electronic Government (e-Government) is seen as a tool to improve government service delivery to external and internal clients for the benefit of the government and the citizens and businesses that it serves. E-Government holds tremendous promise for improvements in the public service delivery as well to overcome many of the persistent public service problems. Successful delivery of online services has rapidly become an important measure of effective public sector management. The e-Government initiative in Malaysia was launched with the aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government service delivery to its stakeholders, namely, citizens and businesses. The vision of e-Government is a vision for people in government, business and citizenry working together for the benefit of Malaysia and all of its citizens. The dual objectives of e-Government are to reinvent the government of Malaysia in terms of service delivery through the use of information technology and to catalyze the successful development of the Multimedia Super Corridor with IT as one of the leading sectors of the economy. One of the services that was launched as part of e-Government Flagship is on line tax filling or known as e-Filing by the Inland Revenue Board. Via this system, the taxpayers are able to complete an electronic application form and the necessary payment details within few keystrokes and hence complete their revenue declaration within minutes. The purpose of e-Filing service is to encourage every taxpayer to submit their income tax return through an online system, thus reducing the manual paper-based submission method. This system has received good response from the taxpayers. However, there is still a sizeable number who have yet to adopt e-Filing. An empirical assessment of adoption of e-Filing system involving 200 tax payers was carried out. The study aims to assess the extent of e-filling acceptance among the tax payers who have filed their tax forms online. Beyond this, the chapter also analyses the factors that contribute towards adoption of such system in Malaysia. The findings revealed that taxpayers have positive attitude in using the e-Filing system as they perceive that tax submission method via internet is more convenient than submission by post or by hand and that perceived readiness towards using this technology is paramount to their belief for using e-Filing system.
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Focus Of The Study

In Malaysia, the government’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project has been instrumental in providing necessary platform for change or transformation. As one of the seven MSC flagships, E-government will contribute to the nation’s rapid development. E-Filing in this context, is expected to be widely used by the Malaysian citizens. However, despite all the efforts aimed at developing better and efficient tax filing system, the e-Filing system remained unnoticed by many citizens and still seriously underused in spite of their availability (Wang, 2002). There is very little research done on this area due to infancy of e-Filing in Malaysia. This is due to insufficient evidence to date pertaining e-Filing system associated to Malaysian tax settings (Lai, Sheikh Obid, & Meera, 2005). In fact, there was lack of ability to obtain certain information relevance on these studies in Malaysia. In addition, there is still ambiguity on whether Malaysian tax practitioners are prepared to embrace the e-Filing system (Lai at al., 2005). Lai at al. (2005) examined the level of technology readiness and intention to use among Malaysian tax practitioners. This research reveals what and how Malaysians are in relation with the e-Filing systems adoption.

This study makes an attempt to examine the determinants of behavioural intention to the use of e-Filing systems in the case of tax submission in Malaysia. The significance of this study is two-fold. First, this study provides vital information for government to identify factors influencing taxpayers towards e-Filing systems adoption. Malaysian government will be able to use the result of this study as a guide to plan its strategies to improve the usage level of e-Filing systems. Since usage of e-Filing systems is at present completely voluntary, the challenge that Malaysian government has to face is to encourage the tax payers to use online submission instead of manual submission by highlighting the benefits of such systems and by making them realize the simplicity of the online process. Second, this study has significantly integrated three theories to describe a new technology acceptance, e-Filing systems in the case of tax return submission among individual tax payers in Malaysia.

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