16 October 2012Editor, VoicesToday PaperI thank your paper for publishing my letters concerning providing feedback toACRA and participating in their stakeholder's dialogue.Five months earlier, I accepted their invitation. During this time, I was availableto attend their meetings, but they did not call for a meeting. It was wrong forACRA to suggest that I was not interested or too busy to attend.The annual report of ACRA for 2010/11 have a statement that "filing fines and prosecutionpenalties grew marginally by 6% to S$17.4 million (FY2009/10: S$16.4 million)."
I had to pay a fine of $120 for filing my annual returns late, although I acted promptly onreceiving their late reminder. The revenue of $17.4 million suggested that over
100,000 people had failed in meeting their statutory responsibility.I had the personal experience of making online filings of the annual return and
change on share capital. The online process is extremely complicated. What should bea simple matter in the traditional way of filing a paper-based return took hours tocomplete online.To submit an online filing, the filer has to learn how to navigate thecomplicated website and to understand the workings of the back-end system that theyare interacting with. The potential of making mistakes is quite high. Quite often, the
website hung and the filer had to repeat the process from the start. I had to make several
attempts to complete a simple filing.I am sure that ACRA must have spent a lot of money on providing helpline support to peoplewho face difficulty in making online filing. How wasteful for them and for the public!I wanted to give my feedback to ACRA that they need to make a fundamental changeto their current approach. Something is clearly wrong, when so many people hadto pay fines and penalties.
Tan Kin Lian