Taxation is one of the fundamental revenue sources for a country. Money raised from taxation supports the government’s economic and social expenditure to ensure an inclusive society bolstered by quality growth. The IRAS provides service in administering, assessing, collecting, and enforcing payment of taxes. For this purpose, IRAS is continually nurturing highly competent officers committed to the core values of integrity, professionalism, fairness, teamwork, and innovation.
Invaluable Opportunities and Experiences
IRAS believes immensely in investing in staff development. One of its avenues is through scholarships, where the organisation strives to provide invaluable opportunities and experiences for scholars to develop holistically. Nathaniel Ng Jie is one such scholar who is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Arts at Cornell University. Having a passion for mathematics and public service, Nathaniel relishes the fact that IRAS is a place that allows him to pursue both passions simultaneously. Awarded the IRAS Overseas Undergraduate Scholarship, Nathaniel shares that “the interaction with students from various backgrounds and worldviews has allowed me to see things in a different light.” Likewise for Yap Liyu, an IRAS Mid-term Undergraduate scholar who graduated with a Bachelor of Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), she spoke highly of her overseas experience during a student exchange programme to Glasgow, Scotland. “Studying with all the other international students has made me more open minded to various perspectives,” she swoons.
IRAS Mid-term Undergraduate Scholarship
Compliance Strategy and Risk Branch
Productive and fulfilling internships are another facet of the scholarships that Nathaniel and Liyu have benefitted immeasurably from. Nathaniel completed his internship with the Corporate Tax Division where he was involved in a data-modelling project, as well as a multi-divisional one in developing a new online tool for businesses. IRAS’s propensity to adopt new technologies through the usage of tools, such as analytics and behavioural insights to enhance stakeholder engagements and service delivery excellence, impressed upon him.
Liyu was attached to the Taxpayer Services Division during her internship. Facing a diverse group of taxpayers and dealing with varied challenges daily was an eye-opener for her. The exposure prepared her for her role as Senior Analyst with the Compliance Strategy and Risk Branch, where she conducts critical research and perform environmental scanning and analysis to strategise taxpayer compliance policies.
Dynamic Career Growth
The other avenue in which IRAS develops its staff is through a robust career progression path that incorporates divisional exposure and role rotation. “At IRAS, there are opportunities for job rotations. Staff are encouraged to discuss their career plans with their supervisors,” she shares. Liyu spent her first two years in the Taxpayer Services Division, where she was involved in service delivery projects. She revamped the tax portal, was in touch with taxpayers to conduct user testing, and had a hand in user experience design as well. She was rotated to her current Division after that, where she researches on developments in the global business environment to assist the management in planning.
Nathaniel Ng Jie
IRAS Overseas Undergraduate Scholarship
Bachelor of Arts, Cornell University
Evolving Through Innovation
IRAS holds a strong belief in innovation. One major innovation project that Liyu was a part of was IRAS’s tax portal revamp. “The tax portal underwent an overhaul including layout changes and feature enhancement. This enables taxpayers to surf on the go and performing more transactions on their mobile phones,” she illustrates. Another tool IRAS launched was TallyGo, a mobile application for businesses to track their expenses and income, and consolidate their taxes.
Another nod to innovation was the transformation movement called LEA:D (Leveraging Analytics, Design and Digitalisation). “In a smart nation, we are pushing to redesign and redefine taxpayers’ experience with,” she chimes. Her work in behavioural insights seeks to understand people’s motivation to improve tax compliance. Through analytics, IRAS can better understand taxpayers’ inquiries and improve its service delivery while recognising tax compliance risks more accurately.
Forging Ahead with IRAS
When asked what scholars-to-be should consider when accepting a scholarship, Nathaniel states that personal interests must be aligned with the organisation’s vision and mission. “An open mind keen on learning and being trained, as well playing a role in Singapore’s continued growth is essential,” he advises. In terms of his career goals with IRAS, he is excited to develop personally and professionally through the various training and development programmes that IRAS implements to help staff further deepen knowledge in tax policy and taxation matters.