Kabul—Over a year ago, the Afghanistan Revenue Department (ARD), housed in a four-story building on the eastern outskirts of Kabul City, was bustling with clients as they filed their taxes, waiting in long queues to process their tax payments. Today, only a few people can be seen ferrying documents between offices.
The entire process to file tax returns then often took several days, with taxes of only 40 to 50 people processed daily. Safiullah Aimaq, an agent with a corporate tax processing firm, worked with 200 clients and had to go back and forth every day between his office and ARD, where he waited in long queues. “I had to travel for more than an hour to get to the revenue department, and sometimes mistakes on the forms meant I had to go through multiple procedures for days to rectify the mistakes,” he says.
. The new system allows clients to access their tax documents online and see the amount they should pay.
. “I am thankful that now I go to the revenue department once a year to get an electronic tax payment certificate,” Safiullah says.
. ARD Director-General Nasrullah Durrani believes that e-filing has helped curb corruption. “E-filing has reduced human errors and lowered instances of corruption because of the lack of personal contact as everything is processed electronically,” he says. “A tax processor doesn’t have a chance to ask for a bribe, and a taxpayer can't offer a bribe as e-filing automatically calculates the amount of tax each company has to pay. The new system has helped enforce the tax law equally on every taxpayer and restricted the processors from favoring one taxpayer over another."