Nothing in life is certain besides death and taxes, but at least you can avoid an eternity in line by using TTConnect’s e-Tax portal to file your taxes. It’s just one of the ways iGovTT is trying to move government services from the physical to the digital realm.
“We want to make the public aware that they can sign up to do business with the government online. They just need to go to TTConnect’s website to register, and make a one-time-only visit to any of our offices or mobile units to verify your identity. Once you’re approved, you’ll immediately be issued a unique identification number via email. With that, you can log in to TTConnect government platform,” All they need is to register online and come in to our office one time only to verify their identity. Once that is done immediately, they’ll be issued their unique identification number via email,” iGovTT’s acting chief executive officer, Charles Bobb-Semple told Business Day.
Nearly 40,000 people have signed up to use e-Tax to file their taxes since it was launched about a year-and-a-half ago, he said, and he wants that number to grow.
“The feedback we get from people is that they don’t like having to come into the office to do that identity check, but after that, they love it. They can transact business so easily,” he said. People who use e-Tax also get their returns faster—two weeks, compared to manually filing, which may take over a month. Users can also track progress, to see when their returns were processed.
TTConnect, as part of iGovTT, is also working with ministries and other state agencies to streamline their digital operations, including digitizing documents, moving away from hard copies that can decay with age, to electronic versions that can be accessed and shared more easily.
E-payment options are another high priority, and while iGovTT is working hard to move it forward, Bobb-Semple noted there are policies related to policy, for example, specific charges, that need to be regularized. CourtPay, a service that was recently launched, is facilitated by TTConnect, but users don’t need the unique identifier. While CourtPay is used only for maintenance payments, like alimony and child support, the aim is to eventually apply it for all fines, including tickets.
“We are in discussion with respective ministries and departments to see how we can assist to get this done because the citizenry needs it. We are advancing those discussions and it’s critical for us to bring them to fruition,” Bobb-Semple said.
The main thing he wants, though, is for people to participate. “We offer a lot of services. But we need to raise the awareness and encourage people to use the service,” he said.
For more information or to register, visit igovtt.tt, ttconnect.gov.tt, or call 800-TTCN (8826).