Mauritians Turn to the Internet to Pay Taxes

Nearly 10 percent of Mauritian taxpayers took advantage of a new online service that allows them to submit tax returns and make payments to the Mauritian Revenue Authority (MRA) using the Internet.

Only about 1.5 percent of tax payers used the Internet to fulfill their fiscal obligations last year, when the service was unavailable.

"This shows that people are getting used to e-payment, said a spokesman for the National Computer Board (NCB), the institution that helped to set up the platform. "They show more confidence, and that's a very good thing for the future."

Approximately 9,000 people filed their taxes online by the Tuesday deadline, on which date the payment service recorded 2,000 users.

"One minute before the expiration of the deadline, people were still doing their transactions online," said a MRA spokesperson.

The success of the tax payment platform gives hope to Mauritian authorities concerning e-government. About 50 services are currently available online, but just a few hundred people use the Internet every month to access the governmental services.

The MRA is the first institution to allow payments online. Next year will see the establishment of a public key infrastructure, through which the government intends to allow online payment of electricity, waste-water and water bills.

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