The Practice, Challenges, and Prospects of e-Government: the Case of Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) Large Taxpayers Office (LTO)

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Addis Ababa University


The economic imperative of ICT on public agencies is becoming paramount. Accordingly, ERCA has been automating its tax assessment and collection systems, which it claims assist to achieve increase in its tax revenue. This increase, however, is reported to be low compared to the tax base of the economy. Other studies have also revealed high administrative burden for paying taxes and noncompliance to tax laws that result for the country to lose millions of income from tax revenue. The study aimed to examine how well e-Government is recognized and comprehensively rolled out as a strategic tool to solve such drawbacks on existing tax administration systems at ERCA LTO. ERCA has been investing to reform its tax administration system. However, the changes made are not harmonized with the national e-Government plan, focusing only to reach around 1,000 large tax payers (than its potential capacity to expand the tax base), not striving towards bringing holistic e- Government, and is mostly piecemeal. The overall level of satisfaction of large taxpayers on ERCA’s website as a primary source of one-stop-shopping portal is also found to be only 52%. In terms of the stage of e-Government, ERCA is found at its emerging stage where most of its e- Services are informational (static) than transactional. Benchmarking of its e-Services with selected Sub-Saharan African countries has also revealed that a lot has to be done for ERCA to evolve its e- Service to a stage where all its services are integrated in seamless manner; fiscal transparency is enhanced; knowledge management (for example to control tax evasion) is optimized; and e- Payment augments e-Filing. To address these findings, the study recommends a more robust transformational change, than mere automating of existing process, towards the higher stages of e- Government directed by a comprehensive e-Government strategic plan



Large taxpayers office