Tue, May 06, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Finance minister tells taxpayers online filing of returns is secure

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Acting Minister of Finance Lee Ruey-tsang (李瑞蒼) reassured taxpayers yesterday that the online tax-filing system is secure and that users need not worry that their personal information might be leaked. However, he warned against using file-sharing software to file tax returns.

Lee’s remarks came after reports that the personal data of 5 million taxpayers who had filed returns online had been leaked.

He said that the computer systems used by the ministry’s financial data center were secure and that information stored on or transferred via the system was safe.

He said that any cases of personal information being leaked were probably the result of taxpayers filing their returns via file-sharing software, such as Foxy.

Lee said taxpayers filing online should not use shared software and they should ensure that anyone else who uses the same computer has not downloaded such software onto it. He said no tax office employee uses any kind of shared software on his or her computers.

Huang Ting-fang (黃定方), head of the financial data center, said that about 2.45 million people filed their tax returns online last year, or 17 percent of the total number of returns. About 100,000 people have filed their returns online since May 1, he said.

Huang said thorough checks were conducted annually on the center’s security systems and that new security features were continuously being added.

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