The Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) is set to unveil a call center valued at close to $2 million dollars.
The call center, which will be located at the headquarters of the ERCA, can be reached via toll-free numbers.
ERCA aims to change administrative processes and the manner in which taxes are collected with the latest call center. Eight to nine global and local companies had put in their bids for the ERCA project. The contract was eventually won by Tanzania-based software company, Techno Brain.
Techno Brian will be heading the installation of the call center capable of handling 30 simultaneous calls.
Around 12 people have been trained by ERCA to handle the call center operations. Each and every individual is proficient in precise tax problems, thereby ensuring solutions to queries asked by the taxpaying callers.
Initially, the call center will only be operational during the working hours of the ERCA. Answers will only be provided to callers with valid TIN numbers. According to Mekonnen Tesfaye, general manager of Techno Brain, a text-based service will also be introduced in the near future to support the system.
“The call center will help tax payers to get the right information easily from the Authority and avoid personal confrontation with tax officers,” a spokesperson said. “The tax payers who have the willingness to use the system are given training on how to use a system. We expect that all the 850 large tax payers will use the system within five months.”
In July 2010, the Ethiopian tax authority decided to modify the tax administration in Ethiopia by implementing new techniques like e-filing and call centers. The organization has collaborated with Investment Climate Facility for Africa for the financial aspects of the project.
Investment Climate Facility for Africa has approved $2.3 million for the two projects.
Three weeks ago, ERCA had unveiled the e-filing project, wherein tax payers can file their tax statements on the Web. The ERCA aims to decrease the time taken for the tax payment process with this project. The latest system will also eliminate association of tax collectors and taxpayers, thereby limiting prospects for corruption.
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Edited by Braden Becker