IRAS Chatbot

Joanne – Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

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This chatbot has been made available by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore to help users with their tax related queries. It has been built using the V-Person™ technology developed by Creative Virtual. Virtuariod is Creative Virtual’s marketing and implementation partner. It is Virtuaroid that is responsible for Joanne, the chatbot of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore or IRAS.

Functions

Chatting with Joanne is like talking to somebody smarter than yourself. Joanne knows everything there is to know, at least regarding taxes. However, if you throw a random question like “What is the capital of Singapore?”, that is when Joanne gets apologetic and lets you know of her limitations. Joanne is capable of picking up on multiple phrases and formulating grammatically correct responses to them.

The responses are lightning fast, and the answers accurate. This makes you wonder how an Artificial Intelligence program works so fast when it usually takes time to comprehend each question. It is actually the technology behind Joanne that is responsible for this, and you would see the same on all other chatbots built using this.

Where Joanne is different is in the way she (or the chatbot) recognizes documents. All you have to upload the documents and she will make sense of them for you, explaining the entries. For those who have difficulty understanding tax forms, Joanne breaks it down, helping you with everything. If you were considering using the services of a tax professional for filing, Joanne does that for you – and for free.

Joanne can actually ask you for your email address, and send you what you need. She even asks for permission beforehand, and after sending out the email, she will let you know that it has been done.

So you can go ahead and ask her all sorts of questions regarding e-filing, forms, which form to use if you are both employed and self-employed at the same time (you run a business from home, outside of your day job), and so on. Personal taxes are not the only questions she can answer. If you are an employer, she will tell you how to deduct tax at source. Joanne can converse intelligently about companies, trusts, charities and different rates of taxes for them. She even explains GST (Goods and Service Tax), property taxes, stamp duties, casino taxes, betting & sweepstake duties et al. Non-resident individual or company? Joanne can help with that too. So you no longer need worry about finding a local tax professional to help you with your filing. Joanne will even tell you how to e-file.

Need a Certificate of Residence? Ask Joanne – she gives you all the info you need on how to apply for one.

Joanne even opens web pages on her own when you ask her specific questions. She will let you know that it is she who did this, and that the information requested can be seen on the page.

Thank her, and she responds with gratitude.

What Joanne cannot do

Joanne cannot physically do your work for you. But with Joanne’s help, she will tell you what needs to go into each column/field. You will rarely, if ever, feel the need to get in touch with the IRAS by phone or email.

Verdict

We give Joanne a score of 4.5 upon 5. Joanne is great as a tool. Having more information, which would give her the ability to refer a user to another Government department (if needed) would be a most welcome step. There is no doubt that this will eventually come about.

By then, Joanne will have improved considerably, even without the added functionality. She is self-learning, which means that the more she interacts with users of the IRAS site, the better she gets.

 

 

Brought to you by SingaporeChabots.sg. Want to build a chatbot? Drop us a note !


Also published on Medium.

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