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Iras assistant commissioner is embracing agility to help taxpayers amid the pandemic

Photo Caption: During the Covid-19 pandemic, Iras Taxpayer Services Division assistant commissioner Angela Ang had to rally her team to help deal with the surge in enquiries and provide taxpayers with the assistance they needed.

By August Carlos

Sometimes, it takes a crisis to bring out the best in people. For Ms Angela Ang, the Covid-19 pandemic proved to be a test of her leadership skills and her ability to come up with solutions under pressure.

Ms Ang, 37, is the assistant commissioner of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s (Iras) Taxpayer Services Division.

With new support measures rolled out to Singaporeans affected by the pandemic, Ms Ang’s team faced a nearly 50-per-cent surge in enquiries.

To deal with the sudden surge in workload, Ms Ang rallied her team to help deal with the deluge of questions and provide taxpayers with the assistance they needed.

“We had to pick up knowledge about new Covid-19 support schemes within short notice,” she says. 

“In line with Iras’ DNA, we rapidly explored ways to streamline and automate new processes and also experimented with new ideas and tools. We embraced agility to drive innovation and improved experiences for taxpayers.”

Ms Ang managed to accomplish this, on top of coordinating and supporting employees as they worked at home, in the office and at Iras’ service centre. 

She explains: “I am grateful to walk in my calling and love what I do in the public service. My leaders and colleagues have also inspired me to pay forward the blessings I have received – to be a good leader, who cares and nurtures our people, so that we can do our best for Singapore.”


Family-like work culture

Ms Ang is a recipient of the Iras Merit Scholarship. She had applied for it while pursuing her Bachelor of Accountancy degree at Nanyang Technological University. 

Asked why she chose to join Iras, the first-class honours graduate says she was attracted by Iras’ “family-like and fun culture” during the selection process.

Ms Ang acknowledges that being an Iras scholarship recipient has opened many job opportunities for her. For instance, she gets to do a job rotation every two or three years. She says: “I love this because I will never get bored, and there are always fresh challenges and new things to learn.” 

Five years after she joined the agency, Ms Ang received the Iras Post-Graduate Scholarship to pursue a Masters of Business Administration degree at Insead. She graduated with distinction in 2011.

Since then, she has led Iras to accomplishments in several areas, the most recent one being the Public Sector Transformation Awards, which the agency was given in 2019 for improving taxpayers’ experiences and employees’ workflows. 

Ms Ang sees such awards as recognition for Iras’ “strong can-do spirit and unity”, of which she continues to play an integral part.

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