IRAS is a declaration form for those who are working in Singapore to be filled up each annually. For those who did not fill it up are usually fined an amount of money.
As I’m living overseas, I’ve had issues trying to fill it up though.
One fine day my brother tells me casually over plurk that I needed to fill up my tax forms. And it should be done by the end of the month.
Strange. I thought to myself. I live in Italy now. And besides, I haven’t been working since December 2008. Nevertheless, after consulting other Singaporeans living in Singapore, I decided to just fill it up online anyway. After all, through experience, it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
So I went to the Inland Revenue of Authority Singapore portal and see that I needed to log in using an IRAS pin. So I asked my brother, “Bro, can you check the mail for me? You should see a one time use PIN”
“Oh no. There isn’t one” He answered. Thus I thought to myself, “Not a problem, I can log in with Singpass. But since I’ve forgotten it, I’ll just have it reset”
It was easy to reset it back in Singapore. All I had to do was to head to a community center and ask for a reset. But since I’m overseas, the only other viable way needed 4 working days to have it snail mailed to my Singapore address.
Not a problem. I thought to myself, “Seems tight, but if all goes well, I could do this a couple of days before the end of the month“. Thus I asked my brother to please help to text once the new password has been received. I emailed IRAS and Singpass for help, just in case.
4 days has passed by. No text messages and no emails from anyone, I started to feel worried. And what made it worse was that for some reason, I started to have keyboard issues. And to top it off, my mob phone just died! Just like that.
It really didn’t help the situation with my electronic things making a pact to die like that. So I called back home. Mum picked up the phone and I asked if there were any mail for me.
“Oh yes! You have a mail from Singpass”
“Can you tell me what the passcode is?”
“s39bHsZE. Small s. Thirty nine. Small b. Big H. Small s. Big z. Big e”
“Oh! Ok! thanks!”
I tried to log in.
“You have entered an invalid SingPass ID or Singpass”
I tried again. And again. And again. I started to feel frustrated.
So I stopped.
The next day I called back home again.
“Oh sayang, what’s wrong?”
“It didnt work mum, can you tell me my password again?”
“s39bHfZE. Small s for Sariah. Thirty nine. Small b for Bakar, Big h for Haikal, small f for fish. Big Z for Zainuddin. Big E for Elephant”
“Oh! No wonder it doesn’t work! Thanks, I’ll try again!”
And thus, I tried to log in. Unfortunately, I left the log in page idle too long during the phone call, so I got a time out. I closed the browser and tried again. And to my horror, I saw this message in frighteningly red letters.
“You have one last try to login successfully. If your last attempt is unsuccessful, your Singpass account will be locked”
I started to panic. Even more so when I found out that I would be fined $300 dollars if I did not file the tax form. I hoped to have the log in count cleared the next day and crossed my fingers that it’ll work then.
So the next morning, I tried again. I took a deep breath and keyed in. Unfortunately my worst fears came true.
“Your Singpass has been locked”
And I went into hysterics and I called my brother, screaming and shouting.
“I ASKED YOU TO HELP ME! I TEXTED YOU! I MESSAGED YOU! WHY COULDN’T YOU REPLY BACK. I’M PANICKING RIGHT NOW! I’VE ONLY ONE DAY LEFT NOW! IF I RESET MY PASSWORD AGAIN, IT’LL TAKE ANOTHER 4 DAYS!”
Several hours later, it was already getting close to midnight in Singapore. I started to lose hope.
I started my browser and see a new email by my brother.
“Your singpass is as follows, s39bHfzE.” Not s39bHsZE.
Update : Yay! On the suggestion of ntt, I called up IRAS and now I have a 2 weeks extention!