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ISEL: An e-Taxation System for Employers


  • Olivier Glassey

    () (IDHEAP - Institut de hautes études en administration publique - Swiss Public Administration Network)

  • Alain Sandoz

    () (e-Government Research Unit - Université de Neuchatel)


In 2008 the State of Geneva modified its regulation on taxation at source in order to collect electronic fiscal data from employers. Indeed the latter provide data on their employees directly to the tax administration (AFC) and furthermore pay taxes to the State on behalf of their employees. They subtract the corresponding amounts from employees' income and refund that money to the fiscal administration. The taxation at source system is applied to foreigners who work in Switzerland or who receive Swiss pensions, to people who live in Geneva but work in other Cantons, as well as to performers, artists or speakers who work occasionally in Geneva. More than 12'000 companies and 117'000 employees are concerned by the scheme, and large companies provide data on several thousand employees. In the past these files provided by employers were handled semi-automatically by the AFC (at best). The new system (called ISEL for Impôt à la Source En Ligne) offers employers two electronic channels to provide data on employees: file transfer (.XSD) and internet e-form. This case study describes the ISEL project and its context, and discusses the issues raised by the introduction of this e-taxation system. On the human side, our paper takes a qualitative approach, based on interviews of various stakeholders involved in the project. They were asked questions on ISEL's functionality, usability, performance, and so on. On the technical side, the paper presents the architecting principles of the e-government approach in Geneva (Legality, Responsibility, Transparency and Symmetry) and the workflow that was implemented on top of AFC's legacy system.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Glassey & Alain Sandoz, 2009. "ISEL: An e-Taxation System for Employers," Post-Print hal-00410825, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00410825
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