Guidelines have been tightened to require more tax assessors to make declarations of interest. The Inland Revenue Department has broadened the number of officials under the declaration system from 37 to 75 in the wake of the tax chief scandal. The extra 38 staff include chief assessors, senior assessors and Deputy Collector of Stamp Revenue. A government source said the staff had been added to the list after the department set up a committee in February last year to review the declaration system. Declarations from the new staff are to be returned by the end of this month. The measures were announced by Secretary for Treasury Denise Yue Chung-yee, the immediate supervisor of Wong Ho-sang, who was sacked yesterday. An investigation found Mr Wong had personally handled files submitted by his wife's company and had failed to declare a conflict of interest. Acting Commissioner of Inland Revenue Sin Law Yuk-lin and her top aides are to interview the 75 officers to clarify the declarations. The written records will be signed by interviewing officers and staff. 'The purpose is to protect public interest and also avoid misunderstandings so that one would not think that there may be something he or she doesn't have to declare. 'These face-to-face interviews help understand whether the officers and their spouses' jobs and investment will pose potential conflict of interests with the work of the department,' Ms Yue said. The department will decide in the next two weeks whether to require some 730 tax assessors to declare whether the companies in which their spouses work are related to taxation. The present guideline divides officials into a two-tier declaration system in accordance with their seniority and job nature. Regular declarations of investment and occupation of their spouses are required. The 75 staff belong to tier II. Unlike tier I officials, their declarations are not disclosed to the public. In the report on the investigations, the Director of Audit criticised the guidelines as 'not entirely satisfactory'. Two internal rules against handling tax assessments of relatives are also said to be inconsistent. One states that it is direct conflict of interest for an officer to be involved in their spouses' tax assessment while another disallows the handling of one's own files or those of close relatives. The auditor suggested requiring all tax assessors to make declarations and asking how their spouses were connected with tax returns preparations.