AHATA invited for an informative hour with the tax office crew to hear from them about the mythical digital platform forthcoming.
We were told about the digitalization process of our tax paying system, and now a milestone has been reached, the platform is live.
The conference room at AHATA was filled with hopeful accountants, I was there too, as the accountant of my own mini-company.
The mood in the room was pleasant, and the tax office crew helpful and friendly. They showed us the wonders of the online platform that makes calculators obsolete; you punch in a number and the clever platform applies it correctly, all you have to do is save your work, print it, then go to your online banking to pay the amount, and if you punch in the reference number correctly, you are in the clear, with much less work on your hands.
It’s so simple, they gushed, it’s so clear, we couldn’t have made it easier for you, you will surely have no problem accessing your data, or filling it out, and filing, that platform was made for simpletons, they implied, and will make paperwork, stamps, people waiting in lines and photocopies totally obsolete.
A few thoughts raced through my head, as I was listening to the lighthearted, jovial, presentation.
Main thought: The tax office greatly underestimate the burden that it has imposed on its clients to date. The hardship that we have suffered. They should have acknowledged that.
Last year, my mini-company filed 26 dispute letters for unjust fines and assessments, perhaps more. Besides, there is this double-taxation issue that has been hanging unresolved for one full year, for which I cannot get anyone’s attention.
At the back of my head a Kafkaesque theme always plays whereby the little guy, the tax payer, is crushed by complex, and illogical bureaucratic delays and demands.
Kafka has lived at Ontvanger for many years.
One of the AHATA members asked whether the tax office will be reimbursing him, compensating him for all the time he spent for the past 35 years standing in line.
We thought it was funny. But clearly it is not…we’re all traumatized.
Then the same clever man asked: And what will you do with all your employees, that are now free from stamping and collecting paperwork; what will their job look like from now on, will there be more enforcement and control?
We realize IMPUESTO is working hard on the digitalization process, and I don’t want to rain on their parade. Thank you for doing that.
BUT, this before and after video they showed, featuring a stressed-out accountant, hand-filling forms VS that same man AFTER the introduction of the digital portal, carefree, chatting on his cell phone while coffee-drinking in his office, with plenty of time to kill, is a bit of an insult.
In the private sector, no one reclines on the job, chatting on their cell phone while drinking coffee.
That would be sufficient cause for termination.