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Co-creation platform www.e3lab.at

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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The Austrian Tax Administration is taking a new and innovative path by engaging its citizens already at the beginning and throughout the process of the development of its services.


Hence, the co-creation platform “e3lab-einfach, elektronisch, effektiv.” (e3lab- simple, electronically, effective.) was founded. The participation platform follows the idea of open innovation and gives citizens the opportunity to engage in the designing, developing and improvement process within the tax administration. This is not restricted to the platform itself but also follows a more holistic approach e.g. through workshops and training groups.


Clients can hand in their ideas through these so called “challenges” via the platform www.e3lab.at. The ideas and proposed improvements are discussed, scrutinised and rated by the community and experts of the Federal Ministry of Finance. The 3 best ideas of each challenge get their own workshops whereby they are challenged, adjusted and prepared for a possible launch.


The following ideas have been nominated and won the community voting:


Challenge I: taxes simple and electronically – the employee tax assessment of the future

•FIRST: “my finance administration – 24/7 app all around the topic of taxes with an integrated chat bot and a verification system via the “handysignatur” (cell phone verification) + 100 % accessible for everyone!”

•SECOND: “personalised employee tax assessment– a guided employee tax assessment with questions according to the target group”

•THIRD: “in case of delays: number of listed cases which will come before the client’s file”


Challenge II: understanding taxes in a simple way

•FIRST: “simplification in language”

•SECOND: “bringing usability to state of the art standards”

•THIRD: “Simplify your homepage”


Quite a few projects and services have been initiated, fully developed or even implemented through this process of interaction with the customers.

•1. BMF-APP BMF2go◦An app for mobile devices (Android and iOS)

◦Features (will be added to the app after the launch):

◾Taking pictures of receipts and saving them in a cloud System

◾Estimated calculation of tax returns / tax debts

◾Automated mobile preparation of the employee tax assessment

◾Integration of a chat bot

◾Access to the incoming messages of the authorities (databox)


•2. Relaunch of the website / online tax assessment system FinanzOnline◦Relaunch at the end of 2019

◦New and state of the art design and layout with an intuitive navigation

◦Implementation of an appealing UI/UX Design and amended usability

◦Online assistance for a guided and self-explanatory employee tax assessment

◦Displaying of the current status of applications and tax declarations

◦Explanatory videos to give guidance

◦Integration of a chat bot


•3. Language manual – simple and understandable diction◦Released (2018/2019)

◦Setting up guidelines and examples for a simple and understandable diction without using the typical administrational language

◦Printed booklet with best practices was distributed to all staff members within the tax Administration

◦Revision of all standard documents is in process (so far over 1000 text modules have been translated into the simple language)


The e3lab co-creation platform www.e3lab.at is accessible for all citizens since 25 April 2017. Currently the platform has got 983 members (status quo 30 April 2019) and about 305 ideas have been submitted to the system since the beginning of the challenges. Over 1120 comments have been made during this period.


The implementation of the platform has been realized by a company called HYVE Innovation Community GmbH. The company has already had experience within administrational systems and the structure was quite similar to their former platforms. HYVE supported the project with the community management, although this has been taken over by staff members of the Federal Ministry of Finance. Due to the fact that a standard procedure has been put in place the platform has been set up and launched within 2 months. (including the corporate design and the setup of the challenges).


Award info
Award category: new solutions to complex challenges - a public sector citizen-centric, sustainable and fit for the future - european or national level
Award type: diploma
Award year: 2019
Project type
Sector: Taxation, customs, finances
Type of activity:
Keywords: co-creation, customers, apps, taxation
Short English description: The Austrian Tax Administration is taking a new and innovative path by engaging its citizens already at the beginning and throughout the process of the development of its services.

Hence, the co-creation platform “e3lab-einfach, elektronisch, effektiv.” (e3lab- simple, electronically, effective.) was founded.

Further information
Organisation: Federal Ministry of Finance, Austria
Other applicants:
Homepage: https://www.e3lab.at
Level of government: national level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Austria
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Co-creation platform www.e3lab.at (48.20513075674814, 16.3720965385437)
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