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Short description / Current status and future steps / Lessons learned:
= Case description =
Given the growing popularity of e-services in general, it was at some point innevitable for the State Revenue Service (SRS) to provide tax payers a more efficient and quick method of filing annual tax returns. With a successful electronic method of filing tax returns already in place via the Electronic Declaration System (EDS), the next step was to attepmt creating an automated solution for processing all of the data submitted and also ensure timely and effective calculation and repayment of Personal Income Tax (PIT) overpayments and Value Added Tax (VAT) overpayments as well.
The main goals for this project were:
1.Increase the quality and speed of the tax return e-service, to provide the best possible service to our customers.
2.Decrease the workload of our staff, reduce staff without sacrificing service amount or quality.
3.Push towards full automatization of the tax return e-service.
4.Increase the popularity of the tax return e-service.
To achieve these goals, a criteria based method was implemented to process all of the filed tax reports and sort them based on easy-to-match criteria, such as net income amount, amount of returned tax, presence of external documents, etc. Based on such criteria a tax report would be either classified for automated or manual processing.
Once a tax report is marked for automated processing, no additional user assistance is required to continue and complete the tax return process, and usually the process can be completed sucessfully in just a few days as opposed to a month or more in case of full manual processing.
The greatest beneficiaries of this project are VAT and PIT payers: over 1 million returns were filed and processed automatically in 2017, and over 1.5 million returns in 2018.
Statistics show that the number of e-service users, in this case - tax refund applicants, increases every year, and there has been a lot of positive feedback regarding the electronic tax return service and the upgrades the service has received over the years. Tax payers appreciate EDS as the ever evolving platform of online services provided by the SRS. As always, negative feedback is also received and taken into account whenever possible. One of the biggest challenges over the last few years has been to provide users of EDS a stable access to the system during the peak period, which is roughly the first half of March. During this time the number of per hour connections rises from an everyday average of a few dozen or hundred users per hour to a massive ten thousand users per hour or even more.