Monday, 4 April 2016 - 09:44
Advocate: Gov’t rushed dropping tax office blue envelopes for e-mail
The Dutch government rushed the transition from the Tax office's blue envelope to email and thereby overwhelmed the public, according to National Ombudsman Reineir van Zutphen in a report on the matter, NU.nl reports. According to Van Zutphen, the government was not allowed to force the public into digitalization. In doing so they've allowed the vulnerable parts of society to fall between the cracks - approximately 50 thousand people in the Netherlands don't have access to the internet and about 2 million have low literacy. The Ombudsman writes that filing tax returns online should only be an additional option, which the government should "seduce" citizens into using. A spokesperson for State Secretary Eric Wiebes of Finance told NU that the tax office is in the processes of digitalization, but that the blue envelope is still available. "We don't want anyone to fall by the wayside. The paper envelope remains available to people who really can not participate n the digitization", she said. "Anyone who calls the Tax Information Line can simply say: I want it on paper."