Outdated IT systems could disrupt Dutch tax collection: report

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The Tax Authority's outdated IT systems could compromise tax collection, the tax authorities concluded in an internal evaluation which the Volkskrant got hold of by appealing to the Open Government Act. "The continuity of the collecting process is not guaranteed", he evaluation reads, according to the newspaper.

The evaluation shows that the Tax Authority uses no less than 600 different IT systems. According to the evaluators, a large part of the IT systems no longer meet the current standards. But officials are forced to work with them because there is no alternative. Another problem is that as tax workers retire or resign, fewer and fewer tax employees know how to work with the outdated systems. 

Even a small IT problem can have major consequences, as the processes sometimes focuses on millions of tax payers at the same time. IT issues can result in letters being sent incorrectly, or even unjust fines and charges. 

The report also states the expectation that all systems will work properly by 2020, according to the newspaper. A Tax Authority spokesperson told the Volkskrant that they are busy renewing and streamlining the systems.

However, in June the Home Affairs Ministry's office for IT testing BIT concluded that the Tax Authority is unlikely to succeed in solving its IT problems. BIT called a planned investment for a new computer system "unjustified" as it is unclear whether the new system will improve the tax collection process.