Dutch Tax Office often hard to reach, especially with allowances queries: report

Belastingdienst Amsterdam
Belastingdienst AmsterdamBICWikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

People who called the Tax Authority with a query this year, often found it impossible to speak to a tax employee. The Allowances department in particular is very hard to reach, with less than two in ten callers being answered at the lowest point this year, according to an analysis by Nd.nl. 

If there are insufficient employees available to take calls, callers are notified that the Tax Authority is "closed". The office wants to avoid long waiting times in this way.

This happened most often in the Allowances department. Calls to this department increased from September, and that caused major problems. On 10 days this year, less than half of the calls to this department were answered. On the low point on Monday, November 25th, only 18 percent of callers managed to speak to someone. 

If someone ends up in the queue, that does not mean they also get to speak to an employee of the Allowances department. On average 12 percent of callers in the queue hung up before speaking to someone, often due to the long waiting times.

On six days this year, waiting times to speak to someone in the Allowances department were between 17 and 20 minutes long, resulting in about a third of callers giving up. On 58 days, the waiting time was more than 10 minutes long. 

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance told Nd.nl that it is inevitable that not everyone can be helped during peak times. "The Tax Authority adjusts its capacity to the annual average," the spokesperson said. If the entire year is considered, an average of 9 out of 10 calls are answered, he said.