We have enhanced the long-term efficiency of our operations, by increasing the automation of taxation, collecting more information from stakeholders, stepping up electronic data collection, introducing new tools and launching new online services.
Tax card and tax return – our biggest hit products
The first weeks of the year are always the busiest period for tax cards – when customers apply for revised tax cards for the new year. Once again, the first days of the year were a peak time for our telephone service: during the first three days, the Tax Administration answered close to 70,000 calls and had thousands of chat discussions. Normally, the number of answered calls ranges between 10,000 and 16,000 per day.
Pop-up points helped to keep tax card congestion under control. In the first weeks of January, Tax Administration staff set up service points in shopping centres and libraries to provide people with guidance on how to order and print out revised tax cards online.
Aina Inkeri Ankeinen boosted online tax returns
Our aim is to encourage more people to correct their tax returns online. The spokesperson of our 2017 marketing campaign was Aina Inkeri Ankeinen, a comedy character who was voted the audience’s favourite on the MTV3 sketch show Putous. Thanks to Aina Inkeri, the number of customers e-filing their tax returns rose by more than 10 per cent, to around 840,000.
We extended our hours into the evening to provide guidance and help on how to correct tax returns. On Tax Night, 4 May 2017, tax offices in 12 localities kept their doors open until 11 pm. On the busiest nights, we also served customers with our chat service until 10 pm.
The Tax Administration opens the Tax Campus for young people – and hits festivals
The Tax Administration catered for demand by opening a Tax Campus website for young people. The Tax Campus provides advice on what you should do if you make money from YouTube or other new sources of income.
We also provided tax advice for young people at Jurassic Rock in Mikkeli. At the festival, we presented the Tax Campus and life situations in which young people encounter the tax authorities.
Special support for new entrepreneurs
We want to ensure that entrepreneurs can handle their taxes correctly and as effortlessly as possible from day one. In 2017, we designated new entrepreneurs as a special target group. For instance, we rang them up when they registered their new company, sent out newsletters about the tax matters involved in establishing a company, released guidance videos on YouTube and held webinars – in English also.
Overhauled appointment booking service goes nationwide
The appointment booking service was deployed in five phases – and covered all tax offices by the year end. The service has proven to be efficient for both customers and tax officers. Before the booked appointment, the tax officer calls the customer and tries to handle the issue over the phone. On average, 40 per cent of issues are resolved over the phone, and the customer does not have to visit the office at all. One of our near-term focuses for the development of appointment booking involves expanding the service range.
Webinars are replacing fairs
In 2017, we participated in nine fairs. This number has been declining, as we have opted to hold webinars instead of being physically present at certain events. Webinars reach the largest share of the target group by far. What’s more, they are free-of-charge for customers and require a smaller time investment from both customers and organisers.
We held a total of 15 webinars in 2017. All webinars can be watched on tax.fi and YouTube.
Tax.fi is revamped
Customers handling their tax matters in June were delighted by the new look of tax.fi. The site is now sleeker and boasts better search functionalities. The texts are more compact, written in plain language and edited to ensure clarity.
Tax.fi is by far our most popular service. Each year, it is visited by 23 million customers seeking answers to their tax questions. Tax.fi also has a chat, an Answer Bank and a Write Your Question feature.
Maintaining a presence and interacting on social media are a natural way of being in contact with customers and stakeholders. We have forged ahead with opening social media channels since 2014 and have tested, planned and monitored our presence on them.
We are active on Twitter as @Verouutiset and on Facebook as Verohallinto. Our number of followers is growing every day: for instance, we have more than 10,000 on Facebook. We market job vacancies on Twitter on our @Verorekry account and on LinkedIn. What’s more, we encourage our employees to be active on social media and assist them with the systematic use of such services.
Veronkantaja podcast – tax talk
At the end of 2017, we launched a podcast series called Veronkantaja (Tax Collector). It deals with the most interesting taxation topics and phenomena.
By the end of December, we had discussed growth companies and China, robotics, the shadow economy and the tax gap on the podcast. The podcasts had been listened to just under 1,000 times by the beginning of 2018. That’s a good start.
Employee ambassadors are at home on social media
Employee ambassadors interact with others to promote their expertise and the reputation of their organisation. These activities are voluntary. An employee can serve as an ambassador for their employer, both on social media and by participating in different events.
The Tax Administration’s employee ambassadors take on this role for one year. They have been gaining positive attention and feedback since 2016. Four Tax Administration employees were active as employee ambassadors on social media in 2017. They visited educational institutions and participated in stakeholder cooperation and social media content production via their own or the organisation’s channels, focusing on topics that interested them.
Employee ambassador Osku Mäkelä: We serve on social media YouTube video.