Last spring, we began planning the goals of the Tax Administration up to the year 2020. We honed our existing strategy to steer our work in the desired direction.
Changes in the operating environment pose challenges
Last spring, we began planning the goals of the Tax Administration up to the year 2020. We honed our existing strategy to steer our work in the desired direction. The Tax Administration faces similar challenges to other organisations. By fine-tuning our policies, we seek to enhance efficiency in our basic operations so that we can free up resources for change and renewal. However, we ensure that consistent quality criteria apply to basic tasks. We uphold quality in our work.
Work began with identifying the cornerstones of operations: operational reliability, small administrative burden, a positive attitude towards taxation, small tax gap, competent employees, efficiency and the ability to embrace new ways of working. All of these guide our work. More specific operational focuses are built on these cornerstones. By preparing for and working on these focuses, we will cope with future challenges posed by the operating environment: we manage tax risks by concentrating on customer segments that are of key importance to tax accrual, improve the information basis of taxation, seek to prevent tax debt, automate or eliminate routine work and ensure that tax officers make full use of GenTax in their work.
Cornerstones of the Tax Administration
Finns are glad to pay their taxes
Finns feel that paying taxes is an important civic duty. Finns’ attitudes towards paying taxes are now even more favourable. According to an attitude survey carried out by the Tax Administration in August-October 2017, 79 per cent of Finns are happy to pay their taxes. This figure has risen by as much as 10 percentage points during the past four years. 96 per cent of the respondents stated that collecting taxes is important because they are used to maintain the welfare state. 93 per cent of the respondents say that they pay taxes and back taxes on time.
A customer survey of corporate taxpayers was performed in 2017. According to the survey, Finnish companies think it is worthwhile to manage taxes correctly. Companies feel that taking care of their tax matters is effortless. A large share of the respondents say they are happy to pay their taxes. When asked how well the Tax Administration measures up to its values, corporate taxpayers said that it performs best in terms of providing modern and expert services. They stated that its performance is weakest in the development of its services in cooperation with customers and stakeholders.
Four in five corporate respondents were satisfied with the operations of the Tax Administration overall. Only three per cent were dissatisfied.
During the year, customer satisfaction with the telephone service was also assessed through text messages sent immediately after calls, to ask the customer for their opinion. On average, a total of 88 per cent of the more than 7,000 respondents were satisfied with the service they received by telephone.
VAT on imports is transferred to the Tax Administration
VAT on imported goods was previously handled by Customs. As from the beginning of 2018, this task has been transferred to the Tax Administration with respect to goods imported by companies that are on the VAT Register. However, Customs monitors the correctness of VAT in connection with the customs declarations of such companies and is responsible for criminal investigations. We compiled new guidelines on tax.fi for the VAT process for imports. The guidelines were published on 1 January 2018 on tax.fi, when this task was transferred to the Tax Administration.
Developing competence through international cooperation
International cooperation is an important means of acquiring information and exchanging experiences and views on challenges, successful practices and any problems that have come to light. For us, it is also a key means of developing our administration and the competence of personnel, having a say in decisions made at international level, and sharing best practices.
In 2017, our popularity among visitors increased, and we actively participated in a range of international events, working groups, meetings and training. Others turned to us for information and expertise on issues concerning digital development, change management and tax collection.
We were particularly active in our cooperation with Nordic organisations: our shared goals help us to have an influence on the OECD and EU as well. In terms of content, the main focus of cooperation was on developing automatic information exchange and improving the reliability of taxation, especially with respect to international situations and arrangements.
Internationally active year for the Tax Administration
Events 2017 (2016)