Reducing the need for customer service

The number of taxpayers visiting tax offices and calling the telephone service decreased from the previous year.

Taxpayers started to increasingly use our digital service channels during 2020. MyTax had three million visits by taxpayers and more than 25 million sign-ins. Up to 89% of all tax services were provided in MyTax.

MyTax was opened broadly for individual taxpayers in 2018, and in its first year, it already exceeded the expectations set for 2023. Nearly every week well over 80% of MyTax users report that the use of the services is going well. Furthermore, more than 80% of individual taxpayers are already completing their tax returns in MyTax.

The highest weekly customer satisfaction rate measured among Finnish taxpayers has been 88%. As tax matters are considered to be fairly difficult, satisfaction rates remaining nearly always above 80% are excellent results.

After opening MyTax, we stopped sending paper forms and envelopes to taxpayers. Only a small number of taxpayers (13.8%) require paper forms when using our services.

Our goal is to build application programming interfaces (APIs), through which accounting firms, among others, can submit data to us directly from their systems, without using MyTax in between. As a result, data would move freely from our systems to their systems, and the other way round.

By opening APIs, we provide third parties with opportunities to also develop services for individual taxpayers. For example, when data on deductions is directly forwarded to the Tax Administration from services used by taxpayers, taxpayers do not need to submit the same data separately to us. Three APIs are in production at present, and close to ten are expected to be up and running by the end of the year. While we have found the right direction for development, there is still much work to be done.

Our goal is not to increase the use of MyTax, but to minimise or eliminate the need to contact us directly. In this way, we are building the future to reduce the administrative burden of all parties.

Half a million chat conversations a year

The chat service increased its popularity as a service channel. A total of 551,000 conversations were held in the Tax Administration’s chat service, with chatbot Virtanen participating in more than half of them. In 2020, the chatbot was integrated into all services used by individual taxpayers. Virtanen responded to questions related to the use of MyTax, filing tax returns, tax cards, real estate tax, transfer tax, and inheritance and gift tax, both in Finnish and Swedish. The chatbot also responded to tax card-related questions in English.

Vero.fi is developed according to taxpayers’ needs

The number of visits to the vero.fi website increased by more than seven million in 2020. The website content was developed in accordance with accessibility requirements and on the basis of taxpayers’ reactions and feedback. 
In the light of the number of visits, vero.fi continued its growth. In 2020, the website recorded 39.7 million visits, up by more than seven million (+22%) from 2019. The website mainly grew during spring and early summer, as nearly 60% of all increased visits took place between March and June. At a monthly level, the number of visits increased clearly the most in March.

The completion of the vero.fi website’s accessibility project was the most significant development step in 2020. Continued for the second year, the project was finalised in September when the EU Web Accessibility Directive entered into force. The Siteimprove quality evaluation tool used by producers of vero.fi content gives the vero.fi website an accessibility index of 94/100, being among the best in the field of administration. However, accessibility does not mean the fulfilment of technical requirements alone, but the website’s texts must also be easy to read and understand. The use of a clearly understandable language is an equal part of accessibility.

Since the end of 2019, taxpayers have also been able to provide feedback on various content at vero.fi using different reaction buttons. In addition to pressing individual reaction buttons, users can also send written feedback. Reactions and written feedback provide information for content development. Qualitative data, combined with web analytics, provides valuable information on the directions in which vero.fi needs to be led in the future.

Visits to tax offices decreased

The number of visits to tax offices has been decreasing steadily for several years now, and the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this decrease even further.

All offices were open with restrictions due to the pandemic. Last year, some 290,000 taxpayers visited tax offices. Only 1% of the total use of services took place at tax offices.

Measuring telephone services using text messages

The use of telephone services decreased, with the number of calls received totalling less than two million in 2020, while the corresponding figure in 2019 was more than 3.1 million. Telephone services accounted for roughly 10% of all services.

In early autumn, we tested a new way to measure our success in the Tax Administration’s telephone services. The test proved so useful that we made the measurement of telephone services using text messages an established practice starting from 1 November 2020. We found out, for example, that 91% of taxpayers who called our telephone services were able to take care of their matter or get it started. By measuring the level of our services, we want to improve customer satisfaction even further.

By collecting feedback continuously, we can react quickly and correctly to any changes in customer satisfaction. What is more, the continuous collection of feedback increases the reliability of information compared to surveys tied to a specific period.

Customer satisfaction through the roof

During 2020, we measured customer satisfaction especially regarding our telephone services. The Tax Administration measures customer satisfaction so that we can understand, as well as possible, in what situations feedback is given, who are involved in each situation and when customer contact has taken place.

The Tax Administration has systematically measured customer satisfaction since 2016. In 2020, results were better than ever before during the measurement history. Of all the 10,000 taxpayers who gave a score, some 92% experienced that they had their matter taken care of or got it started. Not all cases can be resolved as desired by taxpayers due to the law, for example, in which case taxpayers often feel that they did not have their matter taken care of, and that they did not receive good service. The Tax Administration’s goal is that 85% of all respondents give a good score for services. In recent years, taxpayers have mainly been satisfied. However, in 2020, as many as 89% of taxpayers gave a good score for services, and only 5% were dissatisfied.

The level of the Incomes Register’s customer service is high

The level of customer service has remained high, even though the number of users of the Incomes Register increased in 2020. The quality of telephone and chat services was monitored on a regular basis.

The Incomes Register expanded at the turn of 2020, when roughly 500 new organisations started to use its data. At the same time, the advisory responsibility of the Incomes Register Unit’s telephone and chat services expanded to cover new data user groups. When monitoring the quality of customer service, it was noted that the level of advice remained at an excellent level.

The final quality rate (90.5%) was built on success in various areas. Performance in different areas is rated, and the scores given to the Incomes Register’s reporting controllers are compared with the unit’s maximum score. In addition, the quality of customer service is monitored by sending text messages to taxpayers, for example. The most recent text message survey was conducted in April and May 2020.

Data on benefits and pensions submitted to the Incomes Register in 2021

At the beginning of 2021, the Incomes Register underwent yet another change when benefit payers started to report data on benefits and pensions to the Incomes Register.  
At the same time, the advisory responsibility of the Incomes Register’s customer service expanded. Familiarisation with the reporting and distribution of benefits and pensions payment data has started to keep the level of customer service high, also in the future.