Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (DTCA)“Although we cannot make it more fun, we can make it easier for you.” Arjan Hoeffnagel Communication Advisor DTCA Budapest, 28/29 november 2008
Build up • Short introduction DTCA and Department Corporate Communications • Communication policy • Best practices Corporate communications: • Restitution Youth campaign • Introduction Care Insurance law • Personal observations…
DTCA • A short introduction…
Core tasks • Assessing and collecting taxes for central government • Issuing income-related benefit payments • Investigating fiscal, economic and financial fraud • Supervising the import, export and transit of goods
Private persons: Income tax Property tax Inheritance tax Vehicle Holder’s tax Entrepreneurs: Turnover tax Corporation tax Profit tax VAT Environment tax Types of national taxes in the Netherlands
Benefits • DTCA is responsible for the implementation of income-related schemes, known as ‘benefits’ • These benefits provide for allowances that households may obtain towards the costs of childcare, rent or healthcare • Over 6 million households receive a benefit
Customs • Customs checks good flows for compliance with Dutch and European legislation • Customs carries out non-fiscal tasks in area’s of Security, Health, Economics and Environment • Customs uses the latest techniques and electronic risk analyses
The Administration’s voice: TaxLine • The TaxLine is the unit of the Tax Administration that people can contact with questions • TaxLine also answer questions regarding Customs • About 16 million calls a year.
Benefits paid out: 6.2 Tax declarations: 4.8 Tax assessments: 9.7 Tax returns: 4.1 Calls to TaxLine: 15.9 Cars registered: 9.2 Staff in FTE: 29.750 Expenses paid: 2.760 billion Figures 2006 (in millions)
Centre for Professional Development and Communication • The centre supports and advises the Administration in three area’s: • Communication to the public • Teaching and informing the staff • Personnel and organisational development
Organisation Communication • Approximately 300 employees working in internal and external communication of the Tax and Customs Administration • Press information central at Ministry of Finance
Corporate Communication • Corporate communication supports the primary process • Supported by publicitycampaignes, materials of enlightenment (brochures, leaflets, internet, callcenter, forms etcetera)
Department Corporate Communication • 15 Communication advisors • Advice internal and external • Communication matters • Develop mass media campaigns • Design, develop and manage the intranet and internet www.Belastingdienst.nl • Develop forms and documents • Design of new returns, brochures, leaflets, envelops and so on • Daily news
Government Communication • Communication policy based on this • Right to information (art. 110 Constitution) • Actively disclose government information • Providing information should be comprehensible, timely, focussed and not superfluous
Government Policy: Easy • Tax relief for citizens and companies • Minimum of administrative actions • Starting point: citizen only has to provide information to the government once • Government exchanges information amongst itself
Compliance… Citizens/companies are burdened by: • Long waiting periods • Cumbersome procedures • Mistakes by payment (extra) allowances • Mistakes by processing assessment • Complicated processes • Cause: complexity of the ICT • Risk: compliance reduction
Simplification plan • Goal: offer citizens and companies better and faster service when they follow up on their obligations • Communication policy supports this goal of compliance
Communication policy The communicationpolicy of DTCA is to deliver a contribution to the willingness of taxpayers to the obligation of paying tax (compliance). This means: information available on time, correctly and complete.
Desired image • Taxpayer experience DTCA as careful, reliable, responsible and - if necessary – severe • Enlarge compliant behaviour through a positive image
But… • Relationship with DTCA will not be realized only through tv-commercials, radio, internet, ads in newspapers but even more in personal contacts by phone, inspections, letters, taxforms and – documents and so on… • Employees are of vital importance for a positive image
Strengthen image • All our means of communications deepen or confirm this wished image and will be tested on expected image-effects • DTCA can’t control it’s own image fully • Internal communication plays a major roll in this case
Pay-off • “Tax and Customs: Although we cannot make it more fun, we can make it easier for you.”
Communication policy • Until ‘70 imageis unimportant to Tax and Customs Administration
Communication policy • Citizen starts to demand good service
Communication strategy • Positioning the DTCA as a service oriented organization with a more friendly face • Start campaign with pay-off “Although we cannot make it more fun, we can make it easier”
New concept • Concept provides little room for messages other than for the private person • Pay-off maintained • Tax payer central in communication • Tone more objective & business like
The window concept (1) • Standard form to enlarge recognizability • DTCA positioned as ‘service providing judicial maintenance’ • Proposition: DTCA provides clarity and security • Due to cost economy much of communication is efficiency based: internet etc.
The window concept (2) • Tax payer central • But: too distant, no univocity, every time a different concept, few internal connections • Unfit for extra allowances
2004 • Start thinking of re-positioning DTCA
Conclusions brainstorm sessions • Though automatic character DTCA distance enlarged • Current way of campaigning does not reduce the distance • Work is not from a thought • Co-workers have little feeling for ‘advertising’
A new direction… • Assignment: make DTCA more personal, enlarge connection with campaign, • Campaign should be applicable for all elements: Tax service, (extra) Allowances and Customs
A new concept • ‘Easy’ is given a new impuls and becomes leading for the new campaign • New ‘proposition’: ‘We of the DTCA are constantly working to make the necessary interaction with us as easy as possbile for you’
Allowances campaign • Tv (4 commercials) • Radio • Print (magazines, dagbladen en h-a-h-bladen) • Dag-tv • Banners • Outdoor (abri’s, busreclame, schoolcards) • Below the line
Return Youth Campaign • Make Tax payers aware of their fisical obligations but also on their rights • To few youth make use of the refund regulation • How can the DTCA make sure that the youth apply for refunding of surplus paid salary taxes?
Image • Association with DTCA: problems, paying bills and fuss • Overcome thresholds with Youth
Target Group • Young people of 15 to 17 years of age having had a holiday or part-time job and have paid surplus salary taxes (source: market research office).
Objective • Make sure the youth in 2007 request 10% more Tj-forms • Average is currently 100.000 forms (2006)
Communication strategy • Emphasize ‘receiving’ • Internet most important medium • Youth sites (Eg sugababes.nl, spunk.nl) • TV-spots op TMF (‘The power of Tj’) • Radio538, FunX