You can now make a video appointment with the Dutch tax authorities
As of the start of October, the Dutch government has made it possible to book video appointments with the Dutch tax authorities (Belastingdienst). People concerned about their taxes can now contact Belastingdienst advisers via video call between 9am and 4.30pm on workdays.
Dutch tax authorities have been trialling video calls for two years
The tax authorities in the Netherlands have been working on rolling out video calls for two years, and have conducted over 1.500 test video conversations with callers from different ages and levels of education. According to the results of their tests, callers enjoyed having the option to video call with Belastingdienst staff.
The video appointment function will be available during working hours, between 9am and 4:30pm, but callers will not be able to place calls during lunch time, between 12pm and 1pm. According to NOS, the video call team consists of four team members at the moment, but department head Bjorn Meijer told the broadcaster: "We start on a small scale to see what the need is. If the need grows, we can scale up further."
Video call for people who have complex tax problems
The tax authorities say that the video call service will be used for people who need help with something or have a more complex tax problem, rather than those who simply wish to receive a status update on their tax return. "We help someone with filing a tax return, for example, or with applying for an allowance or payment arrangement,” Meijer told NOS.
Thankfully, using the service is straightforward and does not require any extra software, so many people who chose to file their taxes on the internet will be able to benefit from the update if they do have things to talk about with the Belastingdienst. "Downloading separate programs is therefore not necessary for video calling,” Meijer stated.
Also a positive for privacy-conscious callers is the fact that the new system will not record users in video calls. While telephone calls to the Belastingdienst are sometimes recorded, the organisation has confirmed that video conversations will not be recorded or stored by the agency.
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