ECONOMY

Ministry plans an overhaul of Taxis online tax system

Serious problems are emerging from the in-depth technical examination which the Finance Ministry’s General Secretariat for Information Systems (GSIS) is carrying out on its online «Taxis» system for taxpayers, sources say. The general feeling is that the problems should have been dealt with long ago, given the 70 million euros that was spent on Taxis. The examination to date has revealed about 300 technical faults in the equipment of the public tax offices connected with Taxis. These include applications which have not been run for unknown reasons and selective entries for the cross-checking of tax data. Data entries for the formation of a property register were stopped in 1997, also for unknown reasons. This means that the register does not include any changes to personal properties since then. The property register system cost about 30 million euros. Further, according to a senior Finance Ministry official, cross checks on the data of enterprises and individuals cannot be conducted extensively because the data entered is limited – again, for unknown reasons. In order to face the problems, the ministry is now considering setting up a new Taxis system, at a reasonable cost, given that existing applications cannot be run with the new necessary hardware (the old hardware is said to have been outdated since the day Taxis was installed). A call to tender for new applications is expected to be issued in the summer. In the meantime, a tendering procedure is under way for the purchase of new hardware and eight companies have submitted offers. The redesigned Taxis will provide for: the online submission and processing of all tax statements, with possibilities for calculating taxes due and debiting the taxpayer’s bank account; the creation of individual tax accounts for everyone that will allow continuous updating and all transactions to be carried out online; automatic income entries for all taxpayers and businesses, making possible online cross-checks and the identification of sources of tax evasion. The ministry is also planning to issue a call to tender for an integrated system for its inspection department which is hoped to augment the efficacy of controlling mechanisms. It will also allow for the updating of the ministry’s central departments in the course of an inspection, in an effort to limit incidences of corruption. The ministry will be able to carry out inspections of businesses on a sample basis, and it is hoped that the system will put an end to tax evasion by firms which aim to benefit from «blanket» settlements at regular intervals.