Accenture’s Global Taxpayers Survey 2015 reveals that citizens want revenue agencies to provide digital services but are not satisfied with the speed, usability or range of services available.
In its second year, the survey shows yet more evidence that taxpayers are ready to hang up the phone and quit the queues—with 81 percent of taxpayers willing to switch to paper-free correspondence with their revenue agencies. But only 45 percent use them and that’s because of the complexity and usability issues taxpayers often face with digital services.
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of taxpayers who phoned their revenue agency had already tried to find the required information or service online beforehand—but failed.
of taxpayers who visited the revenue agency had already tried to find the required information or services online beforehand—but failed.
of taxpayers who have visited their revenue agency’s website found what they were looking for.
Revenue agencies are on a journey towards delivering public service for a digital future. To stay on route, it can be helpful to analyze the trends of industries that are further down the track and that are confirmed by Accenture’s 2015 Digital Taxpayers research.
Banks and insurers are particularly relevant, with many successfully using digital to improve customer loyalty, profitability and operational processes. They have also faced many of the same challenges as revenue agencies, from the complexity of millions of transactions and exchanges to a service model overly-reliant on call centers and offices.
Every year digital expectations increase, both for the scope and quality of revenue agency services. Part of the reason for this is the ever advancing benchmark set by the private sector but it is also because of a generational shift. Those aged 18 to 34 stand out in the survey results as less satisfied with their customer experience across all channels, when compared to other age groups:
Revenue agencies have to learn more from the private sector, implement more design thinking and give taxpayers—especially the younger generation—the digital services they expect.
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Higher age, higher certainty
Younger taxpayers are less confident about whether they pay too much or too little tax
Younger taxpayers are ready to hang up
A strong majority of younger taxpayers who phoned their agency would prefer to use a digital channel next time
Taxpayers are eager to help
Younger people are especially willing to test new digital services from revenue agencies
Younger taxpayers seek social channels
Far more younger taxpayers have visited their revenue agency’s social media profile
The Mobile Generation Gap
Older taxpayers show low interest in using their mobile device to find tax information, and even lower interest in filing their return that way. Young taxpayers show strong interest in both.
The Accenture Global Taxpayers Survey 2015 was conducted in June/July 2015 among 6,500 taxpayers aged 18+ who have contact with the national revenue agency in their country. The online survey was executed by Market Knowledge Online (MKO) in twelve countries: Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the U.S. We surveyed 500 taxpayers in each country, apart from in the U.S. where the sample was 1,000. Respondents were surveyed in their local languages, with English used in Singapore. Respondents included employees, retirees, the self-employed, and small business owners.
Digital taxpayers: Taxpayers who had digital contact with their tax agency in the last 12 months. This could be only digital contact or a mix of digital and non-digital contact.
Non-digital taxpayers: Taxpayers who have only used non-digital channels to interact with their tax agency in the last 12 months.
Health & Public Service, Global Revenue Industry Lead
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