A new income tax return form in the Netherlands

Date of publication: September 1, 1995


he research that is the subject of this paper was conducted to gain insight into the extent to which the new tax return forms for income tax, developed by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, lead to an improvement of the way the forms are completed and to increased appreciation by the taxpayer. The new forms were tested in 1994 in an area in the South of Holland, namely Venlo. For the design and the carrying out of the research project a research team was formed in which the market research agency and the various services and divisions of the Ministry of Finance and the Tax and Customs Administration were represented. The team kept in close contact, especially where the content of the research was concerned. The market research agency especially delivered the research-technical input and the client delivered the specific knowledge on and experience with the field. A collaboration of this type was vital and contributed tremendously to the success of the research. Part of this collaboration was an intensive computer data exchange between the research agency and the local offices of the Ministry of Finance and the Tax and Customs Administration. As part of the data collection a state-of-the-art registration and communication instrument was developed. The research showed that the new income tax return forms can contribute to the process of improvement of income taxation in the Netherlands. The research yielded a number of possible amendments, that can further help improve the process. The Minister of Finance decided to introduce the form in the rest of the Netherlands, early 1995.

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