The national ombudsman is starting a major inquiry into the tax office’s plans to stop communicating with people by traditional mail.
Junior finance minister Eric Wiebes announced at the beginning of this month that the tax office’s blue envelopes are to disappear for all communications apart from ‘exceptional cases’.
A flood of complaints to the ombudsman have prompted the investigation. In particular, groups representing the elderly are worried about having to fill in tax returns and apply for housing and healthcare subsidies online.
A spokesman for the ombudsman’s office said the inquiry would look at the preparations being made for the changeover in the light of problems with other government and tax office IT projects.
In addition, there is a sense of compulsion about the plans,’ the spokesman said. ‘But there should be attention for people who do not want to be forced to participate in the digitalisation trend for whatever reason, as well as for the exceptional cases.’