Pensioners worried about tax office’s plan to go online only

tax envelopePensioners’ organisations are furious about government plans to phase out paper tax returns, forcing everyone to fill in their tax return online.

The organisations say up to one million elderly people don’t have a computer or internet connection and will be forced to turn to family or outsiders for help.

The finance ministry said this autumn it is phasing out the use of blue envelopes from next year. For example, all supplementary benefits, such as housing and health insurance subsidies, will only be dealt with online from 2016.

Tax returns will go online over a two-year period.

‘There is no safety net for people without a computer,’ Hagar Roijackers of the pensioners’ lobby group Unie Kbo told the Telegraaf.

‘And what about security? People without a computer will have to authorise someone else to deal with their tax affairs… which will also involve handing over their secret Digid number.’

The pensioners’ organisations are urging people who are worried to phone the tax office themselves. In the meantime, officials are looking into a fall-back system for pensioners who are without a computer or can’t fill in the form themselves, the paper says.

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