Tax office helpline fails consumer test for sixth year in a row

Photo: Joep Poulssen

People working for the Dutch tax office helpline BelastingTelefoon have been given a score of just 4.8 out of 10 for their knowledge of tax issues by the consumers association Consumentenbond.

The consumer watchdog assesses the expertise of helpline staff every year and this is the sixth year in a row that they have failed to properly answer five simple questions, the association says.

For example, the wrong answers most call centre staff gave about a special tax break for single pensioners could cost the elderly €876, the association points out. It also criticised the failure of call centre staff to answer questions it had highlighted as problematic two years ago.

The tax office has admitted that its call centre staff should be better trained and said it has brought in more specialists to deal with difficult questions.

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