The tax minister, Karsten Lauritzen, has revealed the government intends to massively overhaul the tax authority SKAT over the next decade.
As part of the ‘Et nyt skattevæsen’ (‘A new tax authority’) plans, billions of kroners will be set aside for around 2,000 new employees by 2020 and a new IT infrastructure.
“The current tax authority is built to handle tasks as they appeared before the millennium,” said Lauritzen.
“Unfortunately, SKAT has been unable to keep up with globalisation and digital development, and a string of regrettable cases have weakened the public’s trust in it. The billion-kroner amount we are investing will allow us to lift the tax authority into the 21st century.”
Breaking it down
Lauritzen is under no illusion that a transformation of SKAT won’t happen overnight, and he contends that a reform could take up to ten years to complete.
The plan is for SKAT to be broken down into a number of smaller and more specialised authorities and for three core areas – real estate evaluation, debt collection and VAT – to become independent entities in 2017.
It will then be up to the Tax Ministry if the core areas of personal, business, motor vehicles, and international also become independent.
The tax overhaul plans come in the wake of a number of scandals involving SKAT, including the authority being cheated out of over 12 billion kroner by criminals who reclaimed withholding tax on dividends on Danish shares, which they most likely never owned.