IT blunder could cost taxman millions

Faulty collection system leaves money in the pockets of taxpayers

Over half a billion kroner of debt relating to items such as licensing fees and parking fines may go uncollected because the tax agency SKAT has failed to collect the cash before the statute of limitations on the debt runs out.

An automatic collection system introduced by SKAT last year proved to be so flawed that several hundred employees were assigned to input the amounts owed manually, and the time window for payment of many of the debts is running out.

Money down the drain
 “People should not be forced to pay obsolete bills,” Jørn Rise, of customs and tax association Dansk Told and Skatteforbund, told Metroxpress newspaper. “Many bills have run out without SKAT even knowing.”

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Venstre’s tax spokesperson Torsten Schack Pedersen has asked for a meeting with Morten Østergaard, the tax minister, to discuss the problem.

“It is insane that so much money is disappearing out of the public coffers because SKAT has not been able to bill for the debts before they become obsolete,” Pedersen told Metroxpress. “The government has received repeated warnings that the system is flawed.”