Tax-on-web with itsme® making strong progress in Belgium: easy to use, secure and recognised by the government
Lodging tax returns has just become a tad more straightforward for many Belgians. In actual fact, the itsme® identity app is again expected to trigger a very sharp rise in the number of logins on Tax-on-web. It also means you can also report your taxes without a card-reader or tokens. Last year, thousands of taxpayers in Belgium used itsme® for the first time to lodge their returns on Tax-on-web. In fact, today, 17.5% of all logins for online government transactions, including MyPension and MyMinFin, now come via the itsme® mobile identity app.
Preparing and lodging their annual tax return is a chore that many people don’t look forward to – not least because of all the paperwork involved. And then, when you’ve finally assembled all the bits of paper and certificates you need, you still have to go looking for your eID card-reader to log on to Tax-on-web.
But, thanks to having itsme® on your smartphone, there’s now a much smarter way of tackling this task. The itsme® mobile identity app replaces card-readers, passwords and tokens with a single 5-digit personal code. All you have to do is log in to MyMinFin using your personal itsme® code or fingerprint and you’re ready to fill in your tax return. You can also use itsme® as a simple way of retrieving any certificates you may need to attach to your return.
Using itsme® is also faster than your eID. There’s no additional software you need to install or card-readers and tokens to look for. And, if you want, you can also use itsme® to lodge your tax returns using a tablet.
Last year, thousands of Belgians used itsme® for the first time to lodge their tax returns electronically. Providing this easy way to access Tax-on-web resulted in no fewer than 90% more new itsme® accounts being opened in the period for May, June and July 2018 than the number at the beginning of the year. In June alone, there were 85,000 new users – a record for a single month. This year, once again, itsme® is expected to deliver a significant boost in new accounts during the tax reporting period. In February of this year, the consumer organisation Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats conducted a representative survey of 1000 Belgians.
The results showed that 7% of those surveyed had already opted to use itsme® last year to log in to Tax-on-web. Another 21% plan to use the identification app this year.
“Tax-on-web is the annual contact time between the taxpayer and government,” says Kris De Ryck, CEO of Belgian Mobile ID. “It provides a unique opportunity to improve online communication between the public and the authorities. Every individual and business can use itsme® to gain fast, secure access to the digital public services.” The itsme® identification app does not replace your official eID card, but it does make online contacts with the government a good deal more straightforward. Where and when you want.
It is not known exactly how many Belgians log in to Tax-on-web via itsme®. The government only releases a single overall figure for CSAM, the access portal to all online government services. But the figure itself speaks volumes: each month 1 million logins are already made to government websites through itsme®. These are for hundreds of different government applications, such as MyMinfin, MyPension, Student@Work and eHealth, as well as to the e-service counters of towns, cities and local councils.
Today, 17% or more of all online government transactions are conducted via the itsme® login procedure.
All of these contacts and transactions are conducted with the highest possible level of security. In fact, itsme® functions exclusively using the unique combination of your mobile phone, SIM card and your personal itsme® code (or fingerprint). These three components establish beyond all doubt exactly who you are: “It’s me”. The secure link of your identity to the itsme® app runs via your bank or with your eID from the itsme® website.
In addition to security, itsme® also attaches a great deal of importance to its users’ privacy. Each time an identification is established, users know exactly what data they are sharing and with whom. In the case of MyMinFin, that data is their eID card number and national register number. itsme® also keeps a constant close eye on the European regulations governing electronic identification methods (eIDAS) and the European privacy regulation (GDPR). This means that, digitally speaking, Belgians can rest assured that all of their data is being protected in the best possible way.