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Evolution and future perspectives in the Income Campaign

The presentation of the Income Tax return is the main action that many citizens must carry out to comply with their tax obligations. The Tax Agency, aware of this, plans an Income Campaign every year in which the taxpayer is the center of attention and, therefore, its primary objective is to facilitate compliance with this obligation as much as possible, providing personalized assistance. to those who request it, and by the means they request it (telephone or in person), and making, on the other hand, available to taxpayers who wish to do so, the tools that allow them to carry out the declaration themselves. This purpose, and no other, is what has always driven the constant improvement of the support systems for preparing the Income Tax return, which has meant adopting measures aimed, on the one hand, at facilitating the completion of the return and , on the other hand, to speed up the processing of the millions of declarations that are submitted each year (already more than 22 million), and thus be able to make returns as quickly as possible.

Each of the changes adopted is based on a deep analysis of a social, functional, technical and also legal nature, which has meant a constant evolution in the forms of preparation and presentation of the declaration, which starts, more than 40 years ago, with the presentation through pre-printed paper forms, and continues with the making available of the "PADRE" aid program, the development of the draft declaration, until reaching the current WEB Income system that can be used on any device.

These improvements, as it could not be otherwise, have come hand in hand with technological advances, which facilitate the application of tax regulations, and make it possible to overcome the difficulty of manually preparing the tax return.

In this context, to evolve to improve, the convenience of eliminating paper was analyzed as a strategic decision in the operation of the Spanish tax system, taking into account, among many other analyses, that in the 2012 Income Campaign only 0.18 % of taxpayers had completed their declaration by hand, and that of these declarations completed by hand, 60% had errors that implied requirements for the taxpayer and unnecessary inconvenience when it came to, for example, arithmetic calculations, which could be avoided through the use of aid, which had a direct impact on delays in the issuance of the refund that may correspond and on the increase in administrative burdens.

However, recently, different forums are echoing the so-called measure of: "recent elimination of paper in Income".  This information is incorrect, given that the first Income Campaign in which paper presentation no longer existed, understood as manual completion by taxpayers of the Personal Income Tax declaration forms , was the 2013 Income Campaign. Therefore, the recent change is not; The preparation of paper declarations disappeared in 2014, for the 2013 Income Campaign, a measure established in Order HAP/455/2014, of March 20, which approved the personal income tax model for the 2013 financial year.

In successive campaigns, progress has been made aimed at improving each year the program or form for assistance in filing income tax. The information and assistance measures have been updated, and work has been, and continues to be done, under the premise that assistance to taxpayers in the Campaign is the primary axis of it.

Among these advances or technical improvements we must highlight the elimination of the pre-declaration, undertaken in the Personal Income Tax Campaign of 2018. The only thing this change meant was that, once the tax draft or declaration had been completed, if the taxpayer wanted to go to the bank to pay in person, instead of printing the entire document, they would print only the income document, but the declaration It was already submitted at that time, so it is no longer necessary for the collaborating entities to send the declaration to the Agency for processing.

The organization of the Income Campaign covers the general demand for assistance in completion, and of course, also that of our elderly, with whom there is special sensitivity and a protocol has been signed in relation to assistance to them.

In every evolution there are setbacks, problems to solve and aspects to improve, and work continues on this. What we should not allow ourselves as a country is, and we trust that it will not happen, the involution of a system that works. The great advance of eliminating paper a decade ago has led us to make improvements and be more efficient, always seeking the benefit of citizens, in this case taxpayers, which is all of us.