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Language simplification

In any area in which technical language is used, there is always a debate between the necessary understanding that we must facilitate in the receiver and the essential need for precision that good practice requires from the sender. That said, and to the extent that society is demanding a simplification effort from us that improves communication with citizens, the Tax Agency has already included it as one of its objectives in the 2020-2023 strategic planning.

The Agency set as its objective in said triennium the strengthening of its institutional communication as a means of facilitating its activity and improving compliance with its immediate objectives (information and assistance to taxpayers and fight against fraud) and intermediate objectives (improvement of voluntary compliance with tax obligations), expressly stating in the 2023 Addendum to the Strategic Plan that:

The achievement of these objectives involves the implementation of a series of specific strategic actions and initiatives, highlighting, among others, the introduction of measures to simplify the language used in communications. and notifications from the Tax Agency.”

On November 2, 2023, the implementation of this commitment was announced to advance the simplification of the language used by the Tax Agency in its relationship with taxpayers.

In a determined commitment to facilitate voluntary compliance with tax obligations in the Collection Area (area characterized by the issuance of multiple documents fundamentally related to payment), an improvement and simplification of the content of some documents issued from here has been addressed, so that these are more understandable and simple for their recipients. In particular, the procedures for garnishing wages, salaries and pensions have been simplified, as well as the procedures for commercial and/or lease credits.

The actions carried out have focused on the following pillars:

  1. Document improvements . New content and text models have been developed, both for the proceedings to seize wages, salaries and pensions and for commercial and/or lease credits, with clearer and simpler language, accessible to all citizens, highlighting the following:

    • A one-page informative summary has been incorporated, with information on the basic elements of the document.

    • The content and text of the documents have been modified, with a new restructuring of the administrative act into clearly differentiated sections.

    • And, finally, the annexes to the documents have been substantially simplified, eliminating the completion instructions and writing them in much simpler language.

  2. Help Tools . Secondly, an assistant or tool called “Help to answer” the procedures has been created in the electronic headquarters of the AEAT in order to resolve general doubts that the user may have when indicating the correct answer in the corresponding documents. 

  3. Personalized assistance services . Finally, an Information and Assistance service has been created via chat and telephone, in the latter case by Prior Appointment, to help answer these new models of seizure proceedings.

In this way, through the improvement of the aforementioned documents and the creation of these tools, the aim is to facilitate compliance with tax obligations and achieve greater simplicity when making payment, so that all this results in a significant reduction in indirect administrative costs associated with compliance by citizens and in greater voluntary income.