The benefits of digitisation
eFillr - Electronic Transmission of Withholding Tax Reclaim Requests
Zurich, Jun 2019
The rapidly progressing digitisation offers financial service providers as well as administrative authorities valuable opportunities to improve efficiency. More and more tax authorities are introducing the electronic system for reclaiming withholding taxes on interest and dividends. To benefit from this new digital recovery options as a financial service provider, Confinale has developed eFillr as a supplement to reclaimer®.
reclaimer® is an application that has been developed by Confinale together with various banks and then established in the European market. It enables banks to offer their customers an efficient tax reclaim service. Essentially, reclaimer® calculates the reclaimable amounts and produces the corresponding forms and accompanying letters. For further details please go to our reclaimer® website.
The entire process supported by reclaimer® is extremely demanding in many respects and poses major challenges not only for banks but also for tax authorities. In most countries, for example, the recovery documents submitted by the banks and their customers have to be processed manually - at least until now - which implies an enormous administrative burden. Various countries have replaced paper forms with digital online solutions in recent times. Instead of the completed paper forms, the person making the claim sends a confirmation to the tax office that he or she has completed the electronic forms in the browser.
Here is an example from Austria.
Of course, the online forms provide great advantages for tax offices. To ensure that banks and their customers can also benefit from this development, they must adapt their recovery systems and processes accordingly. So far, Confinale's reclaimer® has produced the forms and documents as PDF files, which are then printed out and sent by post or courier. Confinale has developed eFillr to make use of the new transmission methods.
The tax offices' web applications are designed so that the data can be entered manually in the browser. Official interfaces for automatic transmission are not (yet) available. However, every web application generally has an implicit interface, because the application in the browser needs to communicate with the backend. Confinale's development team identified this interface and developed the eFillr based on it, which can communicate with the backend of the respective tax office. eFillr automatically executes the electronic forms and generates the required confirmation. This happens after the respective user has manually confirmed completion of the form based on the original confirmation page of the tax office.
When using "unofficial" interfaces, there is of course always a danger that the interfaces will change. Such changes are noticed by eFillr through regular, automated testing of the interfaces. If tests show that something has changed on the website, eFillr will be adjusted accordingly. Confinale's eFillr currently supports the electronic forms of the Austrian and Danish tax authorities. The electronic forms of the Spanish and Belgian tax offices will also be available shortly.
eFillr ensures that our reclaimer® customers can also benefit from the digitization of tax authorities in the area of withholding taxes!