We see that there is a huge potential for automating tasks within the tax administration. Done more quickly, these are tasks that improve the citizen experience. And we are balancing using this kind of technology with the more long-term development of applications and integration between applications done by our IT team.”Håkon Bjørn Ringdal Head of RPA
The Norwegian Tax Administration (NTA) provides funding for critical citizen services, including healthcare, education and transportation, for 5.4 million Norwegians. The Administration’s 7,500 employees work hard to assist their fellow citizens, backed by a small, but mighty, automation team looking for ways to increase operational efficiencies. Working with their partners in analytics, the team armed a Blue Prism digital worker with a predictive algorithm to do just that.
In Norway, a 25% value-added tax (VAT) is part of the purchase price of products and services consumers buy. The customer pays the proprietor, but the business is responsible for sending the tax money to the NTA. And they didn’t always do it in a timely manner.
As a result, employees in the tax administration had to manually check who was paying, and who was not. And human bias often entered the equation. A business might be flagged based on the tax collector’s experiences or a news article they had just read, while others flew under the radar. The tax administration needed a way to fairly determine which companies owed tax and encourage them to pay on time.
Intelligent Blue Prism digital workers were trained to predict which businesses are most likely to neglect their VAT payments, and the automation team joined forces with their colleagues in analytics. Together, they developed an algorithm enabling the digital workers to complete a predictive analysis on every tax paying business in Norway. Once the digital workers determined who was unlikely to pay, they were programmed to nudge those businesses by requesting a meeting with the tax administration. Most of the time, this was enough to spur a payment. With additional revenue coming in on a regular basis, the organization not only realized a significant increase in revenue but also the benefit of better planning.
The NTA is on target to deliver other time-saving, business-critical automations. The center of excellence now collaborates with stakeholders in the business to select processes that are most likely to succeed. In fact, if the automation is not likely to reach a return on investment in one year, the team doesn’t move forward with the project. This technique has served them well. Today, they have 106 digital workers working on 70 processes across the business. And the impressive results don’t stop there. The NTA has saved 45 million krone over the lifetime of the program, money that can be used to better serve the citizens of Norway.
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