The Hague / Kralendijk – Recently, representatives of the Tax Offices of Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten, and of the Caribbean Netherlands islands met for a knowledge exchange in a work seminar. This work seminar is a joint event of the Temporary Work Organisation (TWO) and the Belastingdient Caribisch Nederland (BCN). The aim of the work seminar was to share progress, successes, and bottlenecks in developments of tax offices and to encourage cooperation. The various participants also had the opportunity to meet each other in person.
The seminar was opened by Claudia Toet, director BCN: “We are looking forward to getting to know each other. What do we need and where can we strengthen each other? We have the same citizens and businesses on file, that is where we need each other.” Arjen Alberts, Project Leader Taxes within the TWO for the Country Packages of Aruba, Curaçao, and St. Maarten: “With this, we are giving substance to part of the Country Package. We
want to revitalise cooperation, get to know each other again”.
Each country was given the opportunity to hold a presentation on the developments and needs of its tax office. For example, Aruba was able to show how, among other things, they have successfully implemented an integrated system that not only digitises almost all tax returns, but also automates the processing of customer payments made online. This also allowed the technical implementation of recent tax reforms to be supported digitally with, among other things, a direct link to the Asycuda system of the Customs Department. The plans for the coming years were also discussed, and the challenges of digitisation, e.g. data security and accessibility of the organisation to better meet the needs of their customers, were addressed.
The Tax Office Curaçao is moving forward at a tremendous pace. Several improvements have already been implemented and several more developments are planned for the years to come. Various tools are being deployed so that employees can focus more on substantive issues instead of administrative matters.
The projects implemented are aimed at the prevention of errors, increase of effectiveness, and realisation of structural improvements.
In St. Maarten, preparations to modernise the outdated IT infrastructure have been under way since 2022. In addition, the Tax Office is struggling with understaffing. The Country Package pays much attention to this and provides the necessary resources to reform the Tax Office and to improve services to customers.
At the Belastingdienst CN, a whole new direction has been taken since 10-10-10. Think tax legislation, administrative responsibility, and a new format. Over the past 13 years, the service has been constantly evolving, organisationally, technologically, and in service delivery. The organisation went from large amounts of paper to almost entirely digital; revenues have increased and processes are better streamlined.
The presentations by the countries made it clear how much common ground there is in the challenges. Think of the digitalisation and security of systems, the
recruitment of suitable manpower, and the exchange of ‘lessons learned’. On the spot, the first steps were taken to find each other, among other things, professional group meetings, training opportunities, and an exchange of experiences to strengthen each other.
The TWO looks back on this first Tax Offices work seminar with great satisfaction and continues to support modernisation of the Tax Offices of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten through the Country Packages.