In May 2016, FSVC provided two volunteer experts to conduct consultations with the General Directorate of Taxation (GDT)’s Taxpayer Services Department. FSVC volunteer experts conducted a thorough review of the Taxpayer Services function, and conducted consultations with the GDT’s management and Taxpayer Services staff and with the Ministry of Finance (MoF). The volunteer experts also conducted on-site visits to the Regional Tax Directorates in Tiranë, Fier, Gjirokaster and Sarandë, where they had informal conversations with Albanian taxpayers. The volunteer experts sought to understand the nature of the services that are currently offered, the circumstances that lead taxpayers to seek these services, and factors that drive taxpayers’ choice of service delivery channels. They also assessed the quality of current guidance and taxpayer assistance activities, and the capacity of the organization, systems and staff to deliver the necessary support to taxpayers. The FSVC volunteer experts identified opportunities to divert resources to enable the provision of new services and advised the head of the Taxpayer Services Department on steps to strengthen the delivery of taxpayer support.
As a result of this project, the GDT is better positioned to strengthen its taxpayer services, which will lead to a higher level of voluntary compliance, and lower compliance costs for both taxpayers and the GDT. A better quality of taxpayer services will improve the relationship between the GDT and taxpayers, thus improving the public’s perception of the GDT and decrease the incentives for taxpayers to evade their tax obligations. In their final report, the volunteer experts emphasized that there are short- and long-term opportunities to re-engineer the delivery of taxpayer services. They recommended specific steps the GDT can take to reduce the taxpayer services resources devoted to redundant tasks, and redirect those resources toward strengthened centralized services that actually support voluntary tax compliance. The GDT can now introduce reforms to capitalize on these identified opportunities. In particular, the volunteer experts recommended concrete steps to migrate taxpayers to online services for social security and health contribution certificates, improve the scope and quality of taxpayer education, centralize the management and delivery of taxpayer services, promote taxpayer self-help through online services, and establish taxpayer service goals and service delivery standards.