Taxman becomes
the textman


8 Mar 2005

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The Revenue Commissioners has said that text message enquiries for its service now equal telephone requests, following the introduction of an SMS facility on its website.

Since last month, the state tax collection agency has offered a service that allows citizens to request tax forms or information leaflets and to claim for a series of PAYE tax credits via their mobile phone, email or automated telephone request. In the first two weeks of the service, it received more than 8,000 such requests via text message, as many as were made by telephone.

Using the short-code 51829, taxpayers can send a text message from their mobile phone to the Revenue Commissioners, detailing which forms they require. For example, someone with the PPS number 1234567A wishing to make a claim for medical expenses composes the message FORM 1234567A MED1 and sends it to the above five-digit code. Each text message costs 15 cent. Detailed instructions for requesting each form, leaflet or tax credit are available online at www.revenue.ie.

Saadian Technologies, a Dublin-based provider of mobile business applications, supplied the technology for the SMS element of the service. It provided the front-end technology and was also contracted to integrate it into the revenue’s backend systems, a project that involved custom programming, according to Saadian’s chief technical officer, Cliodhna McGuirk.

Saadian partnered with Vodafone Ireland on the deal. Paddy Collins, head of business solutions in Vodafone Ireland said: “In the first 14 days of this service, the level of SMS requests equalled that of telephone enquiries.”

By Gordon Smith