Conference “SmartEST Taxation”

Conference Details

The conference “SmartEST Taxation” was held on 5 October 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia.
The e-taxation conference was organized by the 2017 Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.
We discussed how to create smart, contemporary, secure and enhanced electronic services for informed clients today and tomorrow. The focus was on web design, authentication and security of electronic services, tax morale and the value of data.
The conference brought together tax authorities and tax policy makers – leaders, IT experts and other interested representatives. The conference was held in English.
See: Conference Programme »
Contacts: Triin Safronova ( or Liina Hallik (

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Conference Programme

Wednesday, 4 October 2017


Arrival of the attendees at Tallinn Airport
Attendees are kindly asked to organize their own transport to and from the Tallinn International Airport (Tartu mnt. 101, Tallinn).
Welcome drink at Hotel Olümpia, restaurant Senso banquet hall
Address: Liivalaia 33, Tallinn

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Arrivals at Hotel Olümpia, registration and badges, morning coffee
Address: Liivalaia 33, Tallinn
Beginning of the conference. Welcoming remarks by the moderator Johannes Tralla.
Opening remarks by Siim Sikkut, Government Chief Information Officer

Session I

Web design and psychological side of e-services
The focus is on creating comfortable and up-to-date e-services. Customer-focused and convenient self-service environments affect tax collection and payment behaviour.

Helen Kokk, User Experience and Service Design Lead at Nortal
  • Case-studies and KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) behind them – factually successful UI/UX stories.
  • Success stories between public and private sector integrating service design principles.
  • Future – user interfaces 3.0 and a zero-click world.

Margus Simson has been working on service design and digital channel development for 18 years and delivered around 40 large scale mass customer oriented projects

The second wave in digitalization is possible only by understanding the human psychology.

  • The first wave of digitalization happened when physical services were taken online. The second wave happens now – digital only, fully personalized and fully automated services, driven by massive use and analysis of data, including data about human behaviour in digital channels.
  • The second wave of digitalization changes the services from ground up – they are not separate services anymore, but highly integrated into the everyday life of the users and revolving around the way the user prefers to behave.
  • Understanding human psychology and behaviour, their fears and dreams is crucial to build the new generation of services. Service design, web design and interaction design – they all should reflect the deep understanding of human behaviour.

Evelyn Liivamägi, head of Tax Department in Estonian Tax and Customs Board and co-author of vision and strategy behind the new tax management system that will be launched in the end of 2018

Moving the tax return to the background.

  • How is it possible to submit a tax return without submitting a tax return?
  • New service that allows SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to “forget” they have to make a money transfer to the Tax Board and submit a tax return.



Session II

Authentication and security
Self-service environments have to provide modern authentication possibilities and ensure safe data processing and retention.

Laura Kask is working at the Department of State Information Systems in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

  • Strong identity that is given and guaranteed by the government is the cornerstone for e-services. In order to build efficient environment for the people and businesses, we have to know who is who in cyberspace.
  • Cross-border recognition of e-signature is an enabler of a hassle-free environment for both people and businesses. As the governments’ utmost duty is their people, the trust towards the transparent e-government helps to reduce bureaucracy.
  • In the future the interaction between a person and a government should be seamless. It does not matter if it is issuing of a prescription or a tax declaration. Time is the most valuable resource.
  • Estonia has been building its e-government systems for more than 15 years. We can already see that thanks to eID and qualified e-signature we can save hours that are worth 2% of our GDP. A lot of work still needs to be done and our aim is to support and be involved in creating the same kind of hassle free environment for people and businesses in Europe. The legal enablers (eIDAS regulation) are already in place but we all need to work on implementing the eID and e-signature into cross border communication.

Dan Bogdanov, PhD, leads the Department of Privacy Technologies at Cybernetica, the Estonian company that developed several core technologies for e-Government and e-Customs

  • Today’s technology allows us to build information systems with fundamentally better privacy guarantees that go beyond what data protection regulation is expecting.
  • This creates the opportunity to analyse confidential data on a massive scale to reduce fraud, money laundering and improve identity data.
  • We illustrate these claims with a case study and examples from customer projects.


Lunch at Restaurant Senso
On the second floor of Hotel Olümpia

Session III

Tax morale and the value of data
Valuable tax data can be used to predict, monitor and assess the impact of political choices. As well as, to reflect the tax environment to taxpayers, give feedback on payment behaviour and assurance about correct accounting. Well timed reminders to taxpayers and technologically smart use of data can influence tax morale.

Dr Katharina Gangl, Assistant Professor at the University of Goettingen, Germany at the chair of Economic and Social Psychology

  • Electronical services foster tax morale by the degree to which these services foster trust in tax authorities.
  • Legitimate expert system in contrast to coercive monitoring systems foster reason-based trust in tax authorities, make the moral implications of tax honesty evident.
  • Implicit and automatic trust can be fostered for example by enabling empathic individual assistance, by using official logos, or by promoting common values and patriotic feelings.

Pelle Guldborg Hansen, PhD, behavioural scientist at Roskilde University, the Director of ISSP – The Initiative of Science, Society & Policy at Roskilde University and University of Southern Denmark; Chairman of the Danish Nudging Network; founder of TEN – The European Nudge Network, and CE of iNudgeYou – The Applied Behavioural Science Group

  • Why to apply nudging in taxation?
  • Some results from experiments in online self-service and conformity to regulation.
  • Experiences and advice if wanting to apply nudging in taxation.



Session III continues

Tax morale and the value of data

Kristjan Vassil, PhD, senior research fellow of technology studies in Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu. He is the head of the Center of IT Impact Studies.

How the e-government accelerates innovation to predictive next-gen e-services.

  • Estonia has excelled in building the ecosystem of e-government. In 2016, more than 1000 institutions offered about 1800 public e-services that generated nearly 600 million interactions within the entire ecosystem of Estonian e-governance. With the usage expected to reach 1 billion in the next three years, Estonia’s next big challenge is to recognize the tremendous potential that lies in cross-usability of large auto-generated datasets. Combined with advanced machine learning techniques and predictive modeling we can start prototyping the next generation of public e-services – from real-time economy monitoring to traffic control, predictive medicine, etc. These, however, will no longer be simply convenience services, the digital clones of the analog processes, but have the potential to bring about structural changes to industries that have stalled in terms of innovation.
  • In his talk, Kristjan will provide prototyping examples of next generation public e-services and focus in particular on innovative ways how to use corporate tax declarations in order to better monitor and forecast economic performance.
  • Ultimately he will explain why research institutions, the government, and private sector have to work side-by-side to kick off a new wave of predictive public e-services and focus more on evidence-based policy making.

Kaspar Raudla, development specialist in Audit Department, Estonian Tax and Customs Board

  • Transparency. Estonian Tax and Customs Board gives new ratings to taxpayers.
  • Accessibility. Making data available. The public profile of a taxpayer.
  • New functionalities. Data requests between taxpayers. Data sharing. Alerts. Statistics.