AT, the Tax and Customs Authority of Portugal conducted a telephone survey with the aim of assessing taxpayer satisfaction with the service provided during 2020, evaluating the impact on citizens of the measures taken to mitigate the constraints imposed by the pandemic, in particular, regarding the strengthening of non-face-to-face service channels and the organisation of face-to-face service by appointment.
Regarding overall satisfaction with service, about 90% of respondents have evaluated positively the service provided by the AT in 2020. (i.e., 89.3% of the respondents gave a rating of 3, 4 or 5, on a scale from 1 to 5).
The results of that survey confirm the importance of digital channels in the service to citizens, further reinforced during the present pandemic, with 92.23% of respondents answering that they used the Portuguese Tax Portal in 2020. Even so, a significant proportion of respondents needed to clarify specific issues and sought to use face-to-face service (24.30%), the AT telephone call centre (23.47%) or the e-counter (16.36%).
Due to the constraints imposed by the pandemic, 2.48% of the respondents were unable to be received in person in 2020 and had to seek support through the telephone service, the e-counter or third parties.
When asked to evaluate to what extent this use of digital channels is affected by the constraints imposed by the pandemic situation or whether new habits of using electronic means are taking root, respondents were divided as to their preference for the preferred service channels to resolve future tax or customs issues: 38.51% prefer digital channels; 35.21% prefer face-to-face service.
Considering that the degree of preference for using the AT’s digital channels may result either from the degree of user-friendliness of the Portuguese Tax Authorities' website or the degree of digital literacy of respondents, respondents were also asked to indicate their preferred channel for resolving future issues with their bank. 42.48% of respondents expressed a preference for face-to-face service and only 28.93% for digital channels. In other words: i) the digital channels of the Tax and Customs Authority are the preferred means of customer service for respondents to resolve future issues; ii) even in relation to citizens who prefer to use to face-to-face services to solve issues with their bank, there is a significant part that trusts the digital channels of AT.
Finally, regarding the overall satisfaction with the service, even in times of pandemic, about 90% of respondents evaluate favourably the service provided by the Tax and Customs Authority in 2020. (That is, 89.3% of respondents gave a rating of 3, 4 or 5, on a scale of up to 5. In relation to this percentage, there is a margin of error of 2.48%, for a confidence interval of 95%).
This data was obtained by means of an automated telephone survey conducted between the 12th and the 27th of January. 605 complete telephone interviews, 175 incomplete telephone interviews and 52 refusals to answer were conducted. For this purpose, only those 605 complete telephone interviews were considered, with the following distribution: by gender, 55.87% men and 44.13% women; by activity, 63.97% dependent workers, 12.73% pensioners, 8.26% without any activity and the remaining independent professionals from different activities and by age, between 18 and 93 years old. This telephone survey follows the surveys that have been made available annually on the Administration’s Webpage - Portal das Finanças, which was also conducted in January 2021, with reference to 2020, and showed similar results. The telephone survey, based on a stratified sample, was developed with the objective of obtaining a more representative portrait of the universe of taxpayers. When we consider all the responses received, either through the telephone survey or through the survey on Portal das Finanças, the percentage of respondents that favourably assess the service provided by AT reaches 91.8%.