Tax-on-web ignores trans-genders

Those changing gender receive a new identity case which states their new gender and where applicable their new first name. They are also given a new national identity number. However, the online tax declaration system Tax-on-web doesn’t recognise the new identity number straight away and this can cause issues for trans-men and trans-women wishing to fill their tax return online.

This was the case when the journalist Bo Van Spilbeeck tried to file her tax return earlier this month. Ms Van Spilbeeck that works as a reporter for the commercial television station VTM told her story on VRT Radio 2’s consumer affairs programme ‘De Inspecteur’.  

Tuesday morning’s programme was a question and answer session where listeners could ask questions about filling in their tax returns to specialists from the Federal Finance Department. One of the listeners that posed was question was Bo Van Spilbeeck. She recently tried to file her tax return via online, but was unable to log-on to Tax-on-Web.  

“Due to my transition I have been given a new female national identity number. However, I can’t use it to log-in”, Bo Van Spilbeeck said.

"A syncronisation fault”

The Federal Finance Department Spokesman Francis Adyns told VRT Radio 2 that he is aware of the problem "Our data is based on the National Population Register. However, a synchronization fault is probably at the root of the issue here. What you certainly can’t do is fill your tax return using your old national identity number and file it using your new one”.

127 people are reported to have encountered the same issue as Bo Van Spilbeeck. The journalist says that she was also unable to log-in using her old identity card.  

"Moreover, the Tax Office has suddenly made my wife single. It’s all a bit of shock, but it’s fine if it means that I won’t have to pay any tax”, Bo Van Spilbeeck joked.  

However, Mr Adyns said this isn’t the case and Bo Van Spilbeeck will have to file her tax return using a paper declaration form.