Tax returns streaming in to TV4 hotline

The Swedish National Tax Board's innovation of allowing citizens to send in their income tax returns via text message has lightened the load for many.

But staff manning the mobile phones at TV4 are less enamoured with the concept: the similarity of their hotline number to that of the tax board has left them struggling to sift out useful news tips from the incessant flow of tax returns.

People texting in their tax returns should receive confirmation within ten minutes. If a reply is not forthcoming, there is a strong possibility that Sweden’s largest commercial television channel has got the message.

The tax board’s number is 71144, while TV4 can be reached at 71444.

Taxpayers who get it wrong, and neglect to check whether the authorities have texted back a thumbs up, risk incurring a 1,000 kronor ($150) default fine.

But the tax board has indicated that it will allow a certain amount of leeway for dialing errors.

“If there is a good reason then you don’t have to pay the fine. The people we want to get to are those who don’t want to send in their tax returns,” tax board spokesman Kaj Kojer told TV4.

This year’s tax returns are due in to the tax board by May 2nd at the latest.