Tax agency reports boom in ID card applications

Tax agency reports boom in ID card applications
The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) has seen a boom in applications for identification cards following changes which allow cross-checking of personal information with the Migration Board (Migrationsverket), launching a new IT system to cope with demand.

In October, the agency received 10,000 applications, up from a monthly average of 7,000.

“It is pleasing that more can now get an ID card as it is often a prerequisite to be able to get into and establish oneself in the Swedish society. The large number of ID card applications in October shows clearly how great the need was for a change in the regulations,” said Thomas Norgren at the Tax Agency.

However, the sharp increase in demand led to delays after a new IT system could only be put into place a month after the rule change on November 1st.

“During the first month before the new IT system was ready, details have been checked manually, which has meant considerably lengthened processing times,” the agency confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.

The new IT system allows the agency to use the new regulations to cross-check information automatically with the Migration Board, meaning that more applications can be approved directly without any further checks on identity.

The tax agency has issued a total of 102,000 identification cards to people resident in Sweden since it assumed responsibility on June 1st 2009.

Of these, around 21 percent are Nordic citizens, 31 percent come from other EU countries and the remained come from a country outside of the EU and Scandinavia.

Prior to the change in regulations on October 1st, applicants were obliged to prove their identity with the help of a third-party certifier.

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