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Success story

Paperless electronic file management at the cantonal tax administration authority of Thurgau

Brief portrait of Abraxas Informatik AG

Abraxas Informatik AG is an experienced Swiss ICT company offering a broad range of services for public administration authorities and medium-sized enterprises. The company is based in St. Gallen and has branch offices in Frauenfeld, Préverenges, Winterthur and Zurich. Abraxas offers its customers a comprehensive program comprising IT Services, specialized applications, integration solutions and process consulting from one and the same provider. The services offered range from consulting to application development and implementation to infrastructural and operational services.

Brief portrait of Thurgau cantonal tax administration authority 

Thurgau cantonal tax administration authority is responsible for direct tax assessment at federal, cantonal and municipal level. It also generates the tax assessments for direct federal taxes, inheritance and accession tax, property tax and capital gains tax from real estate. Taxes are the main source of income for public budgets and as such form the financial basis for a multitude of services.

Application requirements and implementation

The electronic archive for tax assessment and collection at the cantonal tax administration authority of Thurgau was introduced in pursuit of a paperless electronic file management system. Comprehensive file management of documents from different sources (such as the collection application, scanned tax declarations, electronically submitted tax declarations) is intended to boost efficiency and enable a standardized archiving process. To this end, the specialized applications abx-tax.gov and abx-tax.pub were connected to the archive via the ECM integration platform ECM.ip. ECM.ip receives documents from various sources and prepares them in accordance with archiving conventions. The process includes transforming and supplementing incoming metadata, converting incoming documents to PDF/A-2 and splitting these documents into individual pages. Incoming documents are batch processed to decouple the specialized applications as far as possible from the archive and its availability.

A 3-Heights™ PDF to PDF/A Converter is used to convert PDF documents into the PDF/A-2 format for long-term preservation, metadata embedding and validation. PDF Merge Split components were integrated in the ECM.ip landscape of Abraxas IT via JAVA API for the purpose of splitting PDFs into individual pages that are compliant with the standard. 

Customers benefit 

Instead of following the previous paper-based process, around 155,000 tax declarations submitted each year to the 80 offices maintained by the cantonal tax authority are gathered together and submitted to the Scan Center at DuMo Informatik. The files are scanned and the images and data subjected to further processing at the center. The raw data (machine-processed images without human manipulation) are then converted into the PDF/A-2 format and made available for long-term preservation after the application of a digital signature. So-called reference data from the tax declarations is generated to supplement the raw data intended for electronic processing. This data is optimized for DMS (OS|ECM) processing and is also converted to PDF/A-2 format. The PDF/A Validator then verifies that all of the documents flowing into the DMS are fully compliant to guarantee aspects of quality and legal certainty. Documents created using EVA, the specialized application for electronic assessment, are also converted by the PDF/A Converter for the DMS at the cantonal tax administration authority after they have been printed out pending dispatch to the customer.

Comprehensive electronic files make case processing independent from the actual physical location of the documents. Experts for tax assessment and value papers at the tax administration authority, alongside the employees at 80 branch offices in the canton of Thurgau (around 230 people in total), benefit from the many advantages of this application, and access for additional users is in the planning. The system represents logistical relief for the tax authorities, whilst storage expenses are cut and the provision of information improved thanks to faster file accessibility. 

Paperless electronic file management

Customer statements

The PDF Tools components make it possible to process incoming documents arriving from various sources to the exact requirements specified by the archiving conventions at a manageable cost. 

Roland Weber, 
Project Manager ECM.ip, Abraxas Informatik AG

The competent, customer-oriented support provided by PDF Tools AG was a great help during the Full-Tax Project. Together, we were able to design ideal processes for the legally compliant long-term preservation of digitized tax declarations. 

Fabian Dux, 
Project Manager Full-Tax,
Thurgau cantonal tax administration authority

The highly positive insights gained from the Full-Tax project have shown that we will continue to rely on components from PDF Tools AG for eFisc implementation.

Roland Füllemann, 
Project Manager eFisc,
Thurgau cantonal tax administration authority

The 3-Heights™ product family from PDF Tools AG stands for:
HIGH QUALITY – HIGH VOLUME – HIGH PERFORMANCE! 

Integrator: Abraxas Informatik AG, Zurich, Switzerland (www.abraxas.ch)
End customer: Thurgau cantonal tax administration authority, Frauenfeld, Switzerland (www.steuerverwaltung.tg.ch)

Products in use:
PDF Tools AG: 3-Heights™ PDF to PDF/A Converter,
3-Heights™ PDF Merge Split
Abraxas Informatik AG: ECM.ip, abx-tax.gov, abx-tax.pub

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Success story in PDF

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