Major upheavals are rarely painless. And at a certain point, gigantism comes into play as well. Digitization is such an upheaval, we are right in the middle of it, and the gigantic has gripped everyone. The third smallest (or fourth largest) parliamentary group in the Bundestag, for example, cannot get enough of digitization, even when it comes to freedom. She wants to grow with digitization.
And that brings us to the Elster portal. The task of this is to open up the digital path to tax returns to as many Germans as possible. Real human progress. If it works If it doesn’t, then a gigantic number of people look down the drain, as they did from Thursday last week until Monday evening.
Presumably millions of taxpayers – property tax returns, sales tax advance returns, income tax returns – had to realize that the giant project of the German tax authorities first groaned, then groaned and in the end was completely offline. It was apparently due to some component that somehow controls the servers.
You can now scold the administration and accuse it of failure. The state, also such a giant, against which one cannot defend oneself. However, the thoroughly digitized state is a goal that is no longer questioned, and not just for the third-smallest parliamentary group in the Bundestag. As with nuclear power, only good things come from digitization. There have to be sacrifices.
In the past few days, by millions of taxpayers who lost valuable time with Elster and the failing component by waiting and being annoyed. Quite a few of them only sat in front of the paralyzed magpie because they are legally obliged to submit their tax returns digitally. Employees, for example, who earn a little extra as a freelancer.
One is in a hybrid phase, says an expert from the financial scene. Already out of pure paper management, not yet arrived in pure digital management. But do you really want to go there? Filling out paper forms in the same way, including sending them by post or handing them in to the tax office yourself – is that such an impertinence for both taxpayers and the tax office? Paper is patient, goes the old saying. But it works. The digital is impatient.
The digital affine are granted their new world. But why don’t we perpetuate the hybrid phase? Some online, others offline. As you please. That would be freedom. Even the fourth-largest parliamentary group in the Bundestag cannot object to that. And since one of her own heads the responsible ministry, she is not entirely without influence.