Latvian State Revenue Service to develop a new mobile app. What are the costs?

The first order of business to make every Latvian resident feel like the State Revenue Service (VID) is more accessible and it is easier to pay taxes is the development of a new mobile app with a wider range of services, LETA was told by the new VID Director General Baiba Šmite-Roķe.
She said this idea has been on the institution’s to-do list for years. However, this list has always been long and there have always been other, immediate priorities to address.
When asked if the new mobile app could include not only the option to declare justified expenses but also all VID services currently available on the institution’s website, Šmite-Roķe said this is the vision for the future.
“Maybe not all services, because there are too many of them and they are very wide, but more frequently used services will definitely be available in the mobile app. For example, at the moment, it is intended only for justified expenses and even that doesn’t work very well, because the app is not available on Android OS,” said Šmite-Roķe.

She explained that the existing VID mobile app was developed a long time ago, and until now there wasn’t money to afford an updated version.

Updating the app for modern smartphones would require approximately EUR 100 000. VID made the decision to not spend money to improve the old app, which has only one service available. Instead it is planned to spend money on the development of a new mobile app.
Šmite-Roķe said she doubts the app could include all VID services, and this is not what is needed, because all services are already available electronically in the VID Electronic Declaration System (EDS). It is planned to work on the most frequently used services.
The new head of VID explained that these are the same justified expenses, possibly the submission of the annual income declaration, because for the most part the data required in it is processed automatically. One of the primary services to be included could also include payroll book data restoration or submission, because it is the most common service provided at VID customer service centres in person.
When asked if there are plans to make customs declaration submission services available to businesses through this app, Šmite-Roķe explained the app will be developed with this future goal in mind – to make sure the most popular VID services are available in it.
“We will develop a more robust platform. This means costs will not be exactly EUR 10 000. The app will be tied to VID EDS, and we will start putting in various services little by little – for private persons and businessmen. I hope we will start with small businesses, who often do not have an accounting company and do not have to submit long and extensive accounts. This will allow smaller businesses to perform simple actions using this app,” said Šmite-Roķe.
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