Design + UX
Redesigning Polish PIT Tax Forms as a chat-bot
Tax forms are often perceived the same way prehistoric cave paintings are. As if they've been here all along and they never really were "designed". Hard to read, hard to grasp and extremely unfriendly from the start they spawn a league of people who will fill them for you. Is there a better way? 🤔
The fun part is that even if you decide to fill in your tax forms online, they're still using the same horrible, grey paper "design". Nobody took the time to make them fit the medium. Let's try, shall we? 💪
Here's how they look like in all of their glory:
Due to the fact that it's paper they couldn't make it interactive. So in many cases you need to SKIP certain things. How do you know what to skip? That requires quite a lot of knowledge.
The basis for the redesign would be a conversation with a chatbot. 🤖💬
The main difference would be the fact that you can preview the filled in document (in both simplified and "horrible" paper form at any time).
So the general, wireframed layout would look like this:
The first step would be to show the user how this works. 🤔
He can either "write" specific data (like numbers) or pick one of the answers. This is why we ask him if he's ready and with that question we're teaching him the action pattern. (We also assume this is a first time tax declaration, not a correction of one)
We would start with the data that is required by everyone first which is the VAT ID or NIP. Because that database is actually public, can you guess what our next step would be?
We can get some of the main information about our user and fill it for him! Now that is futuristics robots in action! 🤖
Great so far!
The name is right, but for some reason the database doesn't have the right address in it. What happens if we answer NO here?
We could ask for full address here field by field of course. But what if we can simplify it even further?
There's a better way.
By simply entering the post-code we can check what city it is and in some cases (like "Skarżysko Kamienna") that saves you A LOT of typing ⌨️ If you answer yes to the proposed new city you then get asked the street name and number, apartment number and so on.
All other complex interactions can be solved by simple yes or no questions. If you answer NO, they simply be filled as "false" in the document.
In Poland there are slightly different rules for farmers 🚜 than all other businesses. In the actual document it's written in a way that's hard to grasp. A simple question can skip 5 additional fields to fill.
After that we can narrow down only the right questions about income and tax advances paid. If the user has 19% tax rate (and we can also check that on verification) we can also help him like this:
If the answer to the last question is YES the bot will automatically put 190 000 in the "tax paid" field. No need to write it!
All difficult questions can be adressed with a comprehensive tutorial (or even a call-center / accountant call right from the conversation).
A conversation like that can be a much easier and more understandable way to fill in your tax forms. The real forms are as far from "friendly" as possible, and tax forms shouldn't be scary.
What to keep in mind?
Of course the structure and interface would have to be thoroughly tested, analysed and refined. But the main part here 🔥 the most important thing 🔥 is the copy.
The bot has to write in a conversational, real way. That's quite obvious. But it also has to write in a clear way. Good example of this is the "are you a farmer?" question. The real form simply has 5 fields to enter your income and taxes for farm related work. If you're NOT a farmer you don't need to fill them. But if you're not a farmer you also don't need to see and parse that useless (for you) information.
And the less our brains have to stress to complete a task the happier we are.
Who knows, maybe we'll even like paying taxes more 🤯
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