Tuesday, March 22, 2011
How to get into skatteetaten/altinn for tax returns
Finally the day every Norwegian tax payer have been waiting for - the tax returns are here! And it's digital, this year one could even opt to get it just in digital format, and not by snail mail at all.
Cool, this means I can check my tax returns immediately! Wrong! As usual and expected the tax administrations web pages can't handle the load. Didn't they see this coming? Of course they did, it happens every year. And it will only go one way, more and more people are checking online. But the capacity of their web servers seems unchanged. We are not talking about tens of millions of impressions either. There are about 3,9 million tax payers in Norway, and most of those are probably not spamming the website to get their tax returns. It should be relatively easy to scale the server farm to handle 1-2 million requests for a day or two, but they are not spending money on this apparently.
Here's a little tip from me on how to make the load on their servers a little higher if you want to get in... If you use Google Chrome, get an extension called Auto Refresh Plus. For Firefox you can use something like ReloadEvery. Set it to reload the page you can't reach every 30 seconds, and sooner or later you will get in. Pay attention to it though, and stop it when you get in. I did this and got to the login page within a few minutes and entered my credentials. Now it's timing out on the next page, and is auto-reloading that one instead, so I'm one step closer...