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Norway: home of the SMS tax return

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Europe in Brief More than 395,000 Norwegians have filed their tax return by SMS, phone or the Internet this year, according to Norwegian television. Of these, an estimated 36,000 used their mobile phones to do their fiscal duty.

The SMS option is available only to taxpayers who have no changes to make to the documents they receive in the post. They can simply send a text message with a code word, their identity number and a pin code.

This is the second year that Norwegians have been able to file their tax return by SMS, while the option to file it online or by phone was offered for the first time in 1999. The number of people who have chosen the paper-free route increased from 6.5 per cent of all the delivered returns in the first year, to 35 per cent this year.


Switzerland: Science City in Zurich

The Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich is to transform its Hönggerberg campus into a "Science City", according to Swissinfo. Scheduled for completion by 2010, the $305m campus is to include a brand new Information Science Lab, funded primarily by Zurich entrepreneur Branco Weiss. Switzerland’s other Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne is not involved in the development of Science City, but is monitoring developments in Zurich. Lausanne is promoting itself as a focal point for space R&D in Switzerland.


France: fighting internet music piracy

France's culture minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, vowed Sunday his country will get tough with illegal copiers of music and films, Expatica reports. de Vabres wants to see what technical measures can be taken to minimise illegal downloading.

According to SNEP, the national union of recording companies, company revenues in Q1 are already down 20 per cent. Several labels are preparing mass lay-offs of around a quarter of their employees.


Denmark: Internet payments on the up

The number of Internet payments with Dankort (Danish payment card) has doubled in one year and has now passed 1m transactions per month, the Association of Danish Internet Trade says. In Q1 2004, Dankort was used for 3m purchases compared to 1.5m in 2003.

New Internet services provided by mobile phone companies are estimated to account for up to 40 per cent of the transactions, national newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported last week. ®

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