We are honored to speak with Richard Asquith on this episode of our VAT Talks. He is an awarded VAT expert working as VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara and writes the daily Avalara global blog that is read by over 1 million readers per year. Richard entered the VAT world because he was promised a calm work life but since he entered 30 years ago, his work life has been everything but calm.
Introduction We are honored by this week’s opportunity to publish an expert article through the German Association DMB, representing 24.000 German small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As more and more countries are implementing real-time reporting systems for VAT purposes, it is important to look at the implementation details. We highlight four characteristics that any real-time reporting system should have to ensure feasibility and advantages for businesses. Feel free to read the German version here: https://www.
Summary We are honoured that VAT expert Aleksandra Bal wanted to join us on this episode of VAT Talks. Aleksandra has years of experience in both the field of taxation and technology. Besides being fluent in multiple programming languages, she holds a PhD in International Taxation as well as other degrees. Luckily for us, she loves to share her knowledge! In the following Aleksandra first explains what she finds so interesting about VAT and that by now “technology is indispensable for the operation of any VAT system”, because it’s almost not possible to comply without using it.
Often confused, e-invoicing and real-time reporting mechanisms are, nonetheless, distinct and entailing specific services. While e-invoicing refers to the exchange of an invoice in a structured, computer readable data format, allowing its automatic and electronic processing; real-time reporting refers to the reporting of relevant invoice data to the tax authority. Although both mechanisms can be implemented hand-in-hand, they can also be successful on their own. In the following, we will explain the difference between real-time reporting and e-invoicing and how they relate to each other.
Complying with all regulatory requirements sometimes seems to be a burden whose only effect is to slow down businesses’ efficiency. Managing the VAT quarterly payments, filing for VAT returns, and constantly producing invoices can be stressful and time-consuming tasks. Nevertheless, modern technology can help businesses to comply with the VAT requirements while also increasing their competitiveness. The process of the digitalisation of taxation is having a relevant impact on the time required for VAT compliance all over the world.
SUMMARY Real-time reporting systems, in which companies are required to register their invoices with the tax authority, experience a big political push across the globe. By now it is not a question of if, but of when and how real-time reporting systems will be implemented by other states. Thus, focus needs to shift towards design requirements. Very recently, a clear recommendation has been made by the German Bundesrechnungshof: real-time reporting should be connected to blockchain technology to ensure timely and authentic data.
Several thousands of organisations all over the world that make use of Microsoft’s Exchange Servers, are being hit by a gigantic cyberattack. The breach started in January 2021 but it became public only in March. According to Microsoft, hackers from China are making use of vulnerabilities in the company’s Exchange Servers in order to gain information about national security services, schools and businesses. After becoming aware of the attack, Microsoft responded by providing security updates for its email providers.
Closing the VAT gap, data protection and digitalisation. These are just a couple of the advantages of summitto’s real-time reporting software we have outlined in previous blog posts. In this blog post we will add yet another benefit to the list: monitoring economic activity. This can be used to develop forecasts and e.g. determine which economic sector is hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. This additional benefit is actually one of the reasons why real-time reporting can even be interesting for a country that does not have an excessive VAT gap.
Summary In this episode of VAT Talks we speak with Branislav Kovac. Branislav is a tax partner at VGD Slovakia, a Bratislava based advisory company. In the following Branislav will explain how Slovakia achieved to significantly decrease the VAT gap during the last few years. Nevertheless, he also points out that the VAT gap is still at 20%. Therefore, the Slovak government is planning to implement real-time reporting. Branislav argues that real-time reporting is a valuable tool to further reduce the VAT gap but it should not come with additional burdens for businesses.
Summary Poland is one of the most innovative countries in the EU when it comes to closing the VAT gap. We are pleased to discuss Poland’s VAT landscape with Piotr Arak, Director of the Polish Economic Institute. He tells us that by implementing stricter measures, Poland was able to reduce its VAT gap from 24.7% in 2015 to 8% to 9% in 2020. During this time frame, it introduced a Split Payment scheme, a Single Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) and the technical system STIR that sends real-time data from businesses to tax authorities.