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.
The VAT gap in the European Union (EU) is expected to increase to €164 billion in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Confronted with this situation of emergency, the European Commission (EC) has placed the reduction of the VAT gap high on its agenda in order to provide Member States with additional fundings to tackle the economic crisis. The “Mind the VAT gap” initiative of the European Commission aims at promoting projects at the level of tax authorities that have proven to be effective in significantly reducing the VAT gap.
Recently we published our very first publicly accessible real-time reporting pilot and now it’s time to present our first updated version of this tool. From today onwards, our pilot also supports EU intra-Community transactions! In the following we will explain why this is such a relevant addition to our pilot, diving deeper into the latest VAT developments in the EU. However, if you already know why this is the case and you just want to try it out, go directly to: https://portal.
Summary In this episode of VAT Talks we speak with Paul Gisby. Paul is Senior Manager at Accountancy Europe, a Brussels based organisation uniting 50 professional bodies that represent nearly 1 million accountants. We first discussed the benefits of digitalisation. Paul argues that although such a transition might come with short term cost, in the long term “paper based systems are obsolete, inefficient and not robust for the circumstances that we have experienced in the last year”.
Recently, the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), together with the help of Eurojust, stopped an enormous VAT fraud scheme, kudos for the work done! The fraudsters defrauded the Dutch tax authority for €9 million between 2017 and 2020. In this blog post we try to reconstruct the VAT fraud scheme. Important to note is that we’re basing our research on publicly available resources only. Therefore, it might be possible that we miss some links within the fraudulent value chain.
Last week, we made our pilot programme publicly available which allows anyone with a computer to report invoices to summitto’s real-time reporting systeem. We already briefly discussed how the pilot works in a previous blog post, but in this blog post we will provide some more detailed information on how to use the pilot! Why is summitto’s real-time reporting also relevant for you? More and more countries are implementing real-time reporting systems to close the VAT gap and streamline business processes.
The digitalisation of VAT is currently high on the EU political agenda. For example, the current president of the Council of the European Union, Portugal, will prioritise initiatives related to “the digital transformation of businesses and digital platforms, to the areas of e-commerce, payments and taxation”. In this blog post we will dive deeper into the digitalisation of VAT in specific and show the benefits of digitalisation for both businesses and governments.