Digital Workshop on Tackling VAT Fraud and Non-Compliance in the Digital Economy

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On 1-2 March 2023, IOTA successfully held its first digital workshop of the year to kick off our Work Programme Activities for 2023. The event was broadcast live from the IOTA Studio in Budapest, Hungary, and attracted a great number of participants. More than 250 tax officials from 32 IOTA member tax administrations joined the virtual event.

The Workshop on Tackling VAT Fraud and Non-Compliance in the Digital Economy brought the latest experiences from IOTA member tax administrations like Austria, Belgium, Georgia, and Spain as well as the OECD on tackling VAT fraud and non-compliance in the digital trade of goods and services. The aim of the Workshop was to discover new trends in this area and provide guidelines on how to efficiently apply domestic and international control measures along with advanced technologies for combating VAT fraud and non-compliance in e-commerce.

During the 2-day Workshop, speakers shared their experiences about how to prevent and detect concrete VAT fraud and non-compliance cases involving digital platforms, as they gave an update to workshop participants about methodologies for tackling digital platform frauds/non-compliance, including examples of international administrative cooperation.

On the first day, OECD representative, Stéphane Buydens set the floor for the virtual meeting.  Mr. Buydens’ presentation addressed the topic “Data collection and management for VAT purposes”, while the following IOTA countries reflected on the topic:

  • Georgia: “Challenges of VAT compliance in digital economy from the Georgian tax administration perspective” presented by Lasha Zaridze,
  • Spain: “Spanish VAT case studies in digital economy” presented by Raquel Vázquez

The second day of the Workshop brought Belgium and Austria’s experiences to the digital stage showcasing the following country presentations:

  • Austria: “Austrian experience with platform data” presented by Andrea Stary and Stephanie Zolles; 
  • Belgium: “Simple Machine Learning process for early detections of Frauds” presented by Pascal Beaujeant

Workshop participants could raise questions during the Q&A at the end of each session. In addition, they were actively involved in virtual group discussions and a panel debate during the digital event. This Workshop was moderated by Massimo Morarelli, and supported by Ivana Donchevska, International Taxation Experts of IOTA Secretariat. All the materials and presentations are already available for registered IOTA website users on the event’s webpage while the recording of the event will be provided soon.