On 1 November 2023, Latvia, one of the founding members of IOTA, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the foundation of their State Revenue Service (SRS). On the occasion of this anniversary, SRS organised a large-scale international conference in Riga, Latvia, focusing on the theme of “SRS 30. Transformation and Sustainability”. At this conference, IOTA was represented by its Executive Secretary, Alix Perrignon de Troyes who joined online this remarkable experience.
The event welcomed a large number of participants from Latvia but also international tax administrations and organisations, and academia to discuss the most important current issues in the development of tax administrations: the creation of excellent customer experience, safety challenges, and possibilities created by modern and efficient data processing and analysis.
As one of the opening speakers, Alix Perrignon de Troyes expressed her appreciation and gratitude to the State Revenue Service for their strong engagement and fruitful collaboration with IOTA and stressed the importance of digital transformation and sustainability in taxation along with their potential benefits and challenges for tax administrations.
Alix Perrignon de Troyes said “Increased digitalisation and the development of new analytical tools has significantly reinforced the efficiency and effectiveness of tax administration and has helped to reduce burdens to a greater or lesser extent for different taxpayer segments. Obviously, the tax administrations need to assess which level of technology is appropriate for them, depending on the complexity of their tax system, the availability of IT infrastructure, and the level of sophistication of their taxpayers. There may be several obstacles: lack of funds or political will to invest in new systems, insufficient telecommunications infrastructure, or a cultural reluctance to abandon paper-based systems.”
She also talked about sustainability which, as she said, means investing in the future not only internally but also with external stakeholders to ensure the sustainable growth of tax administrations, saying “In the SRS Strategy 2023-2026 it is clearly stated that respect for sustainability is essential, especially in today's changing environment. SRS Development Strategy for 2023-2026 emphasized the economic value for clients, employees, and society in general, but also by promoting social inclusion and environmental protection. But it is important to reinforce the trust in the use of data and at IOTA we have run digital workshops dedicated to the use of data to improve compliance risk management in tax administrations last year one was dedicated in that matter to the use of unstructured data and another one to the use of big data”.
She also took the opportunity to draw the audience’s attention to two of IOTA's technical activities, the Forum on Communication and the Human Resources Forum, as both activities focus on the latest digital trends and strategies in taxation. At the end of her remarks, Mrs. Perrignon de Troyes highlighted the role of IOTA as being a proactive contributor to the practical implementation of global tax initiatives. She emphasized that IOTA has been here for 27 years to help members benefit from each other’s knowledge and experiences underlining “It is an international organisation that is driven by its members and is here to meet the needs of its members, without the engagement of the members, IOTA would not exist”.