Tax Agencies Meet To Discuss Use Of Big Data Analysis


by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

18 October 2019

Tax agencies from 31 countries discussed the ways they are using data analysis tools to improve tax enforcement and administration, at the first meeting of the IOTA Forum on Tax Debt Management, held in Prague, Czech Republic, On October 1-3, 2019.


60 delegates along with the representative from the European Commission’s Directorate General of Tax and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) came together to discuss innovative techniques and best practices of using data from national and international sources in order to improve the management of tax debts, the Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations (IOTA) reported.


The plenary sessions of the Forum involved countries sharing their experiences and successes with deploying new innovations to enhance collections. Representatives from the Czech Republic explained how the agency monitors arrears and the technical infrastructure for its systems, Ireland discussed big data in debt management, Italy discussed its systems for debt collection and recovery, and Russia provided an overview of how it has automated collection procedures and mechanisms.


In addition, officials from the United Kingdom discussed how data analytics is being used to improve how HM Revenue and Customs enforces the tax system, and Belgian delegates explained how they use data mining to support their debt recovery strategy.


Other talks, from Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Belgium, discussed risk-based approaches to tax debt collection.


During the Forum, a networking space “Ask your peer for advice: learning and sharing” was organized allowing delegates to interact and raise the most challenging or problematic areas of debt management work in terms of data use which they would like to learn from each other through a peer-to-peer collaboration, IOTA said.


In a subsequent discussion, delegates explored the possibility of using data from the automatic exchange of information for effective debt management. Norway gave a presentation about its ongoing national project that analyzes Common Reporting Standard (CRS) data, highlighting the key lessons learned so far, and the importance it attaches to research and the consideration of relevant legal issues.


The European Commission meanwhile provided a brief update on the work carried out at the EU level in the field of debt recovery.


Delegates also discussed newly entering into bilateral or multilateral cooperation arrangements to support the collection of tax from foreign nationals resident in the territory that owe tax to their home state. Representatives from Belgium and the Netherlands explained their ideas in this area, IOTA said.


“All in all, the Forum offered a great variety of numerous sessions, delivering first-hand experiences, group discussions as well as interactive peer-to-peer sessions,” IOTA said following the event. “The very positive feedback from all parties proved the need for a dedicated platform for senior debt collection/recovery experts to identify, develop, and disseminate good working practices in the area of tax debt management.”

The next meeting of the IOTA Forum on Tax Debt Management is to be held on September 29 to October 1, 2020, with the venue to be decided.

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