The 24th Forum of IOTA Principal Contact Persons (PCPs) was held on 15-16 March in Tbilisi Georgia, hosted by the Revenue Service of Georgia. The Forum is the gathering of Principal Contact Persons appointed in 45 IOTA member tax administrations whom play an important coordination role between IOTA Secretariat and respective tax administrations. The PCPs and IOTA Secretariat discussed developments and results of the year and the work and challenges ahead of IOTA in the next years.
The Forum was opened by Mr Giorgi Tabuashvili, Director General of Revenue Service of Georgia and Mr Miguel Silva Pinto, Executive Secretary of IOTA. Director General highlighted the role of IOTA in assisting tax administrations to answer new challenges. Executive Secretary appreciated the contribution of Georgia, one of the most active members of IOTA, to the work of the organisation. Mr Miguel Silva Pinto also highlighted the main achievements of the organisation in the past months such as:
-Launching the building of a new strategy for IOTA which will shape the future of the organisation,
-Implementation of IOTA Communication strategy including growing social media presence and extended communications networks,
-Answering regional needs of the membership by introducing new event formats,
-Enhanced international cooperation (cooperation agreements with European Commission and OECD, IOTA became key partner in BEPS, established cooperation with World Customs Organisation).
As part of involving international organisations and stakeholders in IOTA events, the Forum had an international guest speaker. Netty Bussink from European Commission DG TAXUD shared views about further opportunities for cooperation of IOTA and DG TAXUD such as fight against tax fraud and tax evasion, tax administration capacity building and exploitation of the synergies and complementarities of activities in order to promote greater understanding, development and implementation of EU solutions, instruments, standards and guidelines in the tax field.
The Forum continued with discussions about issues such as the preparation of the new strategy of IOTA, implementation of IOTA Work Programme 2017 and formulation of the next year’s programme, cooperation with international organisations and implementation of IOTA’s Communication strategy. Participants shared their views and opinion on how IOTA can deliver more effective services and practical solutions answering the needs of the membership, how engagement with membership and international partners can be intensified, and how the visibility of the organisation can be further increased within the Membership. Discussions underlined the importance of the PCP network as their contribution is crucial for achieving these aims, for example in promoting IOTA inside tax administrations and in planning work program which delivers value for membership.
Secretariat also informed about progress in development of the IOTA App and latest functions of IOTA website and on the preparations for the 21st General Assembly which will take place on 29-30 June 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Update was provided on ongoing IOTA projects such as IOTA Good Practice Guide Project (sponsored by the Netherlands) and IOTA Project Debt Management Performance Measurement (sponsored by Belgium).
Participants have found the Forum inclusive and interactive thanks to the group discussions and training sessions included into agenda. PCPs and IOTA Executive Secretary have also expressed their appreciation for the Revenue Service of Georgia for being such an excellent host of the 24th IOTA PCP Forum.