In order to improve the understanding of the VAT system, gain international knowledge, and learn from the best practices in the fight against VAT fraud, 50 Latvian State Revenue Service's (hereinafter SRS) employees participated in the training seminars organised within the European Anti-fraud Office (hereinafter OLAF) HERCULE III (2014-2020) grant agreement OLAF/2015/D1/023. The training seminars were led by internationally recognised experts from EU Member States ' national tax administrations.
The aim of the project was to improve SRS’s employees’ knowledge and understanding of the VAT system, its protection mechanisms and methods, as well as learn from the best practices of other EU Member States in the fight against VAT fraud.
The training seminars, which took place from July 1 to July 3 and from October 5 to October 7, Talejas street 1, Riga, at the premises of SRS, were led by internationally recognised experts from other countries' national tax administrations, these were François Trechot (France), Dominique Driesen (Belgium), Reino Nielsen (Denmark), and Morten Morch Sorensen (Denmark), as well as Christopher Perryman representing EUROPOL.
In total, 50 employees of such SRS's departments as National Tax Board, Tax Control Department, Finance Police Department, National Customs Board, and Legal and Pre-court Dispute Settlement Department improved their knowledge of VAT fraud identification and prevention.
The participants obtained knowledge on VAT fraud detection and prevention in such specifict sectors as construction, transport and logistics, food products, precious metals, and used car sales. The seminar focused on recent VAT fraud trends, for example, payment platforms, e-commerce transactions as well as transacttions in the gas and electricity markets. During the seminar the participants examined ECJ decisions, which are of great importance to the work of the tax authorities when dealing with VAT fraud.
In addition, EUROPOL expert Christopher Perryman explained EUROPOL's role in the fight against VAT fraud.
During the seminar the participants had the opportunity to not only learn from the experts' presentations on the experience of other countries and the most suitable methods used at various stages of the VAT administration, but also to strengthen their expertise in dealing with practical exercises based on real cases, as well as to discuss with the experts some of the cases which the SRS's employees are facing on a daily basis and to hear experts' views and advice on possible solutions.
The good practices obtained during the seminar will be used to assess the necessity for drafting proposals for amendments in the tax regulatory enactments, as well as for the development of the employees’ knowledge and cooperation skills with other departments that are involved in VAT administration. This way a better and more common understanding of the VAT system, typology and methods of fraudulent cases, as well as the ability to detect and prevent such cases will be achieved.
At the end of the seminar even the experts pointed out that they have gained new knowledge on the SRS's experience, as well as the applied methods and approaches in the field of VAT administration.
Therefore, the aim of the project was achieved - to improve SRS's employees' knowledge and understanding of the VAT system and its protection mechanisms and methods, which explains the need for the training, that is the need to obtain knowledge and best practices in the fight against VAT fraud efficiency.
This training seminar is supported by the European Union Programme Hercule III (2014-2020). This programme is implemented by the European Commission. It was established to promote activities in the field of the protection of the financial interests of the European Union (for more information see http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/about-us/funding/index_en.htm).
Publication reflects the author's view and that the European Commission is not responsible for the views displayed in the publications and/or conjunction with the activities for which the granti s used. The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.
The information was prepared by:
SRS Public Relations Division
Phone. +371 67122670, +371 26558389; +371 67122668, +371 26351438