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Following years of successful co-operation, the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD) and the Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations (IOTA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation during a virtual signing ceremony on 5th November 2020. The MoU aims at strengthening the capacity of tax administrations to share technical knowledge in cross-border taxation issues and facilitating a dialogue between tax administrations and businesses.

IOTA’s main mission is to provide a platform for its Members to exchange experience and best practices that can improve the practical aspects of tax administration. Creating strategic partnerships with other international organisations who can contribute to this mission is one of the key goals of IOTA. IBFD is an independent and not-for-profit centre of expertise in international taxation. It specialises in tax training, publications, research and academic services. IOTA’s collaboration with IBFD will allow the two organisations to engage with the business community, and to facilitate the dialogue between tax authorities and businesses in times of tax uncertainty.

Both organisations agreed to mark this strategically important partnership through the digital technology and virtual means by conducting a  virtual signing ceremony - the very first of its kind for IOTA.  IOTA Members, partner organizations and fellow knowledge hubs on international taxation around the globe could follow the Live broadcast of the signing ceremony via our YouTube channel.

During the event, Mr. Georgios Pitsilis, President of IOTA, pointed out the importance of the MoU and highlighted that

„IOTA members will benefit from our cooperation with IBFD in terms of improving the knowledge of tax officials on international taxation matters through participation in the joint events as well as accessing the publications produced from joint research work. Furthermore, the cooperation with IBFD will offer opportunities for IOTA member tax administrations to make better use of discussions with the international business community and tax professionals in understanding compliance problems and developing innovative solutions for taxpayers to increase tax certainty and reduce administrative burden.”

Mr. Pitsilis also explained that the two organisations would begin executing their co-operation with the events under the ’Business Meets Tax Authorities’ programme. The first event of such series is going to be held virtually on 3rd March 2021 and it will focus on the theme ’Facilitating tax compliance of the Tourism industry in (post) Covid-19 times’.

On behalf of IBFD, Prof. Dr. Victor van Kommer, Director of Tax Services, began his speech by pointing out how the synergies created by IBFD and IOTA are the core of this co-operation, since, as he said: „An engagement is always based on the conceptual idea that together you are stronger than alone.”

„As some friends of IOTA know, I have a special relationship with IOTA.” – remembered Dr. Van Kommer, who played a key role in conceptualising IOTA in 1996. „(...) I feel also a little bit proud to see such a flourishing organisation as IOTA. Just an example that everything is possible if you have a vision and dedication. I am grateful for the cooperation with IOTA over the last years and want to thank especially the secretariat under the leadership of the Executive Secretary Frantisek, who have done their utmost best to formalise the cooperation between our organisations.”

After their speeches, Mr. George Pitsilis and Prof. Dr. Victor van Kommer have signed the MoU on co-operation. This MoU is signed for a period of three years.

The full signing ceremony can be watched on-demand on the IOTA YouTube channel under this link.