IOTA Executive Secretary at the Technical Conference of CIAT

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Alix Perrignon de Troyes, the Executive Secretary of IOTA attended as a panellist at the Technical Conference of the Inter-American Center of Tax Administration (CIAT) on 4th-7th October 2022, in Granada, Spain. The theme of the event was “Tax Administration Sapiens: information and knowledge management to improve the prevention and fight against fraud”. The event welcomed more than 40 delegates from tax administrations, international organisations including IOTA, together with officials from the businesses community and other stakeholders.

The event was organised in three different panels. The first panel discussion ran under the theme Strengthening a relationship of trust with taxpayers and improving compliance and included presentations from Canada (CRA), Kenya, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Dominican Republic and IMF. The speakers addressed the different approaches they set up in order to build trust with the taxpayers through integrity and reliability, as well as tax administrations have to be more responsive to the needs of taxpayers and citizens. This requires improving digital services and creating a culture of service, designing services for taxpayers and not for the convenience of the administration. As a pillar of society, the tax administration is required to show leadership, which translates into: transparency, accountability; integrity and of course the risk assessment approach.

After the panel session, participants joined a round table conversation on Perspectives and challenges of tax administrations: the digital divide and exchanged their views on the following subtopics:

  • strengthening a relationship of trust with taxpayers and improving compliance;
  • data analysis as a basis for the activities of tax administrations; and
  • training and adaptation of human resources to new technologies and the post-COVID environment.

The participants of this conversation were  Alix Perrignon De Troyes – IOTA; Babatunde Oladapo – WATAF, Baker Omer – ATAIC; Catherine Lemesle – CREDAF; Duncan Onduru – CATA; Evelyn Wayne – COTA, Koni Ravono – PITAA; Logan Wort – ATAF; and Osman Mohamed A. Márcio F. Verdi – CIAT.

The participants discussed the following questions:

Q1: “Trust” is a powerful word. What have tax administrations done to diminish the relationship of trust, and what can they do to recover and strengthen that trust?

Q2: Part of the topic this panel is addressing is “The digital gap.” It’s very related to part of this Technical Conference’s theme, “data analysis as a basis for the activities of tax administrations.” When we see the international cooperation initiatives being undertaken to address tax avoidance, technology is a major aspect of the initiatives. But certainly, there is a form of digital divide or digital gap when we compare technological capabilities from country to country. In this regard, how is your organization supporting your members in narrowing the “digital gap?”

Q3: Taking the prior question as the basis, in your opinion, what can other organizations such as funding agents (IMF, WB, UN, etc.) do to support advancement of technology in tax administrations that are still short of being on par with the rest of the world?

Q4: As we’ve seen, information and knowledge are major weapons to combat fraud and tax evasion. What can the tax administrations of your member countries do to retain the best and the brightest human resources to address these challenges?

Q5: How can other major organizations such as IOTA support NTO’s mission?

All the panellists agreed on the importance of Trust to sustain the social contract between the State and its citizens. The perception of mutual benefits within the taxpayer’s mind is also another important dimension in building trust.

The theme of the second panel discussion was Data analysis as a basis for the activities of tax administrations, while last topic of the event revolved around Training and adaptation of human resources to new technologies and the post-Covid environment.

Further information about the event can be found on the CIAT website.