IOTA’s Executive Secretary, Miguel Silva Pinto accompanied by Eugenijus Soldatkovas and Roman Bichevoy, Technical Taxation Experts paid a one-day visit in Brussels on 24 November and had meetings in the European Commission with representatives of DG TAXUD and Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS). The aim of the meetings was to discuss current cooperation with DG TAXUD and ways to expand it in 2018 and explore ways to engage with the SRSS.
A first meeting took place with Mr Paulo Santos, the Principal Advisor of the DG TAXUD Director General, where the Executive Secretary explained the IOTA initiatives planned for 2018 in the field of IT and referred that the impact of digitalization in the reform of tax administrations will be the professional theme of next year’s General Assembly in Bratislava, Slovakia.
In the meeting with Maria Teresa Fabregas Fernandez, Director of Indirect Taxation and Tax Administration, DG TAXUD, Caroline Edery, Head of C4 unit tax administration and fight against tax fraud and Netty Bussink from the same unit, the Executive Secretary presented the draft of 2018 IOTA work programme. He also underlined that IOTA events and activities in 2018 could complement legislative initiatives of DG TAXUD, by creating opportunities for national tax officials to learn and exchange experiences and know-how on the implementation of EU legislation. He also mentioned the possibility of IOTA and DG TAXUD to prepare and collaborate on joint studies or publications. DG TAXUD representatives expressed interest in IOTA activities, in particular on those focusing on digital economy, combating tax fraud, capacity building.
In the meeting with the Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS), the Commission`s service that provides tailor-made technical support to EU countries, a great potential of cooperation was identified. SRSS was represented by Frank Van Driessche, Head of unit, Athens office and David Palmer, Tax Administration expert. They provided the background and characteristics of the SRSS and informed that 24 EU countries with over 440 requests applied for technical assistance for 2018. They also informed that every partner interested in implementing SRSS projects needs to be Pillar assessed and they provided information about this evaluation. Parties agreed that the possibility of IOTA partnering with the SRSS in the future will be explored further.
The meetings provided a good opportunity for IOTA to continue strengthening the cooperation with DG TAXUD as set in the “Arrangement for Cooperation” signed by both parties in 2016 and also for making the first steps towards collaboration with the European Commission e.g. in the field of technical assistance projects.