IOTA Forum on Combating VAT Fraud

Erika Szabó's picture
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Under the framework of the newly developed hybrid format by IOTA, the Organisation successfully held the Forum on Combating VAT Fraud on 7th– 9th June, 2022 in Budapest giving a fresh start and a totally new experience to its technical activities after two years of virtual operation. The first hybrid technical event of the year attracted more than 55 participants gathering in person at the venue and 130 attendees joining digitally to the three days of the Forum.

The main theme for the 2022 Forum was revolved around the “Cross border VAT frauds in the post-pandemic era”. The experts and auditors identified new VAT fraud trends as well as exchanged their knowledge and expertise on detection strategies of cross-border VAT fraud.

The purposes of this year’s Forum were the following:

  • identify new fraud trends in cross-border VAT fraud;
  • share concrete VAT fraud cases involving digital platforms (cryptocurrencies, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), alternative payment platforms etc…);
  • insights about VAT fraud cases where administrative cooperation and the use of data have played a crucial role in the auditing activities.

The first plenary session of the event provided the participants with a great opportunity to gain insight from the International Organisations` side with presenters including:

  • OECD - Enforcing VAT on digital trade: possible emerging strategies by Mr. Stéphane Buydens
  • EU Commission, TAXUD - EU Commission initiatives against Anti-VAT Fraud by Mr. Robert Cibulla
  • EU Commission, OLAF - OLAF and its role in fighting VAT frauds by Mr. Giovanni Bancale
  • Europol - Europol’s perspective by Mr. Dan Baicu

Covering the ‘New VAT Fraud Trends and Cross Border VAT Fraud’ theme of the workshop, the next plenary session of the day put the IOTA members countries` approach in the spotlight with presenters including:

  • Luxembourg - FMCG-Fast moving consumer goods an emerging trend? by Mr. Serge Hollerich and Ms. Floriane Kremer
  • Switzerland - Payment with shares by Mrs. Monika Balsiger
  • Denmark - Fraud with Yachts by Mr. Morten Granerud
  • Italy - VAT Fraud in Electronics Sector across Europe and cooperation with EPPO by Ms. Vanessa Bianchini and Mr. Andrea Damian
  • France - VAT fraud: electronic gaming platform – wallets by Mr. Lokman Sengun

The question that raised great interest among the tax administrations ‘VAT fraud cases involving digital platforms’ was the theme of the Forum’s longest plenary session on the second day of the event, where a number of country presentations reflected on the topic:

  • Denmark - Risk area within the gaming industry by Ms. Gitte Nielsen
  • Portugal - E-Commerce - Online Food delivery platforms - Domestic VAT fraud by Mr. Bruno Miguel Soares Santos
  • Belgium - NFTs and financial investigations by Mr. Kurt Caestecker
  • United Kingdom - Technology-enabled Money Laundering and tax fraud by Mr. Brian Mullen
  • Austria - Cross Border VAT Fraud in Austria by Mr. Wolfgang Kolar

During the third day of the Forum meeting, the plenary session`s country presentations ran under the theme ‘Administrative cooperation and role of data in combating VAT fraud’ with presenters including:

  • Finland - International audit case: efficient use of multiple data sources by Mrs. Raita Melasniemi
  • Hungary - Results of multilateral audits ordered by the Hungarian Tax Administration, observation of a presence audit by Mrs. Réka Zita Haber-Ganev
  • Norway - Norwegian best practice using the EU data in detecting cross-border VAT fraud by Ms. So Young Kim

This Forum meets once per year during its two-year Mandate, it provides delegates with an opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics, problems and issues relating to VAT fraud that are in line with the Forum mandate. Attendees could raise questions during the Q&A at the end of each session. In addition, participants were actively involved in Group Discussions and in a Final Open Debate during the event.

All material, presentations included, is available for registered IOTA website users on the event’s webpage while Group Discussion notes and the recording on the event will be provided soon.