The IOTA Webinar on ’COVID-19 Crisis: Understanding and Addressing New Opportunities for Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud’ took place on 7th April 2021. This webinar explored what new types of evasion/fraud have been identified as stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. Participating IOTA member tax administrations shared their experience of the new tax fraud risks they have seen appearing and the mechanisms they have put in place to effectively handle those risks.
This virtual IOTA event welcomed 246 participants from 36 member countries. This webinar aimed to focus on the successful measures taken to reduce the risks associated with tax frauds and tax evasion, particularly in the field of VAT or frauds in personal/income tax following the COVID-19 emergency changes in tax legislation.
The first presentation of the webinar by Hans Petter Tetmo (Norwegian Tax Administration) discussed the topic ’Nordic Cooperation on Fighting Tax Crimes’. Mr. Tetmo spoke in detail about the Nordic Agenda Report on Threat Assessment providing insights from the identified areas subject to high risk and threats of criminal activities, especially relating to bankruptcy crimes, ’zombie companies’ and attacks on the government support mechanisms.
Jonathon Shotton (His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, United Kingdom) introduced aspects of the HMRC’s intelligent assessment view, including the intelligence cycle and COVID-19 scheme threat assessment techniques.
The third presentation of the webinar, delivered by Merab Kharadze (Georgia Revenue Service), shed light on Georgian policies for crisis management related to COVID-19. He spoke about the benefits provided by the Georgian government in support of taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 crisis, then unveiled examples of new threats present in Georgia and measures taken by the Georgian revenue administration to prevent and reduce them.
Lastly, Roberto Foschi (Italian Revenue Agency) presented the Italian approach of combating missing trader intra-community (MTIC) VAT frauds during the COVID-19 crisis. In their approach against MTIC frauds, the key concepts of the Italian Revenue Agency are risk analysis, involvement of local offices, smart working, prompt deregistration, and taking follow-up actions.
At the end of the event, speakers and participants were involved in a Q&A session. The full presentations, as well as the recording of the event, are available for IOTA member tax officials on the event’s webpage.