Application of Indirect Audit Methods in relation to High Wealth Individuals (HWIs) joint workshop was organised by IOTA and the European Commission’s Fiscalis 2020 programme in Vilnius, Lithuania on 11-13 November 2015.
The workshop was organised as part of the ongoing collaboration between the European Commission and IOTA, as each year the Commission and IOTA organises a joint event on a specific topic. This year the focus was on the application of indirect audit methods in relation to HWI. During the workshop over 30 delegates from 25 countries have discussed current challenges that participating tax administrations face in dealing with complex tax affairs of HWIs. The event provided insights into successful approaches of tightening laws, developing risk reviews, audits, prosecutions, setting up a dedicated HWI unit, etc. and recent initiatives, particularly in Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.
At the end of the workshop participants overviewed and summarized the future perspectives in the subject such as: strengthened tax return, tax reporting and substantiation obligations (annual statement of assets), co-operative compliance approach to HWIs, self-disclosure schemes, intensified international tax co-operation (FATCA, AEoI, EU Directives, joint audits, multilateral controls) and generalisation of specialised units.
Participants have found the workshop especially useful for gaining experience and practice from other countries and for learning about criteria for selection of HWIs for audit; methods used by other countries and its advantages and disadvantages. Participants have expressed that by sharing the gained information in their home administrations they will also contribute to the improvement of tax treatment of HWIs.