New Year’s Greetings from the Executive Secretary of IOTA

Erika Szabó's picture
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Dear Colleagues and Members of IOTA,

It is my pleasure to greet you in the beginning of 2023 that is full with new hopes and new challenges. I would like to take the moment to look back on 2022 and thank you all for your contributions over the past 12 months.

A person in a pink suitDescription automatically generated with low confidence2022 was a transition year with the introduction of a new operation mode of the Secretariat incorporating lessons learned from the digital operations of IOTA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding the Secretariat, the new HR guiding principles have taken into account the new work mode regime (HO and WO) and the implementation of the Code of Conduct. The management policy has been clarified and an Employee Handbook has been published.

Concerning the IOTA Work Programme activities, our new event organisation model with the use of the IOTA Studio in Budapest has been introduced and is operating successfully, thus we are able to broadcast live virtual activities. In 2022, IOTA organised a total of 20 activities and 5 projects, mostly under the framework of the newly developed hybrid format following its pilot project the 29th Forum of IOTA Principal Contact Persons in April. The 26th General Assembly of IOTA was held under the Swiss Presidency and welcomed more than 150 high-ranking officials from partner organisations (European Commission, IMF, OECD), the business community and academia along with representatives of IOTA member tax administrations gathering personally at the foot of the Swiss Alps, and over 80 prominent attendees and tax practitioners joining digitally to the entirely new experience after two years of virtual operation.

The Administrative Session of the GA enabled to approve the amended Charter, the IOTA Code of Conduct, the new Strategy 2023-2027, and to welcome a new member country: the Iceland Revenue and Customs. The Technical Sessions of the GA ran under the theme ‘Compliance and Trust: Affecting tax behaviour while redefining the relationship between taxpayers and tax administrations’, and were split into two parts, plenary and breakout sessions with the participation of the tax administrations, the international organisations (IMF, OECD, CIAT) and the business community. Last but not least, the October’s IOTA Annual International Conference, organised in collaboration with the Independent Authority for Public Revenue of the Hellenic Republic (IAPR) with a topic reflecting the main challenges the tax administrations have to face in this post pandemic period, was also a great success.

However, with the current conflict taking place in Ukraine, 2022 was also a disruptive year for IOTA members as Russia and Belarus have been suspended since March 2022 from all the administrative and technical activities until further notice in respect of the Charter provisions (article 2 and 6.15) approved by the GA.

In 2023, the main challenges for IOTA will be to implement the new Strategy 2023–2027 and start the development of the new Web portal. The new Strategy is embracing the vision to be a leading international tax organisation for practical collaboration and knowledge sharing on tax administration issues for its members and partners with a new value of integrity. The strategic objectives aim at delivering effective high-quality and innovative services, maintaining and expanding organisational excellence as well as increasing international cooperation.

I wish you all good health, happiness, and success for the New Year 2023!

Kind regards,
Alix Perrignon de Troyes   
Executive Secretary of IOTA