Taxation and Customs Union

VAT in the Digital Age

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VAT in the Digital Age

The European Commission’s Directorate General for Taxation and Customs (DG TAXUD) was organising on 6 December 2019 an event on “VAT in the Digital Age” in Brussels, Belgium.

This event brought together stakeholders working in the field of Value Added Tax (VAT) to reflect on the opportunities and challenges that new technologies bring in the area of VAT.

In particular, the potential of using advanced technologies such as blockchain in the VAT area will be discussed.

The seminar also provided a chance to share recent experiences from EU Member States on how they use digital solutions for VAT reporting, collecting and fraud-detection.

An opening address was made by Stephen Quest, Director General of DG TAXUD, followed by key-note speeches and panel discussions with academics, EU officials, members of national tax administrations, business representatives and other VAT specialists.

Conference streaming

Speaker's presentations

The speakers' presentations are available : 

Digital and Taxation video

The European Union is trying to bring the world of tech and the world of tax closer together and to see how we can use the technology to deliver more effective tax outcomes for our citizens.

 

Emerging tech and Taxation video

AI and particularly machine learning is a game changer and will lead to fundamental changes of how public services are provisioned. Blockchain is a technology that can provide many benefits to taxpayers, that can fix many problems of the current VAT system.

Programme

VAT IN THE DIGITAL AGE

6 December 2019 - European Commission, Breydel Building, Brussels

08:30 - 09:30 Registration and Welcome Coffee
 
09:30 - 09:45

Opening of the conference

Stephen Quest, Director General, DG Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.

 
09:45 - 10:05

Technology and Taxation - setting the scene

  • Professor Dr. Peter Fettke, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence;
 
10:05 - 10:30
  • Mike Bracken, the Lisbon Council, a think tank for the 21st century.
 
10:30 - 11:10

Session 1: Blockchain and VAT

Moderator: Maria Teresa Fabregas Fernandez, Director, DG Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission

Keynote speakers:

  • Prof. mr. dr. Madeleine Merkx, Erasmus University of Rotterdam;
  • Brigitte Bijl, Ministry of Finance, Netherlands and Sascha Jafari, Summitto;

 

11:10 - 11:35 Coffee break
 

11:35 - 11:55

Session 1: Blockchain and VAT (continued)

Keynote speeches :

  • Aleksandra Bal, Vertex
 

11:55 - 12:35

Panel discussion

After a short statement by each member of the panel, the floor is open for a discussion with all participants

Panellists:

  • Prof. mr. dr. Madeleine Merkx;
  • Brigitte Bijl, Ministry of Finance, Netherlands;
  • Sascha Jafari, Summitto;
  • Aleksandra Bal, Vertex;
  • Kristian Koktvedgaard, chair of the VAT Policy Group at BusinessEurope.
 
12.35 – 12:55

Session 2: Digitalisation and VAT reporting

Moderator: Antonio Victoria Sanchez, Head of Sector, DG Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission

Keynote speakers :

  • Maksim Baranov, Tax and Customs board, Estonia;
 

12:55 - 14:10

Buffet lunch
 

14.10 – 15.10

Session 2: Keynote speeches (continued)

  • Francisco Fernández Monge, Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU;    
  • Maria Delia Ruggiero, Ministry of Finance, Italy;
  • Alfredo Espada, EMEIA Associate Director on Indirect Tax and Tax Technology, AstraZeneca.
 

15:10 – 15:50

Panel discussion

After a short statement by each member of the panel, the floor is open for a discussion with all participants

Panellists:

  • Maksim Baranov, Tax and Customs board, Estonia;
  • Francisco Fernández Monge, Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU;
  • Maria Delia Ruggiero, Ministry of Finance, Italy;
  • Alfredo Espada, EMEIA Associate Director on Indirect Tax and Tax Technology, AstraZeneca;
  • Lena Odelberg, Volvo Group on behalf of BusinessEurope.
 

15:50 – 16:15

Coffee break
 

16:15 – 16:55

Session 3: Developing a risk analysis capacity at EU level

Moderator: Caroline Edery, Head of Unit, DG Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission

Keynote speakers :

  • Caroline Edery, Head of Unit, DG Taxation and Customs Union;
  • Raita Melasniemi, Finnish Tax Administration.
 

16.55 – 17.15

Open discussion with all participants
 
17:15 – 17:30

Closing Session

Closing remarks : Maria Teresa Fabregas Fernandez, Director, DG Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.