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Tax in Real Time: How Digital Platforms Will Redefine Future Tax Systems

We sat down with a wide array of finance experts, from professors to heads of international tax, from around the world –to get their take on the future of tax.

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Tax in Real Time: How Digital Platforms Will Redefine Future Tax Systems

  1. 1. Tax in real time How digital platforms will redefine future tax systems
  2. 2. Taking a pulse We sat down with a wide array of finance experts, from professors to heads of international tax, from around the world – to get their take on the future of tax. 40 Finance Experts 16 Countries 2020 July
  3. 3. Increased digitalization of the economy will bring a host of benefits to governments and tax agencies as well as businesses and consumers. Global payments standards like ISO 20022* will bring greater efficiency, transparency and may enable new taxation models. Increased ecosystem utilization, natural language processing and machine learning create new automation and compliance opportunities. Open Banking may enable unprecedented personalization. At the same time, the way people live, work, and do business is changing, whether by choice in a rapidly digitalizing economy, or by necessity in a world confronting a global pandemic. Digitalization of the economy will change taxation Pulse 01 Prepare for the next generation of taxation * ISO20022 is a global and open standard for messages sent between financial institutions, for an instance when a payment is being made The more real time the payment is the more real time the taxation can be. A real time tax process makes a lot of sense, where transactions are automatically integrated into the tax agencies system and the tax liability will show on a second- by-second basis. Director of Financial Services (Professional Services)
  4. 4. Redefine Experience, Redefine Compliance Agencies are moving withholding and consumption taxes closer to real time, initially real-time assessment/reporting and ultimately real-time collection. We see payroll assessed and reported in real-time for each employee payment. We see the adoption of continuous transaction controls and e-invoicing building the capability for real-time consumption tax assessment. Real-time taxation not only increase compliances, it will also reduce the compliance burden as collection in real- time obviates the need for tax return. Tax does indeed become seamless and natural. Compliance in real time by design The best thing the tax agency can do is be as invisible as possible. People and businesses don’t want to think about tax or be reminded that that they have to pay their taxes. If tax is taken care of in the background without having to think about it, then this is the best possible experience for the customer. Pulse 02 Vice President Digital Payments and Labs (Credit Card Company)
  5. 5. Build the Ecosystem for next generation taxation The possibilities that truly digital, real-time tax creates— for businesses, individuals, tax authorities and whole economies—can only be realized through active collaboration. Financial institutions, tax authorities, digital marketplaces, payment platforms, software vendors, and others all need to agree standards, change mindsets, and expand the data ecosystem. The future of tax is digital, open and real-time. But it needs the whole ecosystem to come together to make it a reality. Collaborate to make real-time tax a reality Pulse 03 International Tax Planning Director (Retail) … now it’s time for tax authorities to explore the opportunities increased digitalization of the economy provides. From a customer perspective, banking and tax should become indistinguishable and tax should happen in the background to the extent that it is almost invisible to the citizen. Director and Head, Digital Payments (International Bank)
  6. 6. Banking will get more innovative. By opening up access to banking data through digital interfaces—APIs—Open Banking enables new and innovative banking services plus faster and cheaper international transfers. From giving individuals more control over their financial data to integrating gig workers into the tax system, Open Banking will bring dramatic improvements for both taxpayers and tax authorities. Guidance to help make Open Banking work involves assisting financial institutions coming together and agree common standards for their APIs and helping them recognise the potential of open banking to improve customers experience and efficiency with regards to tax as well as the other financial services. Open banking opens new horizons Open banking is less about an opportunity for private individuals, but more for the tax agencies and small business in terms of massively improving efficiency. Tax is a huge operational burden for business. Eliminating this will result in a major cost and time saving. Pulse 04 Guide the future financial infrastructure Former director of Financial Services (Professional Services)
  7. 7. Income withholding taxes on personal taxpayers are adapting to the new more fluid employment models focussing more on individual payment transactions. Consumption taxes on goods sold to consumers are often being considered more fair than increased income taxes. It is why some governments turn to consumption taxes to plug holes in their budgets. Climate change and Digital taxes are here to stay and are likely to be more widely adopted. All these changes point to increased taxation at a transaction level. However next generation taxation will not rely on reporting detail of every transaction. Real-time collection and continuous transaction controls will provide the basis for taxation. Moving to hard-to-avoid transactional taxes Pulse 05 Taxation by transaction (not return) “We will see a shift from “stock” taxes (that depend on the results of economic activity at a certain cut- off point in a year, e.g. corporation and income tax), to “flow” taxes (that are based on transactions happening throughout the year), e.g. VAT. The reason for that is that they are more immediate, more flexible, and therefore provide a better tool for managing the government’s fiscal needs as they change over time.” Senior tax analyst (Retail)
  8. 8. Accenture believes the future of taxation is the real time, invisible agency. We can help your agency shape the journey to realization of this vision. Our revenue industry experts are working with more than 20 leading national agencies across the globe and have a proven track record in helping tax agencies develop and realize their strategies. Defining your real time journey accenture.com/revenue Accenture Revenue Clients DAVID REGAN Global Managing Director Accenture Revenue DR. GABRIEL BELLENGER Managing Director, Global Consulting Lead Accenture Revenue