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Tax in Real Time: How Digital Platforms Will Redefine Future Tax Systems
How digital platforms will
redefine future tax systems
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.
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.
the economy will
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-
Director of Financial Services
Redefine Experience, Redefine
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.
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
Vice President Digital Payments and
Labs (Credit Card Company)
Build the Ecosystem for next
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
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
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
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.
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.
Guide the future financial
Former director of Financial Services
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.
Taxation by transaction
“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)
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
Accenture Revenue Clients
Global Managing Director
DR. GABRIEL BELLENGER
Managing Director, Global
Consulting Lead Accenture Revenue