Thank you to all who attended our third “VAT Compliance in a Digital Age” event on November 3 at the beautiful Sofitel – Legend the Grand in Amsterdam. The standing-room-only gathering included an interactive discussion focused on the digital developments around SAF-T reporting.
Our guest speaker, Daniel Kroesen from Ernst & Young, shared his insights on the implications that SAF-T implementation will have on both tax authorities as well as internal tax departments. As our world is defined by technology, a quickly changing digital era provides unique challenges when it comes to VAT reporting. The lines are increasingly blurred between goods and services and real time processing of data by tax authorities will consequently result in higher audit risks for multinationals that rely on manual processes.
Tax authorities globally are aiming to do more with less resources and are heavily automating their audit procedures with SAF-T requirements offering us only a glimpse of what is to come in the future. Latin American e-invoicing with fully automated government tax systems are leading the way for the implementation of various automation aspects in the VAT action plan.
The constant changes associated with the rapid indirect tax landscape call for controls that are impossible to achieve with decentralised and manual processes.
Whilst the general feeling is that Europe will be slow to adapt similar levels of automation, like Latin America it is expected that the adoption of SAF-T will spread, increasing both the complexity of reporting and the number of tax assessments.
Marco de Weerd, Senior Indirect Tax Manager at Sovos Compliance Amsterdam, delivered a hands-on presentation about the requirements of SAF-T in Europe and how Sovos VAT Reporting addresses the challenges associated with SAF-T. Transparency and control are the key words when it comes to data exchange via XML, highlighting the importance of an in-depth data analysis functionality that allows VAT professionals to save time whilst being certain that their reporting is accurate.
With 9 countries in Europe already requiring SAF-T or similar style reporting within the near future it is essential to harmonise, optimise and streamline VAT processes now. VAT automation software enables users to establish KPIs and actively own the VAT process whilst being able to spend more time on value adding activities such as advisory aspects and VAT strategy.
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