Report

VAT Trends: Toward Continuous Transaction Controls, 12th Edition

Welcome to the 12th edition of Sovos’ annual trends report, “VAT Trends: Toward Continuous Transaction Controls” where we put a spotlight on current and near-term legal requirements across regions and VAT compliance domains.

This report provides a comprehensive look at the regulatory landscape as governments across the globe are enacting complex new policies to enforce VAT mandates and are demanding unprecedented insight into economic data to close revenue gaps.

The focus of this year’s report is on four emerging megatrends with potential to drive change in the way organizations approach regulatory reporting and manage compliance. Authored by a team of international tax compliance experts, we provide extensive recommendations on how companies can prepare for and thrive through these changes.

Get the report

 The four mega-trends that we examine are:

  1. Continuous Transaction Controls (CTCs) – Countries with existing CTC regimes are seeing improvements in revenue collection and economic transparency. Now, other countries in Europe, Asia and Africa are moving away from post-audit regulation to adoption of these CTC-inspired approaches.
  2. A shift toward destination taxability for certain cross-border transactions – Cross-border services have historically often escaped VAT collection in the country of the consumer. Due to a large increase of cross-border trade in low-value goods and digital services over the past decade, administrations are taking significant measures to tax such supplies in the country of consumption or destination.
  3. Aggregator liability – With the increase of tax reporting or e-invoicing obligations across different taxpayer categories, tax administrations are increasingly looking for ways to concentrate tax reporting liability in platforms that naturally aggregate large numbers of transactions already.  Ecommerce marketplaces and business transaction management cloud vendors will increasingly be on the hook for sending data from companies on their networks to the government, potentially even inheriting liability for paying their taxes.
  4. E-accounting and e-assessment – Combining CTCs with obligations to synchronize entire accounting ledgers makes onsite audit necessary only in cases showing major anomalies across these rich data sources. Over time, the objective is for VAT returns and other tax reports to be prefilled by the tax administration based on taxpayers’ own, strongly authenticated source system data.

Continuous transaction controls have emerged as the primary concern for multinational companies looking to ensure compliance despite growing diversity in VAT enforcement approaches. Tax authorities are steadfast in their commitment to closing the VAT gap and will use all tools at their disposal to collect revenue owed. This holds especially true in the aftermath of COVID-19, when governments are expected to face unprecedented budget shortfalls.

In addition, this report includes a major review of the country and regional requirement profiles. These profiles provide a snapshot of current and near-term planned legal requirements across the different VAT compliance domains.