Controles de transacciones continuas: concéntrese en el viaje, no en el destino

Christiaan Van Der Valk
julio 25, 2021

A current mega-trend in VAT is continuous transaction controls (CTCs), whereby tax administrations increasingly request business transaction data in real-time, often pre-authorising data before a business can progress to the next step in the sales or purchase workflow.

When a tax authority introduces CTCs, companies tend to view this as an additional set of requirements to be implemented inside ERP or transaction automation software by IT experts. This kneejerk reaction is understandable as implementation timelines tend to be short and potential sanctions for non-compliance significant.

But businesses would do better to approach these changes as part of an ongoing journey to avoid inefficiencies and other risks. From a tax authority perspective, CTCs are not a standalone exercise but part of a wider digital transformation strategy where all data that can be legally accessed for audit purposes is transmitted to them electronically.

It’s all about the data

In many tax authorities’ vision of digitization, each category of data is received at ‘organic’ intervals that follow the natural cadence of data processing by the businesses and data needs of governments.

Tax administrations use digitization to access data more conveniently, on a more granular level, and more frequently.

A business that doesn’t consider this continuum from the old world of reporting and audit to the new world of automated data exchange risks over-focusing on the ‘how’ – the orchestration of messages to and from a CTC platform – rather than keeping a close eye on the ‘why’ – transparency of business operations.

Data received quicker and in a structured, machine-exploitable format is infinitely more valuable for tax administrations as it gives them an opportunity to perform deeper analysis of both varying taxpayer and third-party sources of data.

If your business data is incomplete or faulty, you are likely exposing yourself to increased audits, as your bad data is under scrutiny and more transparent to the taxman.

Put differently, in a digitized world of tax, garbage-in will translate to garbage-out.

How to prepare for CTCS – automation is key

Many companies already have the magic formula to fix these data issues at their fingertips. Start by preparing for this wave of VAT digitization with a project to analyse internal data issues and work with upstream internal and external stakeholders – including suppliers – to fix them.

Tools designed to introduce automated controls for VAT filing processes can help achieve better insight into the upstream data issues that need ironing out. These same tools can also help you through the CTC journey by re-using data extraction and integration methods set up for VAT reporting for CTC transmission, thereby creating better data governance and keeping a connection between these two naturally linked processes.

A lot of bad data stems from residual paper-based processes such as paper or PDF supplier invoices or customer purchase orders. Taking measures now to switch to automated processes based on structured, fully machine-readable alternatives will make a big difference.

Improving invoice data is not the only challenge. With the inevitable broadening of document types to be submitted under CTC rules (from invoice to buy-side approval messages, to transport documents and payment status data) tax administrations will cross-check more and more of your data, as well as trading partners’ and third parties’ data — think financial institutions, customs, and other available data points.

Tax administrations are unlikely to stop their digitization efforts at indirect tax. Mandates to introduce The Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T ) and similar e-accounting requirements show how quickly countries are moving away from the old world of tax and onsite audits.

All this data, from multiple sources with strong authentication, will paint an increasingly detailed and undeniable picture of your business operations. It is just a matter of time before corporate income tax returns will be pre-filled by tax administrations who expect little to no legitimate changes from your side.

‘Substance over form’ is a popular aphorism in the world of tax. As more business applications and data streams become readily accessible by tax administrations, you need to start considering data quality and consistency as a first step towards thriving in the world of digitized tax enforcement.

Aim for more, not less, insight into your business than the taxman

In the end, tax administrations want to understand your business. They don’t just want data, they want meaningful information on what you do, why you do it, how you trade, with whom and when. This is also exactly what your owners and management want.

So the ultimate goals are the same between businesses and tax administrations – it’s just that businesses will often prioritise operational efficiency and financial objectives whereas tax administrations focus on getting the best, most objective information possible.

Tax administrations introducing CTCs as an objective may be a blessing in disguise, and there are benefits of introducing better analytics to your business to comply with tax administration requirements.

The real value lies in real-time insight into business operations and financial indicators such as cash management or supply chain weaknesses. This level of instant insight into your own business also enables you to always be one step ahead, leaving you in control of the picture your data is providing to governments.

CTCs are the natural next step on a journey to a brave new world of business transparency.

Take Action

Download VAT Trends: Toward Continuous Transaction Controls for other perspectives on the future of tax. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep up-to-date with regulatory news and developments.


Suscríbase para más información

Manténgase actualizado con las últimas noticias de impuestos y cumplimiento fiscal que pueden afectar su negocio.

Christiaan Van Der Valk

Christiaan Van Der Valk is vice president, strategy. Elected a World Economic Forum Global Leader for Tomorrow in 2000, Christiaan is an internationally recognized voice on e-business strategy, law, policy, best practice and commercial issues. Formerly co-founder and president of Trustweaver (acquired by Sovos), Christiaan also holds long-standing leadership roles at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the European E-invoicing Service Providers Association (EESPA). Over the past 20 years, he has presented at and authored key papers for international meetings at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Asia Europe Meeting, World Trade Organization and several other UN agencies. Christiaan earned his Master of Laws degree from Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Share This Post

June 16, 2022
IVA sobre las fichas no fungibles (NFT)

La reciente popularidad de los tokens no fungibles (NFT) ha cautivado a inversores, gobiernos y autoridades fiscales. Un NFT es un activo digital que representa objetos del mundo real, como una pieza de arte digital, un clip de audio, un juego en línea o cualquier otra cosa. Las NFT se compran y venden en línea […]

EMEA Impuesto sobre Primas de Seguros (IPT)
June 15, 2022
En el punto de mira: ¿Por qué es tan difícil el régimen de IPT en Italia?

Cumplimiento fiscal en Italia: ¿por dónde empezar? Desde las liquidaciones mensuales de impuestos hasta la declaración anual, el pago anticipado, la presentación de informes adicionales y el tratamiento de las primas negativas: todos estos factores hacen que Italia sea única y una de las jurisdicciones más difíciles desde el punto de vista del cumplimiento del […]

Declaración fiscal y del IVA EMEA
June 15, 2022
Acuerdos de reciprocidad y por qué son importantes a la hora de recuperar el IVA

Sovos organizó recientemente un seminario web en sobre la recuperación del IVA en el que tratamos los acuerdos de reciprocidad entre el Reino Unido y los Estados miembros de la UE a la hora de presentar solicitudes de devolución del IVA de la 13ª Directiva. Una de las preguntas que surgieron es ¿qué son los […]

E-Invoicing Compliance EMEA
June 14, 2022
El proyecto de resolución introduce cambios en el documento de transporte electrónico de Perú

La facturación electrónica se introdujo en Perú en 2010, siguiendo la tendencia de los controles continuos de las transacciones (CTC) en los países latinoamericanos para una recaudación más eficiente de los impuestos al consumo. Desde entonces, el Gobierno ha puesto en marcha medidas para incluir a un número significativo de contribuyentes en el régimen obligatorio […]

E-Invoicing Compliance EMEA
June 9, 2022
Bélgica se acerca a la facturación electrónica obligatoria

En línea con las obligaciones establecidas por la Directiva Europea 2014/55 sobre la facturación electrónica en la contratación pública, Bélgica introdujo un mandato para que las entidades públicas reciban y procesen facturas electrónicas en 2019. En el caso de Bruselas, Flandes y Valonia, la iniciativa fue más allá de los requisitos mínimos de la Directiva […]