Tax Technology Education

The added value of VAT technology

Different VAT experts speak about global VAT developments and offer their personal views and experiences with VAT. View this episode where industry leaders discuss the added value of VAT technology, how it makes their jobs easier and eliminates the mundane tasks inherent in tax-related activities.

Fintech, RegTech and digital technology have dramatically transformed the financial services landscape. These innovations provide solutions to improve efficiencies and/or reduce the costs of existing processes. New technologies have introduced improvements that decrease the likelihood of human error, minimise audit risks, reduce economic crime or fraud, enhance management visibility and improve tax compliance.

These improvements can clearly be seen in the area of value-added tax (VAT) and goods and services tax (GST), hereinafter referred to as VAT. Compliance with complex VAT legislation, especially in today’s digital economy is a challenge faced by many businesses. The OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Project has further altered the global tax landscape by implementing a tax framework that has been adopted by over 84% of the total world economy. The goal of this project is to update international tax rules in a coordinated way to improve the fairness and integrity of tax systems. This represents an opportunity for technology to simplify and ease global VAT compliance.

Number of businesses that purchased IT systems to support the preparation and submission of VAT refund claims

Technology-driven automation within the tax function is delivering improved transparency, controls and efficiencies, while mitigating risks, reducing costs and delivering more accurate results. According to E&Y’s 2016 TaxTech Survey, 84% of participants voted that technology is the most important factor in improving the effectiveness of the tax function.

VAT automation minimises the manual processes that lead to inaccuracies, and help companies meet national and international rules and regulations. Businesses find value in implementing software applications that can standardise and perform high-volume, low value-added tasks, while still meeting regulatory and market challenges.

Discussing this topic are VAT experts from multiple industries who were interviewed by Remco Dewaerheijt, VP Tax & Product Strategy for VATBox, about global VAT developments for the ”Industry Leaders Reveal” series. They highlight how automation is seen as a proven approach to reducing costs, increasing control and consistency and maximising resources. These industry leaders offer their personal views and experiences with VAT and discuss how VAT technology is helping them in their day-to-day lives

Bas de Koning, EME Indirect Tax Manager at Bayer Crop Science, has been involved in VAT and other Indirect Tax matters for more than 20 years. Bas talks about the strong influence and introduction of technology over the last decade on VAT. “If you look at e-commerce, at IT developments, over the past 10, 20 years, there’s been so many changes, and VAT rules are trying to catch up to that. Ten years ago, nobody heard of SAF-T, nobody heard of e-invoicing.  Now everything is just submitted online electronically on an invoice by invoice basis. Including your VAT return. In the future, everything will be online real-time and directly accessible by the tax authorities.” He believes technology — and specifically VATBox — will help companies meet the challenge of compliance. “If you use VATBox, you know that [the submission] is done correctly; it’s done on time. By using VATBox, you can make sure that your control framework actually has good control.”

Ilona van den Eijnde, Global Trade & Indirect Tax Advisor at E&Y, advises national and international clients regarding Customs, International Trade and Indirect Tax. Ilona reveals how VAT technology makes her job easier and eliminates the mundane tasks inherent in tax-related activities. “Over the last ten years, there has been an increase in the use of technology, both by companies and by authorities. Technology is changing the more mundane tasks that our job sometimes entails. For example, the compliance activities will all be automated and increasingly digital in the future.”

Jeroen Lassche is an EMEA VAT Manager, responsible for the in-house tax operations for a US-based biotechnology product development company with revenues of more than $24 billion and approximately 70,000 employees globally. He discusses the benefits of technology in his day-to-day life with Remco. “I believe automation helps me to focus more on the most challenging aspects of a business and [gives me] the opportunities to grow further as a VAT professional, and not only from a VAT technical level but only from a VAT related automation level.  I see it as a real challenge, and I’m absolutely not afraid of technology. I believe that it’s just making my job even more interesting.”

To hear more from these VAT experts on how technology is helping them in their day-to-day lives and to learn more about their thoughts on global VAT developments, click here.

If you are interested in participating in our “Industry Leaders Reveal” interview series, contact us at

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