With the GMAC ECJ case wrapping up on the windfall question (law 1 and law 2 working together against the Tax Authority) and Bookit Limited out of the UK’s First Tier Tribunal answering what seemed like to me to be the same 2006 CoA question, this week’s discussion looks at what has really changed in the world of VAT over the last decade or so. It’s almost like asking what your top 3 favorite films are – no one is going to agree and we will all have wildly different opinions – but here are mine.
- Halifax – The VAT abuse tests from Halifax put VAT planning where the only purpose was to gain a VAT advantage into the spot light. Now with BEPS, AEoI and a whole host of holier than thou reporting mechanisms in place that aren’t quite 1984 in terms of intrusion in a taxpayers life, it seems that undertaking any sort of VAT planning is going to get us all in as much trouble Winston & Julia, there do seem to be more O’Brien’s in the VAT world than I would care to imagine.
- Technology – “Enhance 224 to 176” isn’t quite the reality of the VAT compliance world yet, but perhaps one day we’ll be able to use technology in an even more powerful way than we can today. Big Data, dedicated VAT compliance solutions, enhanced ERP and bolt-on solutions enabling earlier identification and analysis of potentially troublesome transactions, dashboards running live on our screens and no more excel are all here or soon will be. The drive to deploy indirect tax technology and the suite of service offerings from full install to cloud based on-demand have materially increased accuracy.
- The VAT professional – as a profession we have moved even further out of the weird closet and almost seem to be in the main stream of normality amongst others in our organizations. We all have to remind ourselves that some birds aren’t meant to be caged, and the VAT professionals I have worked with over the last few years are now driving significant changes inside their organizations as well as being included in changes, projects and planning way earlier. VAT always seemed to be the outcast in the tax world, but we have shown how much VAT impacts are own businesses and our clients businesses in the right way.
So any thoughts on three of my favorite movies?